Are you looking back with dread at the excesses of the past weeks? We hear ya! We would much rather enjoy the Christmas period guilt-free and so we’ve put together our new years resolutions for 2020 which will surely make up for any of the extra mince pies and obligatory chocolates (and the chronic lack of exercise, do you also find it difficult to keep up your routine over the holidays?) Just to say before I kick off - this list while reading as surf specific can easily be adapted to any water sport.
1. Spend more time in the water!
The most important, most rewarding and possibly most difficult to achieve resolution thanks to work and other commitments. Nonetheless, it’s my first choice.
2. Choose an area to improve and work on that
I would always start with wave count. At the beginning of your session appraise the conditions and target a realistic amount of waves for that session. It will keep you focused and more competitive in the lineup and if you catch even more waves then they will feel like a bonus. After wave count choose a particular maneuver to work on. Maybe its that front side top turn or putting a little more round house in your cutback - if you are just starting out then it might be surfing some open face or perfecting your popup. All these are measures of success and achieving improvements in any of them will give you a sense of achievement that is very rewarding, addictive and will motivate you to get on the water even more.
3. Be stronger - mentally and physically, on and off the water
This is not just surf related, but your surfing will benefit from it. Whether you want to improve your strength with yoga or in the gym, that’s totally up to you. A very simple trick to build into your exercise routine is a press up to surf pop up. Practising this movement say 15 times a day will make a massive difference when you head out for your next surf. You don’t even need to go to the gym - your front room is perfect!
4. Increase your paddle fitness
Crucial to increasing your wave count and something you can practice even when the surf isn’t great. It’s often a lack of paddle fitness that stops you from having the best session you can possibly have. Surfing more is the best way to do this but if you can’t get to the beach then you can always take your board out for a paddle in your local lake or canal. Ignore the strange looks you might get - in the end you know what the rewards will be! Another great option is to go swimming, be that in your local pool or for the more hard core in the sea. This is not an exact substitute for paddling a board but swimming gives incredible all round fitness and if your are practising front crawl then the movements are very similar.
5. Try something new
It’s easy to get comfortable at your favourite surf spot and that has lots of advantages of course, but why not explore a location you haven’t been to before? Get out of your comfort zone and enjoy a new challenge.