Workout With Chris Bobryk the American Sledgehammer - Chasing the Dream: Vlog 11
It’s a common question asked by new and seasoned kiters alike.
Am I in good enough shape to kiteboard? And the most common answer is a resounding yes! Kiteboarding is accessible to people of all ages and most fitness levels. I’ve known people in their 80’s practicing the sport. Now that said, pushing your riding to the next level sometimes takes some cross training. Strength and endurance are a must for next level riding.
In this episode I venture to Miami to visit with RRD rider Chris Bobryk.
For people that are on the beginner or intermediate level of kiting, would you say that strength training is important?
To prevent injury, I would definitely say that everyone should be out there getting active... especially to stay clear of injury. There are two reasons to work out: to prevent injury, and be able to kite longer. Everybody wants to kite as long as they can, especially when you have a limited amount of time to kite. You want to be able to push as hard as you can for as long as you can.
Before I go kite, I can warm up and do a little run, not so much stretching but more so calisthenics to get your body warm so you're ready to go send those tucked knees and tail grabs, and afterwards do the same thing, maybe a little cool off run, a couple stretches here and there... and then have a beer!
Because.. balance! You have to treat yourself well. Work hard, drink beer! You said calisthenics, what is that?
It's mostly body weight stuff that I like to do. More stretching your muscles out and less heavy weight. The reason I like to do it is because it builds your muscles at the same time as building your joints, and that's what helps you prevent injury, compared to heavy weight lifting where maybe you're going to build your muscles too quick and the rest of your body is not going to be able to handle it.
Are you ever hitting the gym or are you always in parks or outdoor spaces?
Chris: I'll never buy a membership to a gym, because I think it's ridiculous when you can be out in this beautiful park here.
Tell us a bit more about you.. someone told me that you go by the name the American Sledgehammer. What's that about?
Chris: I have a couple nicknames that have been handed to me throughout the years. A lot of people call me Ricky Bobby, which is my last name backwards.. Bobryk, Ricky Bobby... and I like to go fast. And send it.
American Sledgehammer, before I got really good I just fell a lot. I think that's where that came from. Just slamming a lot. A lot of slamming, and finally I started to land a few things here and there. But still, I slam a lot.
You were a wrestler before a kiter?
Chris: I didn't wear a mask! It was highschool wrestling mostly that I did. Wrestling and kiting mix really well together because you have to use a lot of your core strength, and the mentality of a wrestler goes with kiting really well because with wrestling you have to go hard, and train full on. With kiting as well, when you fall you have to be able to get back up no matter how hard you fall and try it again.
Why did you make the transition into kiting?
Chris: I was at the beach - I've always been at the beach and skating, and pretty much every extreme sport from wrestling and MMA and every board sport there is, and I saw somebody on the beach one day at MacKite's event King of the Great Lakes, and some pros came in and I saw them flipping around and I was like "I have to do that!".
The next day, I went on eBay and got the kite, a cheap kite. It was maybe not the best option, go to your local kite dealer or MacKite, maybe a better option! From there, I had to figure out my board situation, so I was in woodshop and started making boards for a few years.
Finally, the MacKite guys started to recognize me and helped me out, and I got hooked up with them and have been with them ever since.