Growing up as a surfer in the Virgin Islands you experience a lot of days with no surf (flat spells). We could go weeks without waves. When the surf would finally come up I would find myself winded and tired after just a few hours of surfing. Flat spells not only took a toll on my physical body but my mental as well. When I first started surfing all I wanted to do was surf. I had to find another activity that would calm down my mind as well as keep me healthy, flexible and strong for surviving the flat spells. Here are the few things that have helped me over the years.
1. Healthy Diet
There is so much to be said about what we eat. I think the best thing would be to avoid processed foods as much as possible and try and eat as many veggies and greens as possible. My favorite way to eat my greens is in a smoothie I have 1 or 2 a day and it consists of 2 cups of spinach, frozen zucchini, cucumber, ginger and lime.
Keep your body moving whether its running, swimming, walking whatever. I just joined a local gym where I live and have been going to a few workout classes a week. I have already seen a difference in my surfing and general well being so keep that body moving!
Go to a yoga class a few times a week or practice at home. It does wonders for your body and mind. It's important to be flexible for surfing. I think yoga is the key to surfing and life. I discovered it during a flat spell and it felt like the missing piece of the puzzle. An aha moment for sure.
4. Get Massages
I am a massage therapist so of course I think this is important. What massage does for your body and mind is incredible especially if it is from a good therapist who you trust. They are life changing. Massage literally helps everything from flexibility to releasing tension and helping with self discovery. Try and get one once a month or more.
5. Watch Surf Videos
Get Inspired. If you longboard watch longboard videos, if you short board watch shortboard videos. Pay attention to their techniques in the videos and then try your version of it while you surf.
6. Mind Surf
This is my last tip and it might sound kind of funny but I do think it is very important. Try to visualize in your head what you want to see yourself doing on a wave. Whether its dropping into a perfect wave and riding it all the way to the beach or doing a turn floater or pulling into a barrel. See if you can see yourself on the wave. I do this a lot when I am running, walking or just watching the surf.
Ok those are my tips and what has helped me through my surfing journey. Surfing to me was everything it still is but my stoke has changed since becoming a mom. I used to be the first one in the water and the last one out. Now I only need a few waves and am happy to play on the beach with my daughter. I can't wait for the day when I can share surfing with her.