Author Archives: Diletta

surf

Dawns at Ezzi Mannu

Ezzi Mannu is a small village in the Stintino municipality. 7,8 houses of pink, apricot, water green and blue colors. There is a green flowerbed with a small fountain in the middle. The surrounding country gently slopes down towards the sea. In the Summer time all colors are of all the green and yellow shades of the harvested fields, always having the blue colors of the  sea as a background.

Just in front of that village there was a large enclosure with the riding horses inside of it. The first time I asked for information, the owner, a tall kind gentleman, told me that horses would go for a stroll only at sunrise or at sunset. This because the beach would be crowded with tourists and it would be impossible to run across it on horseback.

I had been riding only for a year and only in town inside a fenced field under a big tent. I had never been out on a stroll, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know if I were able to lead a horse keeping a security distance for me and the others. But I decided to try anyway. I thought :” when would it be possible for me to ride a horse along a 10 km beach?” Then that gentlemen, the guide, seemed reliable to me. 

The following morning I was there, a little early on the agreed time, 6 am. I was surrounded by the live silence that can be found only in a countryside close to the sea.

The guide put the saddle on a dark bay horse for me. He had a long black mane and deep dark eyes. My town instructor had told me not to ever stare a horse I had just met in his eyes as horses have always been preys and their predators stare at them when they are on the point of attacking. The horse would have interpretated my gaze as a threat or a challenge.

That bay horse  kept on looking at me instead, calmly and quietly, as he wanted to understand who he would have strolled with during the next two hours.

We headed south-west, as we meant to reach the pond and see all the protected species.Pink flamingos overall…..

surf

Nutrition and sport

Nutrition is essential in sports practice.

But you should take into account not only the quality of the food you eat: you should also consider the timing.

The first thing to say is that a lot depends on the relationship you have with the sport.

If you are a professional you already have a diet plan to follow in line with the type of sport you practice.

If you take sport seriously but without doing it for a living, the following advice can be useful.

  • Before working out:

your pre exercise meal, it’s common opinion, must contain some carbo and be very low in fat. And, of course, some protein.

About the type of carbo: around 1 or 2 hours before performing, you should prefer the ones with  low glycemic index. Such as sweet potatoes, black bean, whole grain bread and brown rice.

Good source of protein are tuna, turkey and chicken.

  • During working out:

usually it’s not a good idea to eat during working out. You’d deprive your workout of important energy that should be used in the digestion process.

You have to focus mainly on hydration, so in most cases drinking enough water is all you need. However, if you are running a marathon (for example), you can also add a sports drink or a quick digestion-carbo gel.

And… how can you support your muscle?

…for example, drinking BCAA.

  • Post working out:

Keep in mind that your body needs to recover. As a result, post-workout nutrition should aim to recharge your energy reserves and provide you with enough protein to prevent protein breakdown in your muscles and stimulate muscle synthesis.

Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain mass, you should eat about 25 grams of protein and high glycemic index (HGI) carbo. This is the only meal of the day where you are allowed to eat HGI carbo.

The reason is: an insulin peak contrast cortisol, a steroid hormone, and help to push the protein into the muscle cells.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you have to keep the amount of carbo low.

 

horse riding

Horse riding is a life metaphor

Horse riding is more then a sport, it is a life metaphor.

It would help you realize that you won’t go far if you don’t become a whole with your partner, in a real partnership in which the horse holds strenth and the rider holds will.

The horse is so much respected as  the rider’s gestures are not considered orders but aids.

Horse riding teaches you to be firm in expressing your will as your body has to communicate it without hesitation.

You have to think before you ask. The useless amount of words we use in everyday life must be put aside as you have to convey your will firmly.

Half ton of galloping muscles cannot allow indecisions or  afterthoughts. 

The rider cannot be afraid of making mistakes anyhow. The horse  is so much precisely connected to the rider’s mind that he feels any single hesitation. You can think that this described above is the metaphor of leadership.

In horse riding the obsatcole jump requires more discipline as this activity is more risky.

In addition to what has been said above about riding on ground level, the rider has to lead the whole over the hoppers he would meet on his path.

In order to do that, he will have to direct his gaze far beyond the barrier. Towards the orizon.

It often happens that the rider fixes his attention on the obstacole itself instead of looking over the barrier.

This involves the horse to refuse to jump and the consequences can be quite painful.

The horse attention has to be kept constantly alerted. Some voice calls or some touches of riding crop can be needed but,above all, the horse will appreciate some rewards as careresses. Better if you bestow them only after the horse has well behaved.

Horse riding teaches you that you can fall over but you can stand up and climbe up on the saddle again. This helps you in understanding how and when you made a mistake.

This shouldn’t absolutely be experienced as a problem.

But as a natural evolution towards the awereness of one’s limits and possibilities.

I learnt to walk keeping my back straight and my head up as a rider’s attidude must convey a feeling of balance and it cannot be perceived only as a useless burden.

Capo Mannu

Capo Mannu

In Sardinia there are many spots.

Among the others, the spot for excellence: Capo Mannu.

Here you have oceanic waves. No joke!

The gigantic waves that brake over Grande Capo, hit the shore several times last winter.

At Piccolo Capo you find lower waves but only professionals can afford to surf over them. Anyway some extreme weather conditions have occured by the end of January, and they were so rare that locals, looking at the sea, called them “The Perfect Storm”.

You have to know now that Capo Mannu is famous among windsurf and surf professionals all over Europe. Piccolo Capo is known because of the waves quality, perfect and constant. They sway in cristal blu water that only in Sardinia can be found. Grande Capo is known instead for its strenth and heigh where  the Monster can be challenged only by professionals.

Some of them really have fun surfing there, even in bad weather conditions. They consider Capo Mannu as their playground. They don’t take it as a difficulty to overcome, but they enjoy the challenge of playing with huge waves.

One of the most talented surfer who ever surfed at Capo Mannu more then anyone else is Andrea Mariotti.

“I never saw so many mistral days like during this Winter. In January waves were the highest and most powerful I had ever seen here in Sardinia, monsters of almost 6 metres.” Andrea says. ” I never saw anything like that and these conditions allowed us to get the most from our equipment, to test its tightness and performance. I must say I am really satisfied with it”. And he adds “What’s more important here at Capo Mannu is being very careful not to fall in the impact area.The impact area is where the seabed is quickly coming up and the huge wave breaks. Falling over here might destroy your equipment and hurt you badly.

Fotunately, nothing of this happens and professionals stay out on sea all day as they know a day like this will hardly be repeated. They know they have been living a unique experience that will be remembered. All those who took part to this event will feel united by something special that will belong  to them and to this place only.

Learning Surf?

So you have decided to learn surfing? Well, here you have a basic even if not complete list of things fundamental to begin with.

Surfing Environments:

When you think of surfing, you usually  recall high sea waves. Actually lately people is starting practising surf over many other waters: lakes, rivers and man-. made wave pools. Wherever you find yourself, don’t rely on your surf knowledge too much and ask other more experienced surfers to advice you for the best. Safety is the most important thing you have to consider.Remember that when you are on the water, you will have to deal with an equipement and it shouldn’t be too heavy or your movements would be limited too much. Here in Sardinia there are many spots. If you a beginner, trusk local people advice on the most suitable spots for you, so as to avoid strong flows and rocky areas. Always consider the weather forecast and watch out for rip flows and high waves

Equipment:

Normally the longer the board is the easier  riding a wave becomes. If your board is short, it would get more difficult to catch a wave. Anyway the board would be easier to hand. In this way you would be able to better control your board while executing tricks and turns.

On the base of the difficulties you might meet out on the water, you should wear a wetsuit to keep you warm. A thick wetsuit will keep you warmer , but it would also make you feel tied in movements. So choose your wetsuit carefully.Make sure that the closing  zip is  in the rear part of the suit.

Goofy vs. Regular:

 Stepping you right foot forward is goofy, while left foot should be stepped forward instead. How can you realize when you are goofy or regular? Think that you are runnig and sliding across an icy lake and you have to stand on it. The leash has to be tied to the back foot.