Skip to comments.Surfer Shows Freaky Lack of Fear
Posted on 03/30/2013 6:10:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Garrett McNamara might have surfed the tallest wave ever off the coast of Portugal, but he says he didnt even get an adrenaline rush from the experience. Uh, what?
McNamara, a pro big wave surfer known for extreme rides, set the Guinness World Record last spring for largest wave ever surfed with a 78-foot-tall wave at Nazaré off the coast of Portugal. In January, McNamara returned to Nazaré and surfed a wave estimated to be about 100 feet tall. He later told CNNs Anderson Cooper that he didnt even get a rush from it (video).
Dude, you did not get a rush surfing that wave? Are you kidding me? Cooper responded.
I am not kidding you, Anderson. I dont know whats wrong with me, McNamara said.
McNamara was precipitously close to a deadly cliff, he said his whole body was chattering and he nearly popped out of his straps. Even in the heady world of pro surfing, his utter lack of fear stands out.
Jaimal Yogis is a surfer I know whose recent book The Fear Project explores his own fears around big waves as well as the underlying science of fear. He has some ideas about what might have happened.
Yogis thinks McNamara likely exposed himself to so many big waves and survived so many wipe-outs that hes extinguished his typical fear response. The ancient fear center in the brain called the amygdala learns from experience, Yogis explained. Garetts amygdala may be convinced, based on past experience, that he will survive any big wave because he has surfed so many successfully and he is still healthy, he told me.
Theres also the dopamine, the pleasure chemical. Neuroscientists studying people who love dangerous sports have found that this personality type tends to have more dopamine flood their brains than average when they try something new and scary. Yogis thinks surfers like McNamara end up associating potentially stressful experiences with pleasure. This makes new big waves seem more enjoyable than frightening.
Another factor Yogis suggested could be that while McNamaras big wave at Nazaré was impressive, most surfers who looked at the video and saw the waves atypical shape knew that McNamara had surfed more difficult and frightening waves elsewhere. That probably made him feel more in control.
His brain is primed to respond with very low stress in surf that might make the average surfer vomit or freeze up with fear, Yogis said. And he knows all about it. His book culminates in his firsthand experiences with Northern Californias deadly Mavericks. My hands get sweaty just thinking about all this.
Probably too much weed.
big brass huevos.
Lack of fear, or insane? Thant must be 80 feet!
I’m a good surfer and I would not go near that wave!
No.......these guys have brass balls. Maybe even titanium balls. http://vimeo.com/53551115
Yeah, I saw a twelve ft wave heading toward me in Florida and I ate sand AND pissed my swimsuit. (Thankfully, nobody noticed that I pissed my swimsuit...)
Every other surfer, except Laird Hamilton, has expressed feeling fear in big waves. It is unnatural not to. He has mad skills, not doubt, but come on man.
Those damn things get a little squirrley out of the corners on one wheel. Titanium fits.
Anderson Cooper is a pro, and he uses baby talk?
If they had hubless wheels like this moto they wouldn’t be so squirrely.
I thought he was a presstitute!
Oh, brah! It’s just like...Dude, you got the best barrels ever, dude!
“Get Pitted! A Surfer’s Remix”
It’s the same pandering mentality as “Can I get me a huntin’ license?”
Prostitute who died during romp came back to life in coffin
If I was the people watching that from shore I’d run from that thing :O
Yes, and they die on a rather regular basis on that insane course.