Dany Bruch at the Red Bull Storm Chase

Dany Bruch: 
“You have to be able to conquer panic”

Words: Andreas Rottenschlager
Photography: Sebastian Marko

Red Bull Storm Chase veteran Dany Bruch will take on the storms again in 2017. He reveals what you learn about self-confidence when riding the crests of those punishing waves

Being the toughest windsurfing contest in the world, Red Bull Storm Chase 2017 will take place between the beginning of January and mid March. Eight of the world’s top windsurfers will be pitted against windspeeds up to Force 10 (89-102kmh), huge waves and extreme hurricane conditions. Dany Bruch explains, how he deals with upcoming panic.

THE RED BULLETIN: During the 2013/14 Red Bull Storm Chase, you surfed in storms with winds exceeding 100kph. Where do you get the confidence to face such conditions?

DANY BRUCH: It comes from years of windsurfing experience, which has included surfing in tough locations. But, also, being able to control panic is just as important as self-confidence.

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How do you control panic?

By giving yourself a good talking-to. I was once drifting at sea with a broken board, and  I said to myself, “Dany, you’ll be OK. Pull yourself together.” 

That sounds very matter-of-fact…

But it works. You have to be able to press the reset button in your brain.

“To control panic, you have to be able to press the reset button in your brain“
Dany Bruch - extreme windsurfing in Cornwall

Show of strength: German Dany Bruch tames 105kph winds off Cornwall, the last stop on the 2014 Red Bull Storm Chase calendar

If we get stuck in a lift and start to panic, should we also try to calm ourselves with that kind of clarity?

You should. Another very simple thing to do is to take three deep breaths – that also works. 

What helps you on days when you’re doubting yourself?

My morning routine: it consists of two glasses of water, training my back muscles and doing press-ups. 

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12 2016 The Red Bulletin

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