Conquer the cold with the “Iceman” Wim Hof
As kiteboarders we are driven to practice our sport in less than ideal conditions. If you are on a tropical island with 30 degree weather, sunshine and enough sunscreen to shield a small village, you have it made – awesome. Unfortunately conditions like this are atypical and don’t come along as much as you would like, especially here in Canada.
We from the North and other cold climate countries usually are forced to take what mother nature provides and make the best of it. For example, I had a session on Christmas eve and lasted only an hour in the mid 40’s Lake Ontario water temp before my numbing limbs became too much. Usually our desire to have an amazing experience outweighs the challenges of cold weather kiting so we gladly suit up and put up with the cold.
I would like to introduce a man who embraces and loves the cold and has performed many amazing feats within it. He uses unorthodox methods to push himself and what he can accomplish to the edge of human capability, he is “The Iceman” Wim Hof.
“The cold is your warm friend!” – Wim Hoff
Wim Hof is an eccentric guy with tons of character and charisma, who practices breathing techniques, cold water immersion, and can regulate his heart rate, breathing and blood circulation to help him accomplish some amazing things.
Wim Hof claims that with his method of breathing and certain cold exposure you can influence the autonomic nervous system (thought to be unconsciously controlled) and immune system. He is the first of his kind to substantiate his claims using scientific observation and testing.
Sitting in ice for 1 hr 52 minutes, Wim keeps his core temperature the same and has earned himself multiple world records. He has swam under a frozen lake for 66 meters, ran a marathon above the Arctic circle in shorts and ran a Full marathon in Namib desert without water consumption, and these are just the beginning of his unbelievable story.
One of the most exciting things about his method is the Iceman strongly believes “What I am capable of, everybody can learn”.
When I heard the Iceman say that I knew I had to experiment with his methods and introduce him to as many people and kiteboarders as I could.
Vice did a documentary on the Iceman that is included at the end of this post where he teaches his methods to the Vice journalists. This short documentary is a must watch for anyone interested in pushing human limits and expanding your belief of what is thought possible for yourself and all humanity.
For us Northerners who brave the cold, we can adopt, practice and experiment with these techniques and apply it to our cold weather kiteboarding and to other areas of our life. This is a really interesting documentary on many levels and I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. Watch the documentary below. Enjoy.
If you have been inspired to learn more about the Iceman and his techniques check out Wim’s site via this link The Iceman Wim Hof.