Everyone wants to improve their surfing, whether you’re just starting to nail your bottom turns or you’re practicing those cushy foam landings after a backside air – there’s always something you can build towards. Believe it or not though, more time in the salt isn’t the only path to success within your surfing, there’s a number of non-endemic activities that you can indulge in that will benefit both your overall health and your surfing.
Take a look at John John Florence, it’s no fluke that his change in tone towards non-surf training coincided with him nabbing two consecutive World Titles. So when Aussie prodigy slash Oakley head honcho, Julian Wilson offered us five pieces of training advice, we listened.
1. Roll your muscles and joints.
Being a surfer requires you to constantly pivot and turn, which places considerable strain on your joints and muscles during those longer sessions in the salt. In order to prolong your stamina and agility it’s a good idea to stretch your joints and muscles each day. One way to achieve this is by grabbing a foam roller and working on the most essential pivot points for surfing – your hips and knees.
You don’t have to do your pilates on your surfboard for it to benefit your surfing either. Pilates is in many ways similar to yoga, except you should feel as if you’ve had a workout afterwards. Studies have shown that regularly doing pilates can aid with physical functions such as balance and core strength, both of which are critical in being able to surf to the best of your abilities.
In many ways yoga is similar to pilates, however, generally it’s less physically demanding than its more activated counterpart. Yoga helps with flexibility and physical strength, but more pertinently yoga is an effective way of clearing the clutter from your mind. In many senses it’s an active more of meditation and is perfect for a pre-surf distress.
Now we’re making our way towards the fun side of training. A lot of the time surfers won’t see the point in surfing and would rather paddle around on their boards than do laps in a pool or swim a point-to-point at their local bay. While paddling on a board is certainly a prerequisite to being a better surfer, swimming provides more of a whole body workout which engages muscles which would usually lay dormant. After including swimming in your training routine you’ll be turning those 1-hour power surfs into 3-hour long sessions.
Who would’ve guessed it?! To truly master you blade wrangling abilities you’ll need to put in ample time in the water. All of the above training activities will help in improving your physique and flexibility, but you need to ensure that you’re still getting out there on your stick and putting those hours of training to the test. Thankfully, the best thing for your surfing will always be more surfing.
*Imagery by WSL, Unknown & Wilson.