SURFER’S DIET TIPS TO GETTING FIT, LEAN & HEALTHY
It’s obvious. You’ve all seen it online. All you need to look like a surfer is a curtain of beach blonde hair, a deep golden tan, and a bikini that goes up your bum.
Wrong. Here is the ultimate guide to help you conquer the image based waters of sexualised surfing and find your “surfers body”.
Nothing prepares the body and the mind for water based sport more than nutrition. What we find on our plates and put in our mouths has a massive effect on our body. Improper nutrition or scientifically speaking, ‘mal-nutrition’ can effect all elements of surfing; your mood, your energy levels, your ability, and your endurance. It is easy to ignore the messages we hear about correct fuelling for sport, as most of us consider surfing a hobby that we are lucky to do. This should not mean that we fail to prime our bodies to optimum nourishment. But that we should feel like we can ride that wave 10 x longer than going out surfing on a gin hangover having only eaten an out of date cereal bar we found in the side pocket of the van!
Here’s the inside scoop on how to eat to improve your surfing in five simple steps:
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, particularly leafy green veg that gives micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) to enable the body to yield energy faster.
Load up on green proteins eg. spirulina, chlorella, spinach, broccoli and moringa powders. Up your protein power without the feeling of heavy fullness that comes with meat, bread, cheese etc.
Don’t be full whilst in the water, eat light, high calorie foods like, boiled eggs, as many nuts as possible, dates, tofu, fish, nuts/almond butters.
Stay hydrated, especially when you may be swallowing gallons of salt water, it’s SUPER important to re-hydrate after a long session when you get back on land. Ultimate hydration also stops the desire to unnecessarily snack on sugary substances - which will effect your blood sugar levels.
The best one. Big dinners the night before to re-fuel for the next day! Eat larger portions the night before you know you have a long day at sea, your body will use this as energy to fuel you through the paddling, carving, and epic riding.
Behold the exercises that actually help prepare the body for surfing from one of our water sports instructors and personal trainers. Strength is needed in certain areas of the body to sky rocket your surfing ability through the stratosphere!
This exercise trains upper arm strength, essential for pacy paddling and quick directional changes on the board. Work your way up to a strict push up, start on your knees, keeping elbows tucked into sides and take your chest to the floor, hold there, breathe out and push up to the original position, go for 10 reps.
This isometric exercise fires up your core muscles and replicates the stage in-between the board straddle and the board pop up where you are holding yourself in place, balancing on the board in a semi-plank. Get good at this one on land and notice your pop ups getting faster and faster, add in some side planks for super hero strength. Aim to hold a body weight plank for 30 seconds, then progressing up to a 1 minute hold.
This invigorating pose is essential for surfers due to the volume of spinal extensions done during paddling and pre - pop up phases, it requires a huge amount of strength in the lower back which can end up sore if you don’t prepare properly. Lay face down, fingers forward facing, exhale and lift your chest and ribs off the floor, pull in your stomach muscles and to support your lower back, hold for 5 slow breathes.
Balance? Vital to surfing! Train your micro leg muscles to compliment your surfing and gain impeccable balance. Stand on one leg, and lift the opposite leg straight out behind you, stretch your arms out forward in front of you to try and balance here on one leg for 30 seconds. Alternate legs every 30 seconds, use a focal point to maintain stability.
Loosen up your hip mobility and practise ‘pigeon pose’ daily. Stretching and working into your hip flexors will help with a more comfortable and sustainable straddle position, meaning you can meerkat search the horizon for sets coming in without that horrible thigh cramp.
Remember to always keep your levels of cardio training up, wether that be jogging, cycling, or even just really energetic hoovering. This will revolutionise your endurance, paddle speeds and equate to a larger number of waves caught. Swimming is also top training for surfing - get in the sea and go for a swim!
Surfing is more than a sport, its a lifestyle, a religion and a way of unwinding. The act of taking yourself into the wild sea with just a plank of wood is, distinguishably character building, brave and a positive omen for life. Going into the water feeling confident in your fitness, that you can tackle the waves, and be strong enough to swim to shore if you get into trouble takes guts. When you’re surfing you confront the unknown relentlessly, you tune in louder to natural life, you become tirelessly resilient, you become empirical, you become audacious, you become unwavering in the eye of your sport, you get stronger, you find more balance, you get happier, and at long last; you get sexier.
Zen can be found in the cradles of a surfers smile, and that feeling where you don’t give a second thought to time, keeping score, how messy your hair is, or what you look like. Getting a ‘surfers body’ is a state of confident energy. You have it. You just need to unlock it. This can be achieved in one simple step…
Look in the mirror and see a ‘surfer’s body’ because you surf, and you have a body.