How would you mind-surf this wave? Photo credit to Alan Van Gysen.
The one true way to becoming a better surfer is to surf, surf, and surf some more. However, the reality in our nation lately, and mostly worldwide, is that we are experiencing an international pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus. Thus, the only way to try control it from wreaking devastating havoc on our country, is to put the entire nation under a 5-week LOCKDOWN. This means: No socialising. Most businesses are closed (unless you are an essential worker, which we give great thanks for!) And, certainly NO SURFING. Zero. Nada. Zilch (insert broken heart emoji here).
We are halfway through the national lockdown and have a few more weeks to go. So, we thought we should comprise a list of ways to become more productive with all the time we have at home and work towards becoming stronger and better surfers for when we are finally reunited with the waves! Check it out:
1. STRENGTHEN. Plyometrics is excellent for surfing. This type of jump training, is great for surfing as it enhances your explosive movements that you would need for surfing. Powerful plyometric training will help keep you sharp while strengthening your body movements at the same time. Another fantastic type of exercise that focuses on improving core strength needed to surf with more power and precision, is Pilates. Pilates can also be used to focus on improving your paddling, and make your surfing technique far more consistent with less risk of injury by using your own body weight as resistance. Check out surfstrengthcoach.com for surf-specific exercises online and feel stronger!
2. STRETCHING. Flexibility plays a huge role in your surfing as your body finds itself in rather unusual positions on the board. Tight muscles result in limited movements, so get on stretching and push your body further to get even lower when you land that Dane Reynolds layback turn. Yoga is excellent for working on your overall flexibility, and we highly recommend flipping through some of YouTube’s top yoga instructors, such as yogawithadriene.com.
3. R ’n R. Now is actually a great time for Rest and Recovery. Resting old injuries needing TLC. Muscles and joints need a few good weeks of rest so that they can heal properly, as opposed to just a few days. If we were living our normal lives outside of lockdown during this beautiful Autumn time, when waves pump on the regular, we would not give that nagging shoulder or achey knees a proper break from all the long sessions of surfing as most times we choose pleasure over pain! By looking on the bright side of this lockdown, our bodies are now forced to recover and heal. Thank you, Lockdown.
4. MIND-SURFING. Visualization plays a vital role in achieving your goals you have set for yourself and can even help improve your surfing by training your brain for successful outcomes. The more you mentally rehearse your performance, the more it becomes habituated in our minds. Visualization gets better with repetition. Make this a morning habit and go surf Jeffrey’s Bay and Bali each morning before you open your eyes!
5. BECOME A STUDENT. Knowledge is Power. Surf movies, surf mags, surf guides, online surf tutorials, surf interviews. Learn from the Pro’s and the Not-So-Pro’s for the Do’s and the Don’ts. Learn about the Ocean and wave knowledge. Learn about your local area. Learn about shaping boards. Expand your surf knowledge as much as you can and become passionate about learning more and more everyday. You will soon find that, if surfing has not already, it will become a natural way of life for you.
Most surfers around the world are itching to get their toes back in to the Ocean. However, we find it a bit more comforting to know that we are not the only ones who feel this way. Being away from each other in the line-up, seems to actually be bringing us all closer together. Let us make the most of this time of social isolation and focus on ourselves, our health, and achieving our goals.