Pre-Surf Priming Ritual

Hey everyone,

I wanted to break down my morning surf ritual for you—something that really helps me hit the water running. Here’s what a typical morning looks like for me when I'm planning to catch some waves.

Starting the Day and Reviewing Footage:

To start the day I’ll drink coffee and blast whatever music gets me stoked while I study clips of the pros doing maneuvers that I want to work on for that day. Whether it’s a generating speed, bottom turn, or a cutback, I make sure the footage matches both the maneuver and the kind of waves I expect to be on offer: backside vs frontside, steep vs soft, big vs small. I don’t just watch the clips; I study them in slow motion and pay close attention to all the little details to really grasp the techniques. Surfing really is a an art that gets subtler and subtler as you get better and better.

If I have footage of myself to review, I will also critique my own technique and compare what I’ve done vs what the pros are doing and see what kinds of adjustments I want to make. 

Practicing on Dry Land:

After watching enough footage, I shift to mimicking those moves right there on dry land so I can get the reps in since the opportunities in the water can be difficult to come by. I try to visualize the wave and develop internal awareness of how my body feels as I simulate the correct movements. This part is about cultivating a mind-body awareness and connection.

Quick Warm-up:

As a part of the dryland practice, I do a light warm-up focused on getting my muscles ready, especially because of my hip and shoulder issues. A few targeted exercises help activate the right muscles such as my glutes and shoulders to make sure my posture and movement patterns are optimized to avoid injury.

In the Water:

Once I’m surfing, I pick just one main thing to focus on—something I prepared for during my footage review and dry land practice. Maybe it’s about compressing into my bottom turn or getting my back arm forward or getting my back foot on the kick of the tail. Whatever it is, keeping it simple with one main focus really helps, as trying to juggle too much can be overwhelming.

This routine has made a huge difference for me, and maybe some parts of it can work for you too. Tweak it, try it out, and see how it goes next time you surf!

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