Keeping things going…
So you want to get the most out of your surfing and so get in the water as often as you can. But sometimes you feel in a bit of a lull. You persevere; but you don’t seem to get any better. Sound familiar?
I often use my GoPro to watch me catching waves and help analyse what I think I am doing and what I am actually doing. For example, stepping my front foot onto the deck too early then always moving it, giving a disjointed and jerky action I had no idea I was doing. Watching yourself surf (as well as others) can be indispensible when learning to surf. What is also really important is that you understand what you are trying to do and can visualise yourself doing it, from simply standing up or trimming the board, right up to getting barreled. There is a delicate mix of natural instinct, practice and then physics of surfing.
Surfing is quite unique as every wave is different, so there is never a chance to go back and practice that wave again. There is no substitute for getting in the water and learning through doing, but when you look at the time you are surfing and the range of activities required to surf (paddling, popping up, riding the wave, duck diving); there is such a diverse ask on the body that by taking a little time out of the water to practice these elements will not only help you feel more comfortable and confident in the water, but also allow your focus to be on the variables we can’t control.
When I watch the GoPro footage back, what also gets me every time is how little time you actually spend ‘surfing’. When you add it up, say the average wave is about 5 seconds, we maybe get 10 decent rides in a session… that’s less than a minute of actual standing.
Taking some time out every few days to do a little surf fitness routine can make a huge difference, especially if you do not have the luxury of getting in the water that often. We have all heard the example of popping up on your bed. I tend to find a quiet room in the house. Shut my eyes, visualise a left or right wave; then literally ride the wave, allowing my body to feel the flowing movement. You might feel a bit silly, but it can really help your body get familiar with the complicated movements you are asking it to perform.
Practicing exercises such as the plank, press-ups, roll-downs, spine twists and the cobra are great ways of ensuring you have the strength, control and flexibility to help you make the most of your time in the water.
Hope this helps to keep you motivated and inspired on those days where you feel like you have lead in your arms and soap on your board!
Love Flow xx