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As a surfer who has had his fair share of lower back pains, I have always been looking for ways to alleviate these pains. Strengthening my back definitely helped but it never seem to get the job completely done. I have been posting a lot about movement and getting the hips mobile but this takes it a step further.
I try to look at tested knowledge and sense strength and conditioning for surfing isn’t yet up to par, I look at a lot of other rotational sports such as golf and baseball. In this video coach Boyle makes some good points about lumbar rotation and hip mobility.
If you’re young you don’t care, but one day you might. If this is something you’re having issues with then this video might be a great introduction to some new warmups.
Shawn has some great stuff on water. Here’s a clip that really gets you thinking. For more information on water check out his blog theshawnstevensonmodel.com.
I know from personal experience that surfers tend to get tight hips. Long periods of sitting waiting for that next set to roll in can cause the hips to get stiff over the years. Here is Dr. Spina with a quick video on how you can get them moving properly again.
This has been a very interesting subject for me lately. The deeper I dive into the subject of human movement the more captivating it becomes. If we can not move properly a lot things can and eventually will go wrong.
This video shows the basic idea of what natural human movement is. Its a little different than functional training but I believe both are on the same path to restoring the human body to do whats its naturally designed to do.
Today I have a treat for you guys. I’ve made a list of what I feel is the best ways to train to improve your surfing. It’s not going to be super detailed because each exercise has too many things to cover in one article so I’m just going to give you the list and we can go from there.
The list is in no particular order but somethings will be more useful than others. Without further ado, I give you my list of top surf training tips.
- Slacklining– I have tried almost every balance training device in the book and without a doubt the slackline has been the best tool I’ve tried for balance. From rehab to balance training the slackline has been far superior to things like the bosu ball and indo board. Although it is difficult at first, in my opinion there is nothing better for your balance than a slackline.
- Carveboard– This one may be up for debate but I’ve been trying surf like products for over 12 years and the carveboard has come the closest to a real surf carve. Because of its spring suspension and wide trucks you can actually get the board on its rail. Things like the surf skate and regular longboard skateboards just don’t do it. My recommendation is to get the carveboard with the big rubber wheels vs the smaller urethane wheels. Find a small hill with some driveways and rip into a few carves.
- Skateboarding– This one comes at no surprise. Originally called sidewalk surfing, it is still to this day one of the best crossover activities you can do to improve your performance in the water. I usually focus on airs with skateboarding. Carves and snaps on skateboards tend to create bad habits when translated into the water but airs on the other hand translate quite well. Try to work on control and spotting your landings. Also try to project yourself across the ramp vs going straight up and straight down. In other words don’t land where you took off.
- Stand up paddling– Yes I know, you already hate it. But before you punch your computer screen just read a little further down. When I say stand up paddling I don’t mean stand up paddle surfing. I mean the workout you get from distance stand up paddling is hard to beat. From your feet to your shoulders, paddling for a few miles will wreck you. Not to mention your balance will be tested and more than likely your feet will be killing you from all the stabilizing they do while you’re paddling. I prefer down wind padding but I know not every where has enough wind to do it. Still paddling when its flat is better than nothing at all. Haters gonna hate but innovators gonna innovate. Get on a race board and give it a try.
- Strength Training– Another no brainier. I’ve said it over and over, lift something heavy! Its all about strength not size. If you are doing things right your body will get stronger and more mobile which in no way will harm your surfing. Start slow. Learn the form and over time increase your weight. Before you know it you’ll be making it rain and avoiding unnecessary injuries.
- Visualization– I made a post a while back about how to increase your surf time through visualizations (https://auxiliarytraining.com/2013/08/24/do-you-even-surf-bro-increase-your-surfing-time/). It’s probably the easiest and hardest one to do. Our brains love going on bunny trails but if you can manage to master your thoughts you will increase more than just your surfing abilities.
- Trampoline– Yup. Good old trampoline training. I recently got to work with an ex professional high diver named Steve Schriver. He showed me a few body control tricks on the trampoline and it crossed over really well for rotational tricks. The key points to take away were how to spot your landing and how your arms played such a big role in how you spin in the air. Although I’m still new to this training I think it’s going to play a big part in surf training in the future.
- Mobility– Full range of motion never hurt nobody. Don’t just stretch the muscles but get the joints moving properly. This will not only keep injuries away but it will also help pull off some of those crazier moves that require a limber body.
- Film– Last but not least, the undisputed champion of the surfing world!!! Filming! If you’re not filming your sessions then you’re not doing much to improve your surfing. If you can’t see what you’re doing right or wrong, it’s very hard to make corrections to improve. It doesn’t have to be filmed on a Red or a drone. Just get some kind of footage for you to study. Simple and by far the best thing you can do for your surfing no matter what level you’re at.
Well I hope you enjoyed todays lesson. Feel free to ask questions on twitter if you want to know more @nakoadecoite.
I know this is an older video but coach Boyle makes some interesting points. As surfers we do tend to lean more towards the side of short explosive burst with long period of resting (in between sets). Fruit for thought. Enjoy.