1. The pre-surf warm up is VERY important. If you jumped out of the car and went straight into a 60m sprint you wouldn’t expect to get a good time, and you also put yourself at risk for injury. And just like sprinting, performance surfing is very demanding. The athlete is putting all their strength and power into a 3-12 sec burst of energy. So the warm up should be taken very seriously. In all other sports the athlete spends plenty of time loosening and warming up the body, and surfing should be no different. A 5 min warm up prepares the body for the explosive power and speed needed for performance surfing. The goal of the warm up is to: 1, Oxygenate the blood and send it to the muscles. 2, Lubricate and prep joints. 3, Fire up the nervous system to enhance balance and reaction time. 4, Improve body and spatial awareness.
The warm up needs to be full body and dynamic. Do NOT static stretch, static stretching is for the cool down. Here is an example of a good warm up: Surf Warm Up
2. Nutrition is the foundation of human health and performance.
“I am ridiculously strict with what I put in my mouth” Kelly Slater.
You don’t put diesel in a race car, treat your body like a race car and use the best quality fuel.
Sports nutrition is a huge topic, but here are some tips to get you started: Surf Nutrition Principles
3. Physical training other than surfing is a must.
Even in sports like Golf and Tennis where you can practice whenever you want, we see athletes training in gyms. Training for surfing is even more important because the conditions vary so much.
The forces that go through your body during a fast bottom turn on a 6-8 ft wave are huge (3-5 your body-weight). But its not always 6-8ft so we need to be making sure our athletes are prepared for those days. The top level surf athlete must be able to feel just as confident in heavy 8ft as they are in glassy 3-4ft – and that requires training. Mick, Joel, Kelly, Taj, Dorian… all the top guys train.
It doesn’t need to be much, 3 x 45min workouts per week is plenty, but it needs to be surf-specific, and it needs to be intense. A CrossFit workout or a Fitness First PT session is better than nothing, but if you are going to train for surfing then keep it surf specific and keep it safe.
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Surfing requires very specific mobility and strength, surf training should be improving both, as well as preventing common surf niggles; surfers shoulder, surfers knee, ankle sprains and lower back pain etc. I run surf-specific group classes and One on One Surf Training here on Sydney’s northern beaches. Contact me here