Hold-downs, poundings or being pinned – regardless of your terminology – refers to being held under a wave for a lengthy period of time, typically when taking a tumble from a top turn, or being caught on the inside as a set marches over you.
It calls for a calm complexion in juxtaposition to the panic that naturally occurs when one is flailing and floundering, thrashing helplessly whilst submerged under the ocean. Yet, how does one remain calm when the natural response is to frantically fight for air?
We turned to the top female big wave surfers in the world to ask them their advice. Quadruple the size of a typical surf session, and you’ll be close to what these ladies paddle into (they’re often out in 20ft to 70ft waves).