If your surf reality looks like mine, which means that you have to travel several hundred kilometers to surf, this post is for you. It’s hard to be stoked and motivated between surf trips, but there are ways to survive this time in a productive way.
I’ve recently came back from a surf trip to Portugal. Almost week long trip can be a powerful surf mood booster but – let’s be honest – won’t keep you in that state for a long time. That’s why it’s helpful to do something to make it through to the next one.
1. Being in shape
There are lot of exercises and training plans to help build and maintain a surf shape without leaving home. Here’s an example of that kind of routine divided into 3 parts.
The web is full of workout programs for surfers. I personally find work of Cris Mills from Surf Strenght Coach inspirational and helpful. But this winter I decided to combine strict surfing routine with more typical gym workouts using free weights lifting. I just came to the conclusion that get myself out of home for training will be more motivating and refreshing.
My fitness routine includes 3 sessions a week. Twice a week I focus on strengthening the main muscle groups, also those I use in surfing. The third session is strictly surfing bound. During it I don’t use barbells, dumbbells or gym machines. I focus on balance, stretching, strengthening the core and increasing endurance.
That kind of fitness routine brings something new and fresh to my training habits together with maintaining this feeling of being close to surfing moves. This way I will be better prepared when the time to enter the ocean comes.
Another way to stay in shape is to change the surfboard to another board. In the winter it is snowboarding. And although riding on the slope doesn’t replace ripping the wave (or white water ;)), but thanks to some analogies it can be helpful in an away from the ocean workout.
2. Being educated
I try to regularly increase knowledge needed to practice surfing consciously. The ocean is a fantastic place, but at the same time it is ruthless for those who disregard its power. Besides, if I’m taking on something, I like being well prepared. It is known that in surfing – as in many other areas – theory can’t replace practice, but for me this theory gives confidence and this is very important in the water.
So, I read about how tides work, how to calculate them. I check the tables of tides regarding spots that interest me. I check and study weather forecasts for swell and wind. On this basis, I try to get to know the spots better. For world forecasts I usually go to Magicseaweed and Surfine models. I also check Ventusky forecast. On my mobile I additionally have the Windfinder app. For Baltic Sea forecast I visit baltic.surf – a website created by polish surfers.
I also explore the equipment knowledge and try to have more and more insight into this matter. The result of such research was my post on how to choose a surfboard or how buy a wetsuit online.
One of my favorite learning tools are surfing podcasts that I listen to on my way to work or during lunch breaks. It’s a great tool for increasing and organizing knowledge as well as polishing surfing English. My favorites are:
- Surf Simply from the crew of the Surf Simply Coaching Resort based in Costa Rica,
- Surf Mastery host by surf and movement coach Mike Frampton.
3. Being inspired…
… which includes watching, reading, cheering and following social media feeds. The World Surf League Tour has a strong position in my calendar and although in the past year I haven’t followed individual events with such commitment as in 2016, it’s still a source of inspiration and continuous contact with this sport. I know that those are professionals which level I will never reach, but It’s good to run away from reality and transfer to the spots of the Tour.
Instagram is one of the best photo inspiration tools, especially when observing these profiles:
- Morgan Maassen
- Chris Burkard
- Mark Richards
- Corey Wilson
- Parallel Sea
- Baltic Surf Scapes
- Hallvard Koltveit
- Nordic Surfers Mag
For articles, surf movies, equipment reviews or just handy tips I go to:
Last, but not least I reach for the surfing prose. Recently I’ve been reading „Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” by William Finnegan.
4. Planning the next surf trip
This is another action that has a motivating effect on me and keeps me busy. I start early and intensively analyze such issues as:
- choosing the optimal place in terms of budget and time
- research of local surf schools, including specific instructors and contact with them
- weather conditions (also historical data regarding time of the surf trip)
- how to get there relatively cheap
I am currently planning a next trip, so I will be able to share the more detailed experiences from this process some time from now.
5. Preparing content for the blog (being creative)
Time between surf trips is also a creative period when it comes to my blogging. Based on found inspirations or simply loose thoughts, I plan and implement ideas for new content. I meet with my fellow photographers, write scripts, collect materials. During this time I naturally create ideas for what I can do during the next surf trip.
Regarding this I can say that in the near future I plan to prepare reviews of two spots in Sagres, where I had the opportunity to surf and a guide about what to see in one day in Seville.
Thanks for reading. Now go surf!