Strength, balance, and flexibility are essential, not only to great surfing, but in giving yourself the best chances of staying healthy and avoiding injury. I think we all can understand why balance is so important when it comes to surfing but I think sometimes we underestimate the importance of strength and flexibility. From popping-up, to a bottom turn, and generating speed down the line, all of this is easier, smoother, and faster if you're strong, flexible and well centered.
When it comes to surfing, it's not just strength... we've all seen the meat head out there trying to surf and usually he's sinking not surfing. It's not just balance either, unless the only thing you have in mind is going straight. And even the most flexible still wont have it figured out... even though they can catch a wave with their feet behind their head. It's a combination of all those that really make a difference. You need to be good in all three areas. Running out and hiring a trainer, getting a gym membership, taking a yoga class, or buying a balance ball are not the right actions to take... even though they are all great ideas. What you need is surf specific training. If you've done any surfing at all, you know you use muscles that aren't used a lot in every day life. You get especially reminded of this when you wake up the next morning after a hard wipe out.
Surf specific exercises that will help you build those key surfing muscles is something I will cover in another post. In this post I want to talk about surfing specific yoga. Yes there is such a thing and yes you need to be doing those specific yoga moves. Doing yoga designed for surfers will truly take your surfing to another level. It will help you with your strength, balance, flexibility, awareness, lung capacity, and breath control. It is the secret sauce for a lot of GREAT surfers out there and I highly recommend doing it. I personally don't know enough to give you a class in surf specific yoga. So I did a little research for you with the intention of finding a great authority on yoga and hopefully yoga with a surfing focus. And boy did I hit the jackpot! I found a great 4 DVD set called Yoga for Surfers.
Here are just a couple of things you'll learn and improve in this DVD set -
And that's barely scratching the surface of what you'll experience.
Top pros like Taylor Knox, Garrett McNamara, Brian Conley, Rochelle Ballard, and Tom Carroll use and endorse Yoga for Surfers for better surfing fitness -- mind, body and spirit! In fact they helped create this DVD set.
In addition to those top level pros here's what some other influential people have to say about this program:
"By far, the best exercises for surfing loose!" ~ TransWord Surf Magazine
"For a surf-specific workout, you can't do any better!" ~ Surfer Magazine
"Get it, use it, and your surfing will improve!" ~ New Zealand Surfing Magazine
Ok the bottom line is you need to get your body and mind in the right kind of shape for surfing and the best way I know how is through yoga. Go check out Peggy's website (creator of Yoga for Surfers) and even if you're not interested in her DVD set, make sure you sign up for her free video content (top right hand corner of the page) it's well worth it. Alright I'll leave it alone. Here's a link to one of the best surfing specific yoga workouts I've ever used! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.