Are you ready for your next surf?
Mother Nature will not wait, so you need to be prepared both mentally and physically for that next pumping surf. Here are my three key tips to maximise your next surf.
1. Body Prep:
Surfing is a physically demanding sport. You need to be physically ready to reduce your injury risk.
The focus for this section is to undo all the lifestyle stress you place on your body daily and get you ready to surf. These stressors involve sitting, bad posture, lack of activity.
Each of these exercises require minimal equipment and are key to keeping you injury-free and surfing.
Door stretch: 45sec
1. Place arms at shoulder level on either side of a door frame.
2. Step forward. You should feel a stretch across the front of your chest.
3. Begin moving your body by extending and shortening arms to search for tight spots.
Deeps squat: 2min+
This position may not be comfortable at first, that just means you need this more. If 2 minutes is too much gradually build the time.
1. Squat deep (If needed hold onto something, eg – pole , this will make it easier to search for tight spots)
2. Use elbows to push knees wide
1. Start on the ground, in press up position.
2. Pop up to your feet, remain low to ground with bent knees and upright posture.
3. Use a line on the ground and on mirror if possible to insure you are centred.
4. Extend legs to standing position then drop into a squat and back to standing.
2. Mindfulness and surfing
Surfing is as much a mental game as it is physical. To surf you must be present, if you are not present you will never surf a wave to its full potential.
What is Mindfulness? It is a state of awareness in the present moment.
How do I develop this? I always advocate to my clients who are new to mindfulness to begin with guided mindfulness mediation (GMM). Start small (5-10mins daily), build the habit, then build time. It is important to understand that GMM is a practice, therefore consistency is key. Pick a time that you know you can achieve and start there.
Guided Mindfulness Mediation (GMM)? GMM is a practice where someone guides your thoughts and shifts your focus, teaching you awareness of the present moment. This practice sets the foundation for overall mindfulness.
Where do I find GMM? There are many application; websites, classes etc.
My three favourites are: Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer.
3. Planning and forecasting
Learn your local spots: At any given time, everything in a surf zone is moving: the shoreline, sea surface, wind, tide, varying water depths and water flows. With the forever-changing environment it is not easy to forecast. Take the time to learn through experience, talking to locals, forecasting apps. If you really want to be that step ahead, become efficient in reading and predicting weather maps.
Surf spot selection: Be honest with your surf ability and intention. By selecting the wrong spot, you will most likely disrupt others, end up frustrated and surf poorly.
Session goal: Regardless of your level you are always learning. Pick one thing to work on each surf. For example: lead with the eyes.
Crew: A good crew can make or break a surf. Surround yourself with a good group of mates who push your ability to grow.
Understand your board: Board technology has come a long way. Today there is enormous variation in boards. There are factors which affect board selection: ability level, style, swell size, location and type of wave. It becomes easy to get lost in the options available. The biggest mistake I see is people starting or transitioning a board which exceeds their ability level. This can become crippling to your development as a surfer. Talk to someone within your crew who knows about boards and has seen you surf, as they will understand your need better than most. If you don’t have that person, any good surf store will be able to help you out.
Respect: Always respect the locals and always obey surf etiquette
Have fun: Mother Nature won’t always deliver, so make the most of each surf. Remember it is the bad surfs which make the epic surfs memorable.
Luke is the founder of Taylored Fitness, and is a health and performance specialist. With a Bachelor in Sport and Exercise Science, he is currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Strength & Conditioning. Like most surfers, his life revolves around chasing swells. Any chance he gets you will find him out in the water, it has even led him to chasing it around the globe.