Photo: Jason KenworthyStandup paddling provides a great physical workout, which is beneficial in competition and everyday life. Mental conditioning can provide similar benefits, but few people proactively train themselves.

Just thinking about a stressful situation—from the approaching face of a monster wave to an intrapersonal conflict—can cause anxiety, and the resultant stress can take a toll physically and emotionally.

John Denney, who was part of Laird Hamilton’s Strapped Crew...

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