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I’ve been surfing for many years but each summer, I always look forward to getting better at the sport I’ve been practicing since I was young. There are a few techniques I’ve found that have helped me build up my skill set. Achieving any of the following goals will help you become a better surfer all around.

Increase Paddle Fitness
It’s been suggested in the past that if you wish to increase your paddle fitness and overall wave count, you should hit the gym to lift weights. While today that still holds some truth, many of us will only end up injuring ourselves if we’re not taught the proper techniques of weight lifting. The best methods to improve your fitness out on the water is to improve your posture, swim laps, and just get out there and surf as much as you can! If by day you sit in an office at a computer, chances are your posture needs some improving. To correct bad posture is taking a few pilates classes. This will help strengthen your core and shoulders muscles which in turn help hold you up at your desk. You’ll be surprised how much this translates to your paddling! Swimming is also a helpful method. Switch up your strokes and focus on having a rhythm to your breathing. And finally, just getting out on the water and surfing as much as you can will help you increase your paddle fitness! After all, they say “practice makes perfect.”

Master the Body Positions
If you’ve ever flipped through a surf magazine, you’ll know the pros can get their bodies into some pretty amazing positions. What allows them to hit these crazy positions is their strength and flexibility. Yoga is a great practice to aid in your body positions, especially restorative yoga. Practice this after a long day on the water to help your muscles stretch, relax, and avoid injury. It’s also advised to change your mindset about the workouts you’re doing. The old “unless I am sore, it wasn’t a worthy workout” is out window.

Overcome Limitations
If you become injured, it’s important that you take the right steps to healing yourself properly to avoid more injuries later on. With that being said, rehabilitation can be a setback to reaching your goals. Talk to a professional to find out the best way to train while recovering from an injury. Be sure to remember to practice perfect technique!