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Surfer Shows Freaky Lack of Fear
Discovery News ^ | MAR 29, 2013 | Alyssa Danigelis

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 didn’t 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 CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he didn’t 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 don’t know what’s 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 he’s extinguished his typical fear response. The ancient fear center in the brain called the amygdala learns from experience, Yogis explained. “Garett’s 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.

There’s 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 McNamara’s big wave at Nazaré was impressive, most surfers who looked at the video and saw the wave’s 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 California’s deadly Mavericks. My hands get sweaty just thinking about all this.


TOPICS: Hobbies; Local News; Sports
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/30/2013 6:10:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

DUUUUDE!!!


2 posted on 03/30/2013 6:11:25 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (ok)
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To: nickcarraway

Probably too much weed.


3 posted on 03/30/2013 6:14:52 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: nickcarraway

big brass huevos.


4 posted on 03/30/2013 6:17:34 PM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: nickcarraway

Lack of fear, or insane? Thant must be 80 feet!


5 posted on 03/30/2013 6:20:27 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: nickcarraway

I’m a good surfer and I would not go near that wave!


6 posted on 03/30/2013 6:23:41 PM PDT by ForAmerica (Texas Conservative Christian Black Man!)
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To: nickcarraway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58a9xYOweU8


7 posted on 03/30/2013 6:32:33 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Doomonyou

No.......these guys have brass balls. Maybe even titanium balls. http://vimeo.com/53551115


8 posted on 03/30/2013 6:45:48 PM PDT by irish guard
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To: nickcarraway

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...)


9 posted on 03/30/2013 6:51:08 PM PDT by LittleBillyInfidel (This tagline has been formatted to fit the screen. Some content has been edited.)
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To: nickcarraway

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.


10 posted on 03/30/2013 6:54:44 PM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: irish guard

Those damn things get a little squirrley out of the corners on one wheel. Titanium fits.


11 posted on 03/30/2013 7:02:23 PM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: nickcarraway
“Dude, you did not get a rush surfing that wave?

Anderson Cooper is a pro, and he uses baby talk?

12 posted on 03/30/2013 7:11:10 PM PDT by ansel12 (The lefts most effective quote-I'm libertarian on social issues, but conservative on economics.)
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To: ansel12
Anderson is a pro all right.......

A prostitute.......

13 posted on 03/30/2013 7:31:24 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
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To: Doomonyou

If they had hubless wheels like this moto they wouldn’t be so squirrely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfoA6pBnklo


14 posted on 03/30/2013 7:39:29 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: Osage Orange

I thought he was a presstitute!


15 posted on 03/30/2013 7:39:55 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: nickcarraway

Oh, brah! It’s just like...Dude, you got the best barrels ever, dude!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDRNaAxryu8

The song.

“Get Pitted! A Surfer’s Remix”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgQ5BJTSv9U


16 posted on 03/30/2013 7:42:20 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: ansel12

It’s the same pandering mentality as “Can I get me a huntin’ license?”


17 posted on 03/30/2013 7:46:02 PM PDT by Rebelbase (1929-1950's, 20+years for full recovery. How long this time?)
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To: Osage Orange

Prostitute who ‘died’ during romp came back to life in coffin

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4864611/prostitute-who-died-during-romp-came-back-to-life-in-coffin.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News


18 posted on 03/30/2013 7:57:26 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I’m a conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: nickcarraway

Dear God!

If I was the people watching that from shore I’d run from that thing :O


19 posted on 03/30/2013 8:13:05 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: irish guard

Yes, and they die on a rather regular basis on that insane course.


20 posted on 03/30/2013 8:46:37 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: nickcarraway
ADD'er I bet. I'd put cash money on it.

CC

21 posted on 03/30/2013 10:48:01 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (Hey liberals, what part of "unalienable" don't you understand?)
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