Rupert Hambly


Mick Fanning and the shark attack

As you’re probably all aware right now, a 3 times world champion surfer was attacked recently while competing in the final of a world tour event. All of this was caught on live TV and I was actually watching it live on the internet when it happened in shock. Nothing like this has ever been caught on camera before and so made Mick Fanning into the most famous surfer in the world for a few days! I, like everyone else was very happy and amazed with the outcome as he wasn’t injured apart from hurting his knuckle from punching the shark!

Anyway, the reason why I’m writing this is because being a surfer, bodyboarder, bodysurfer and a lover of the ocean itself, I’ve integrated various training methods to help me become better in the water with whatever I’m doing. I’ve constantly studied and practiced theory and practical aspects to get better and an incredibly great system for all sports but very much so with water sports, is the C.H.E.K system. I’ve personally been educated within the C.H.E.K system for some time now and found it highly beneficial for clients and myself. So I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when I found out one of my favourite wave riders was trained with it to help him recover from injury and win 3 world titles!


Here’s how Fanning found the training:

“There was a loud crack and then hellish pain in my butt,” world surfing champion Mick Fanning told GrindTV about the injury that almost ended him. “I didn’t know at the time, as I was on a boat trip in the middle of nowhere off Sumatra in Indonesia, but I had ripped my hamstring right off the bone where it attaches to the pelvis.”

This was in 2004, and after a grueling trip back to Australia for surgery, Fanning had six months of rehabilitation ahead. “I couldn’t even sit down for the first six weeks. However, it was this six months and the rehab done through the C.H.E.K system that has been crucial for my career,” he says. “It taught me so much about how my body, health and mind works. I learned which muscles to work on to improve my performance as a surfer.”

Fanning has gone on to win three world titles, and he still incorporates some of the C.H.E.K principles into his own everyday training. With his success as inspiration, other high-profile surfers such as Laird Hamilton, Kai Otton, Jamie Mitchell, Dan Ross and Stephanie Gilmore have also used the fitness program to overcome serious injury, maintain surf fitness and achieve success.


C.H.E.K was devised by Paul Chek and is based around an integrated, holistic approach to health, fitness and well-being. It stands for Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology and views the body as a fully integrated unit where physical, hormonal, mental, emotional and spiritual components must be considered. Diet is important, with the use of organic foods and the eradication of gluten and dairy seen as crucial.

Specific training is also key, for both the individual and the individual sport.

“For surfing, weights aren’t as important,” says Fanning. “In surfing, we’re constantly getting hit by water and there are all these different variables; the surface conditions are always changing, so you need to have those little muscles turned on. With weights, they use the big muscles, but when you’re standing on a Swiss ball, it’s so unstable that the exercises turn on the little stabilizing muscles that are needed for surfing.”

Fanning underwent his rehab in Australia under Jan Carton and said it was pivotal in his 2007 and 2009 world titles.

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