Before each surf stretching is so important. When I first started surfing in Japan 6 years ago, my buddy Surf in Japan and mentor pointed over at a couple of Japanese surfers who were stretching on the sand and laughed.
“Look at those wallies!” he mused, “It’s 2 ft, what the hell they thinks gonna happen? Probably saw some pro- surfer do it on a dvd or something!”
At the time , I was just as amused, couldn’t understand the reason for doing stretches before a leisurely surf session, then one day I actually saw former WCT pro Danny Melhado stretching before heading out into 2-3ft onshore chop. I approached him and asked why he was stretching so intensely for these conditions, surely he wouldn’t get hurt in this, his reply opened my eyes.
“it’s not the size or the injuries I am stretching out for bro, it so I am limber and can perform better! Not worried about ripping a muscle, I want to rip the wave!”
After that I thought why not give it a try, I have never looked back since, my friend still doesn’t stretch before a surf despite my assurances, but I can’t blame him, he is from a different era. So in this article I will briefly outline a few of the stretches I do to limber up before I paddle out and rip!
1. I start by rolling my head around to limber up my neck, in surfing where you look is where you go and it is so easy to tweak your neck in the moment, just watch a slater dvd that guy rips his head all the way round in each turn.
2. Touch your toes, I tend to bounce down slowly letting my weight take me to full extension, don’t force it or you will cause an injury before you even get wet!
3. Pull my feet to my arse, stretch them quads, they