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Joe Surf: New training facility opens

March 14, 2012|By Joe Haakenson

Competitive surfers these days are looking for an edge.

Whether they're in high school or already surfing on the world stage, they want to get better. And believe it or not, there's a way to improve without even getting wet.

Paul Norris and Jon Brown promise they can make it happen. Last month they opened the doors to Extreme Athletics, a surf-specific training facility in Costa Mesa that is open to anyone who surfs and even those who are just thinking about it.

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Norris, 31, and Brown, 29, are surfers who know a little about how the body works — Norris has a degree in exercise science and Brown has a degree in kinesiology.

Both have worked as personal trainers for high-level surfers like Brett Simpson, Courtney Conlogue, Andrew Doheny, Trevor Thornton, Brad Ettinger and Anthony Petruso, and finally decided to take the dive into business.

They made the commitment one day at 54th Street in Newport.

"It was when we were out there surfing, sitting out in the lineup, discussing where we wanted to go with our profession," Brown said. "We were training surfers at the time but we wanted to go off on our own to train these guys. We were involved with a different company but we wanted to work for ourselves. Like a lot of people, we wanted to branch out on our own."

It made sense. More and more athletes of all ages are now seeking physical training that is specific to their sport. Surfing is no different.

"I see all action sports going that way," Brown said. "The level of competition has risen to a level where you have to be training for your sport to be competitive. Especially with surfing, getting your fins out, and the aerials, the maneuvers they're doing today, you can't go out there and just surf anymore."

Extreme Athletics has 2,500 square feet of space inside and another 5,000 square feet outside in an industrial complex, but you won't find a ton of equipment. It's all "functional fitness" equipment, Norris said.

They do have an Olympic lifting station, but the facility is full of a mish-mash of kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, bosu balls, physio balls, and bands for flexibility and stretching.

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