Going on a surf trip?

If you are booked into any kind of surf trip, there are two things you need to make sure of.

1. That you take a surfboard.


2. That your body is physically able to surf for up to 3 hours or more each day!

The 1st is obvious, and I am not trying to be funny. To me the second one is just as painfully obvious, yet recreational surfers in general lack the complete set of tools to look after their bodies.

Now most people would think “OK, I just have to get really fit and do lots of paddling practice”.

Unfortunately this kind of fitness only approach is only part of the equation. Plus, it could actually be setting you up for injury and even lower stamina levels while on your surfing trip.

The key to being able to stay longer in the water, with high energy levels, is body maintenance.

What is Body Maintenance? Stretching, joint rotations, effective warm ups, manual body therapy and fascial release techniques all form part of an effective body maintenance program.

I recently returned from a 5 week trip to the Philippines, Surfing up to 5 hours a day, while also playing with my three kids and generally being dad on holiday.

It would be a lie to say that I didn’t have moments of tiredness, but I get that when I am not surfing 5 hours a day. I finished up the 5 weeks with no injuries (well…..a few reef cuts) and no overuse tightness, or aches and pains.

If you want to know how I did this, then read on…..

Firstly, Lets talk about a daily routine of  joint rotations and mobility exercises.I have many sets of joint rotations, all with different levels of difficulty and complexity, that I use everyday. Without doubt this is the most important part of my regular routine. The great thing is it only takes about 3-4 minutes everyday. If I have learned anything from teaching 1000’s of people, it is that, most will not do something if they feel like it takes too much time, or they don’t feel the benefits straight away.

What do joint rotations do? Well put simply…they mobilise and lubricate the joint. It is really important for the health of your body and the individual joints that you move each of them, daily, in their full range of motion.

I have helped people eliminate the pain of what they termed “arthritis” with a simple, daily set of joint rotations.

What are the basic joints you want to mobilise? Vertebrae, Shoulders, Elbows, Wrists, Fingers, Pelvis Complex and Hips, Knees, Ankles and Toes! If you don’t know much about how joints work there is a basic lesson here.

Secondly we need to talk about ways of “resetting” our body back to its normal state after exercise or exertion. When we put demands on our body, we develop tightness and soreness in our body which needs to be addressed or it will lead to injury and mobility issues.

Poor mobility and injuries directly effect not only your performance and ability to surf well, but also you ability to surf at all.

It is becoming a regular occurrence for me now to either have a conversation with, or overhear, another surfer complaining about bad knees or shoulders, or some other physical complaint that is keeping them out of the water.

The sad part is it does not have to be this way. How old you are on the calender does not need to translate into injury, or slowing down in life and the things we enjoy.

Do some body maintenance, and you will reduce your risk of injury and prolong your surfing life indefinitely!

So, in an upcoming blog I will talk about stretching and Myofascial release, and how it will keep you young, loose and surfing for years to come.

If you want to future proof your surfing get stuck into the Platinum Membership Pre Surf warm up!

Click here to sign up.

Hope its pumping wherever you are.

Nathan Head.


Barefoot Freedom Surf Retreats