The waves of Siargao are calling, but you’re stuck at home because of the lockdown? Don’t let it get you down. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you cannot prep and train for your next ride on your board. The real training for surfing often happens on dry land.
Ana Mae Alipayo is a renowned surfer and the 2019 Cloud 9 Masters Women’s Open Shortboard Champion. She’s also the founder/head coach of UlapSiyam, a surf school based in Siargao, and she will take us through what we can do while stuck at home to train for surfing.
While we’re at home, here are her top tips to prepare for your next wave.
Being at peace in the water is important to be able to catch your wave. It can be easy to panic when you see a big wave coming right at you. Meditation helps you learn relaxation techniques that will be indispensable while in the water. Mastering your thoughts and your breath is helpful to keep you at the moment. Another benefit of meditation is that it also eases stress and tension, which we all need during this time.
To feel comfortable riding a board, skateboarding can be a big help. It gets your body in tune with a board. You can go for regular skateboards, longboards, or cruiser boards and just hit your neighborhood safely. You can also go for a surfskate which has a special truck that mimics the movements of surfing. It is a better option for giving you a surfing feel on the pavement.
Ana Mae recommends core and balance training through balance boards and slacklines. It is something you can easily do in the comfort of your own home. Balance boards and slacklines can help you with balance, stability, and core. You can practice with your balance board in a small corner of your room or use a slackline if you have a place to tie it outside.
It’s one of the best ways to make your body flexible. Your body needs to be flexible before you go surf. It’s difficult to surf when your body is stiff and tense. Inculcating a yoga practice can help you adjust your body easily.
Staying fit is also important to surfing as it’s now a sport that’s competed for in the Olympics. Keep your body in shape by working out regularly and incorporating pushups, squats, and pullups into your routine. These three are essential to surfing.
Ana Mae notes that most beginners think that surfing is easy. It is the most common mistake she sees. However, surfing is complicated.
“You need a professional and certified surf coach to be able to structure your classes and learn surf science, safety, and etiquette,” she added.
She recommends that those interested in surfing should be motivated to stay the course and keep learning and improving. You need to be dedicated and get through the highs and lows of surfing.
There is no shortcut to being a good surfer, as with the other things in life. Ana Mae suggests to keep practicing and keep surfing to get better.
“Keep surfing,” she quipped.
These exercises and activities are not just for those of us who are in lockdown. These can be your go-to activities for when the waves are flat, as well. Surfing is all about preparation and not just about riding the waves. There is a lot of training that goes into surfing. Coming prepared for your next wave will help you have the best surf experience! (Ana Melissa Ortiz)