To start with our 5 Tips for Better Surfing, I first want you to understand the Skill Pyramid. This basic awareness provides a framework to look at how you approach your fitness, your health and ultimately your surfing.
Work on your “skill” in the ocean. Your Skill and the Art of surfing is built upon a healthy and well functioning body.
An integration of healthy mind and body, so you interact seamlessly and effortlessly with the ocean.
Fitness, movement, nutrition, breath-work and training, all enhance your athletic foundations, your ability to move and do so fluidly and powerfully. These characteristics allow you to work on the “skill” of surfing unimpeded by a body that is weak, injured, or plagued with injuries. Those things tend to piss you off in the surf, so do something about it!
Breath for Better Surfing
The basics of breath lead into performance, hold down work and mindset shifting. The starting point is basic breathing, but doing so efficiently and with the diaphragm. Get into some crocodile breathing. If you want to nerd out on breath work, give this a read: Breath Work for Surfers
Healthy Hips for Better Surfing
Consider your hips a center point for the movement in the human body. When your hips go your movement goes, and surfing is the full expression of 3-dimensional movement. Ask any older surf-dude how his hips are, and if they rant on about hip issues, proceed to ask how it has affected their surfing.
I’d be willing to bet those gnarly hips have nearly destroyed their surfing. It’s a bummer, don’t neglect your hips and keeping them mobile and healthy. In the video, I demo shin boxes, and they’re a great drill for most people to start with. Get your hips moving.
*In that video I keep mentioning OSP… it’s now the Surf Athlete Program You’ll learn all sorts of hip love in the Surf Athlete Program
Squat to Prime the Lower Body for Surfing
Can you squat? Unloaded ass to grass deep squat, like you were dropping a bowel movement in the bushes? What about squatting under load, like a front squat, and maintaining alignment and joint control? The squat is a fundamental movement pattern for the human body.
Layer on a few decades of sitting at a desk and some lower body joint injuries, the beautiful squat becomes problematic and at times painful. This is a problem because of the body and joint positions required from the body when surfing.
No, a surf stance isn’t squat, but a squat does train the ankle joint, knee, hip, and spine through full ranges of motion, and that is damn helpful to you as a surfer. Dial-in your squats, here’s how.
Healthy Spine, Healthy Life, Happy Surfing
You’re only as young as your spine is healthy is a pretty spot-on accurate saying. If you’ve had about of back pain you know how debilitating it can be. Keep your spine healthy, mobile, and strong. Surfing requires a full expression of movement from the spine: flexion, extension, and rotation.
If you get locked up from too much time staring at iPhones, or gravity bearing down on you at a desk, your spine loses its movement capacity. This is no good for higher-level surfing or pain-free surfing.
Part of your repertoire of body maintenance and training should be dedicated to making sure your spine moves well and strengthening the supporting musculature.
Get Coached to Better Surfing
Lose the ego and work with a good coach. A necessary step towards surfing better is to see what you’re doing wrong. So get filmed, get photographed, cry and lose all hope as you see yourself on film. Ha! Seriously, it’s one of the best things you can do for your surfing but you’ll have to open yourself up to the awareness of your suck before you can step forward and improve.
So now you know the 5 Tips for Better Surfing. Join us on a Surf Coaching Trip and we can help you step into the realm and awareness of being a confident and better surfer.