Professional surfer Nathan Carter has used Kinesio Taping for many years to help him recover quickly from different types of muscular strain as well as impact injuries.
As Nathan spends most of his time in and around the water, Kinesio's fully waterproof properties mean that the tape stays in place for days at a time, supports and helps to heal his injuries, yet still allows him to move freely, train and take part in competitions whilst in situ.
Nathan says: "I have injured both of my hamstrings repeatedly over the years, to the point that there was such an inherent weakness the injuries were recurring on a very regular basis. Unfortunately, as any athlete will testify, a recurring hamstring injury is debilitating enough without the associated problems it brings along with it. Tight calves, lower back and even sciatica to name just a few. I was finding these issues were really holding me back in terms of training and performance."
"I began using Kinesio Tape a few years ago and the results have been impressive to say the least. I started using a very simple technique for the backs of my thighs both in the gym and in the sea and I was immediately amazed not only by the reduction in pain and discomfort but also by the improved range of motion I experienced. I now use Kinesio Tape for my upper back and shoulders as well, particularly when I am experiencing heavy training or very long/multiple surf sessions. I genuinely feel like Kinesio Tape is a real key to longevity within my sport."
Nathan, who is 33, is based in North Cornwall and specialises in Longboarding. Longboards (also known as Malibu boards) are generally above 9 feet in overall length. Their advantage is their substantial buoyancy and planing surface enabling surfers to ride waves generally deemed too small to propel a shortboard. Longboards are universally common among both beginners and skilled surfers alike.
Surfing was first brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Polynesians in the sixth century and has since become popular worldwide. The ancient boards were carved and fashioned out of solid wood, reaching lengths of over three metres long and weighing as much as 150 pounds (68 kg). Both men and women, royalty and commoners surfed. But the longest of boards (the Olo) was reserved for royalty. During the 19th century, some extreme western missionaries actively discouraged surfing, viewing it as sinful and the sport almost died out completely. In recent times replicas have been made of Olo's by experienced surfers wishing to explore the roots of the sport.
Says Nathan: "I started surfing as a very small child, probably 5 or 6 years of age. My dad (a lifelong surfer) would take me out and push me into waves at our local beach. I can also remember childhood holidays would always be to places with great waves. I was instantly addicted to the feeling I got when I was in the ocean. It's an amazing combination of the serenity of spending time as close to nature as you possibly can, alongside the ultimate thrill of catching and riding a perfect wave. Whether it's longboarding, shortboarding, paddleboarding, tow-surfing or body surfing I just feel at home in the water."
Over the past few years Nathan has been lucky enough to explore the biggest and most extreme waves the UK has to offer and has been featured extensively in the nationally and internationally renowned Carve magazine.
He continues: "The recent discovery of surfing spots in England that produce waves rivalling the intensity of more famous locations around the world is really fuelling my passion for the sport even further. I have ridden waves close to my home the past couple of years that I can honestly say are the largest and scariest I have ever experienced. I hope to ride the largest wave of my life this year and further validate England as a bonafide location for those seeking heavy waves. I really look forward to documenting my exploits both in Carve Magazine as well as on my blog www.enigmabude.wordpress.com. It's so good to have Kinesio Tape supporting me (literally) every step of the way."
As Nathan and Kinesio take to the waves, we'll be bringing you news of all their activities over the coming year - both on land and sea!