[IMAGE 1] When it comes to professional surfing, its athletes aren’t typically known for being in tip-top shape or better yet for busting out a “Spider” on the beach. If you’re wondering what a Spider is, it’s a upper-body strength exercise where a person faces the ground with legs spread and the arms in a 90 degree position and holds it there for a minute or more (if you like pain). It’s also a favorite of Rob Rowland Smith, Quiksilver’s International Team Trainer and pain inducer.
Around this time every year, Quiksilver puts on its Pro Staff Camp where team riders are flown into Southern California for five days of training that includes exercise, seminars on diet, product knowledge, working with shapers, media, and video critiquing as well. Run by Rowland-Smith, Tom Carroll, and Quiksilver Team Manager Todd Klein, the purpose of the camp is simple¿to train its professionals and amateurs and get their money’s worth. This year’s, held in the end of May, is the third domestic version and differs from last year because of the new faces brought in, “Last year, we did it for all the pros,” says Klein. “This year I wanted the top pros and incorporated the best amateurs.”
This year’s attendees were given invaluable knowledge in the form of eight world championships and two champions¿Kelly Slater and Tom Carroll. They were at every seminar lending their experience and giving the young guys words not every surfer gets in their lifetime. “Quiksilver is the only company that can put something on like this and have two guys with eight world championships between them giving their knowledge and know how to the other team guys,” says Klein. Team riders in attendance included Bourgeois, Fred Patacchia, Danny Fuller, Cam Powell, Dylan Graves, Thomas “T-Grom” Clark, and many others.
As for the training, Rowland-Smith’s workouts are legendary and the reason many surfers have had success in the surfing world. They also inflict a lot of pain, “This is my first year and it’s much more than expected,” said Patacchia. “Rob’s kicking my ass.” “Some of the top guys can still benefit from all the training,” says Klein. “There’s no reason they can’t reach their full potential.”