We talk to Jack Barker, Mens IC World Champion, to wee what it takes to become the best in the world!
How did you prepare:To mentally get myself ready for the Worlds I had to reassure myself that it was just like any other ‘home’ competition. As I find i can put way too much pressure on myself otherwise. Whilst free surfing I’d give myself some moves to complete just so I knew I could perform them when the time came to it.
How did you train: For the past two years I have been dedicated to get the most useable strength I could out of myself. I did this via weight training in the gym when I couldn’t get in the surf. Over the winter I ‘bulked’ and gained over a stone and a half in muscle and fat. 10 weeks prior to the worlds – just as nights began to get lighter – I began my ‘cut’. This was to reduce any unnecessary fat and weight on my body, whilst maintaining as much strength I had gained as I could. During this period I also increased my fitness.
When the sea was flat, Marc Woolward and I pushed ourselves through some drills. Including sprints, rolls and breath holding. Anything to help out bodies in a competition environment.
And any time there was a wave, I was in the water!
Did you enjoy the event: I had a fantastic time at the Worlds, even without my win. All of my good friends were around me, I had my gorgeous girlfriend there, it never stopped being sunny and the waves were better than any of us expected! The only downer on the whole trip was a serious attack of mosquitoes, but it wasn’t a big deal.
The competition site was great, the organisers did do a good job on that.
How did you find the level of competition: Very high! With over 120 people from all corners of the world. It made for some ridiculously hard heats, combining that with a strange heat system, made it pretty damn difficult.
There were moves being used by many paddlers that 4 years ago weren’t really around. And that’s fantastic to see. The whole point in the competitive seen is to push the sport, and that’s exactly what the majority were doing, I’m stoked to have been a part of that.
How did it feel to win: UNBELIEVABLE
I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was on the water with ex-World Champions… How did I pull it off???? Haha I just have no idea. All I know is that I was happy to get through to the semi finals – that was my goal for myself. To get to the finals was the icing on the cake. I went in there with no hopes and no pressure on myself as I’d already got way beyond my own dream. I have a feeling that helped me whilst in the water… I just surfed the best I physically could whilst having fun smile emoticon the final was a blast that I will never forget.
I’d like to thank my sponsors for giving me the chance to push my own limits and prove myself. Thank you!
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