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A Surf Legend's Unbelievable Mental Tricks

Nathan Fletcher reveals how he keeps his cool on scary big waves

Ted Grambeau
Nathan Fletcher thinks about pizza and skateboarding—oh, and rides a huge wave—at Teahupoo, Tahiti.

Gearing up to take on bigger waves isn’t easy—the fear of falling, being held under and just the sheer speed of the water can be daunting. So how do the pros do it day after day?

Big-wave surfer Nathan Fletcher recently revealed his mental trick to an Australian reporter during the epic Day Three freesurf of the Volcom Fiji Pro, where he described conditions being a “10 on a scale of one to 10” in scariness, with 20-plus-foot waves consistently pounding the break. Mind you, Fletcher, a 35-year-old California native, is no stranger to monster rides. This year at the 2012 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, he took home an unprecedented three awards in one night—Monster Tube, Best Performance (judged over the course of a year), and the biggest prize of the evening, Ride of the Year, for a massive wave he took on at Teahupoo in Tahiti in August 2011.

So, how does this year’s hero of the big-wave community steel himself before dropping into a behemoth?

“Really, I just think about other things like…pizza, or skateboarding, or something stupid.”

Got that? A little dough, sauce and cheese, and you're ready. Now go catch a wave.

You can watch the whole interview here.

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