If there’s one person who knows the importance of a hot bowl of porridge, it’s this guy. Meet pro surfer and our brand new Powered by 3Bears Porridge athlete, Mark Boyd. Not many people can imagine surfing in the freezing cold conditions of the north coast of Scotland but for the national champion, it’s his home turf.
We caught up with one of Scotland’s best competitive surfers to find out more about his love for the sport, how he handles the raw and wild Scottish conditions and if we were to name a new 3Bears Porridge flavour after him, what would the “Mark Boyd” flavour be. Read on to find out.
Current Scottish National Surfing Champion 2018, 2019
Captaining Scotland at World and European Championships
Favourite 3Bears flavour:
Triple Berry and finest cacao
When, why and how did you start surfing and at what point did you begin to compete?
I started surfing as a young teenager and began competing soon after at the few local events that were running around Scotland at the time. I won my first junior event in Thurso and another in Fraserburgh shortly after and really got the competitive bug.
What is it that you like about surfing? How do you feel when you are out in the water?
I feel cold if I haven’t had my 3bears porridge! I love getting barrelled and surfing good waves, there’s nothing like the adrenaline of taking off on a wave with consequences and pulling it off.
Can you describe the surfing conditions where you come from in the north of Scotland?
I grew up on the Moray Firth coast and now live in Caithness in the North of Scotland. It’s obviously freezing cold in the North of Scotland and usually very windy and raw, powerful surfing conditions. We surf over reef mostly which makes the waves break with more force which at times can make things a bit scary.
How do you deal with the cold water? Does it ever bother you?
As I mentioned before, what you eat in the morning is really important to keeping you warm, so porridge is the ideal breakfast for me. I’m definitely a person who feels the cold too so it’s even more important. I just make sure I wrap up warm in between surfs, keep my knees and feet as warm as possible and eat well.
Do you think your usual conditions give you an advantage when surfing / competing in other countries where the water and climate is warmer?
I think we are used to good sized powerful waves in Scotland and I definitely have my best contest results in similar conditions. I don’t think there’s much other advantages regarding the water temperature but it’s definitely nice to surf without a thick wetsuit, boots, gloves and a hood sometimes.
Can you describe the surfing scene in Scotland?
Its fairly tight knit community in Scotland so you have a fair idea who most surfers are. That being said, the sport is growing at such a rapid rate everywhere and Scotland is no different.
Favourite place you’ve ever surfed and why?
The best waves I’ve ever seen were in Sumbawa in Indonesia - the most perfect big barrels you can imagine - something you would draw on your school books. However, there is something special about surfing great waves at home with your friends.
Do you do any specific training other than surfing? – weights? Bodyweight exercises? Running?
I definitely go through phases of binge training and I’ll do a lot of pushups, squats and core work. I also go to running club sometimes, the gym, skateboarding and snowboarding but when the waves are good and I’m surfing a lot I don’t tend to do too much else.
Tell us about your nutrition? As someone who is always in the water, do you think this makes you have a bigger appetite than other athletes or other people in general?
I’m 6’4 so I definitely already have a bigger appetite than most and surfing in cold water only makes this even bigger!
Are there certain foods you have to include in your diet to ensure you have enough energy?
Oats and fruits, especially bananas, are a go to for me in the mornings or for snacks in between surfs and I try and get plenty of high protein foods in after surfing to recover for the next day.
What kinds of foods do you eat during a long day surfing?
For breakfast I would normally have 3Bears porridge, a banana and an apple. Today I had salmon, spinach and some couscous for lunch and for dinner I’m having a good old Scottish classic - ‘mince n tatties’ with carrots. For snacks I’ll often eat nuts.
What do you eat pre & post competition?
On contest days I might eat a little bit lighter than usual and more regularly depending on when my heats are to ensure I will have energy for the important times. Porridge, bananas, apples and nuts are great snacks for comp days.
Why is porridge a good food for you specifically?
The slow releasing energy oats definitely helps keep you warm in the water for longer and plenty energy to surf well. I also love the taste and different flavours you can have and how quick and easy it is to have a hot breakfast in the morning.
How do you like to prepare your porridge? Favourite flavour? Toppings? Milk or water? Hot or as overnight oats?
My favourite of the 3Bears flavours is the berry and the cacao. To be honest I normally just use hot water and it tastes great like that but sometimes maybe a bit of almond milk too. I quite often put some sliced banana on top but nothing too fancy for me.
If we were to name a new 3Bears Porridge flavour after you, what would the “Mark Boyd” flavour be?
That’s a tough one as there’s already some great flavours but maybe some other fruit flavours like mango, kiwi, blueberry or brambles or a mix?!