Posted by JK's Corner (1/15/2007)
There are times when surfing, all things come together. For example, let's say a set has just cleaned the pack and you're in position for the best wave of the set. As you spin and get ready to go, your heart pumps and the body goes numb while your head is full of all the moves you're gonna rock. Heart and body racing, you're up and going only to goof and fall before you even get into the wave. A couple of things could have happened, first, your positioning or timing could have been off. Or second, you were so excited about the potential ripable wave, you lost control of your mechanics. That's what I want to touch on; learning to relax in the ocean.
In a typical session, we get a ton of mediocre waves but only a few real gems. When we do, often times we get so strung up in anticipating, it works against us from being able to preform our best on a great wave.
Everyone knows the relationship of the mind and body; the minds controls the body. What is going on in your head will soon be delivered to actions in your body. All athletes in any sport know this. A good batter can relax in the box, a quarterback can relax in the pocket of a play and a surfer should be able to relax in the intensity of the wave. But how?
A couple of things that really help is to first; let the wave come to you.
What you do on the wave should be determined by the wave, not what is going on in your head. Riding a wave in this way allows you to relax a lot more. You're riding in the moment is being more focused, than trying to surf out some pre-meditated moves going on in your head. It's kind of clearing your mind to let you ride the wave. Next is to breathe and try not to be tense in your stance. Correcting breathing and relaxing your stance will really allow your surfing to be a lot more affective. Loosen your shoulder muscles and leg muscles. If you feel your muscles are tight when on the wave, breathe and loosen up. Last, try to stay "light" on your feet. This will allow you to be much more sensitive to the reaction of your board. The quickest way to be "light" on your feet is to RELAX!
If you want to dive deeper into this subject, Sport Therapists and Doctors have written a lot of books on this and it could be helpful. These couple of tid-bits I'm sharing are to help you a little from a surfing prospective . Have fun, keep surfing and relax!