Mark Mathews says facing the enormous wall of water is "terrifying". The big wave surfer knows that, even though everything in him wants to keep paddling, he must hold his position as the wave approaches. It's what he describes as the "Braveheart moment".
If he gets the strategy right and manages to ride the wave, the terror still continues until he gets into the barrel and he knows he's going to make it out safely. That gives him a few seconds of elation.
This is what Mark does for a living. He chases storms, surfs the huge waves, captures the content then distributes it to the media. And he's one of the best in the world at it. It's an uncommon career but Mark says it is all about overcoming fear, a battle that is no different to anyone else.
Mark talks through his process for managing fear, which involves significant preparation before getting into the water. This was put to the test after a near death experience on a brutal break near Tasmania, where he almost drowned after being knocked unconscious on a reef. Mark shares how he overcame fear and the wave that almost killed him, with insights for overcoming fear in every day life.
Mark has a sharp understanding of business, branding and content. He's sponsored by huge names including Red Bull and Land Rover, and when he's not working for these brands he's working on his own projects, and getting hands on with production. He also has an eye on the future, preparing for technology such as virtual reality to change the world of surf media.
Rooster Radio caught up with Mark at Mumbrella's Sports Marketing Summit, who was also part of the Summit's Ask an Athlete panel (listen in full, episode 42).
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