Why alignment and surfing are married

A synopsis in a not so fancy language.
what elements create a good surfer- in no specific order- passion for the ocean and sport, quick twitch explosive power, stability flexibility and balance in the joints, courage, the ability to focus, ability to recover from humbling moments, fluidity of movement, endurance and reading the elements.

To be more specific what are some of the elements in movement and principles that make a good stylish progressive surfer? Flexibility in all of the joints, stability of all of the joints, proper activation of muscles when desired (body control and awareness), innervation reaction time coupled with power.

now to break it down further what has to be necessary as a foundation for those above ingredients to happen? Alignment. Structural alignment during movement most importantly (bone in the proper placement moving in the proper way using proper muscles to move them efficiently) static posture only translates if the individual is stuck and when movement is desired cannot come out of the bad posture.

So how does one find alignment. There are easy charts to look at but it takes a developed eye of a professional to spot the problems during movement. It’s easily missed but can be learned with the interest to grow as an athlete. 
What hampers alignment? Life. If you were to imagine 100 percent potential being reached and all movements were perfect then you can understand that every movement (or lack of movement) you make throughout your life is building up memory. It’s just like how your phone memory builds up. You go play soccer once a week is like downloading an app. Sitting playing on your iPhone two hours a day is a couple of hundred photos. Driving or sitting in a chair (probably the most detrimental) is like having a phone full of surf videos). At some point during our fun movement time we get the “cannot take photos message” aka pain which would be an “injury” and we have to stop and delete (movement) memory. How do we clear our bodies of all the movements or postures accumulated during life? Body work, stretching, self myo fascial release, diet, alignment training such as Pilates, symmetric rolling, rest, and changing of programs shocking the body are some of the best methods. How do we know if the memory is gone? We feel those crisp turns, the flow of timing is perfect, and we are completing new maneuvers… we are learning. Well what if I feel stuck? Then what you are doing in some part of your life movements is not working for you progression in surfing. For example let’s talk about a professional surfers week going to a contest- sits in a plane for 8 to 15 plus hours or in an airport during layovers and goes straight out for a surf. 

Surfs 3-5 hours in a day

Sits on the surfboard for let’s say 1 of every 4 hours surfing depending on waves.

Sits and chills watching friend surf when not surfing on the computer on the iPhone for a couple of more hours.

Plays some footy 

Drinks some beers

Plays some tennis

Stretches or does a little training

Goes dancing 

basically most of their time is sitting which creates major alignment issues and tightness which blocks their potential.

Just as a person who works a desk job becomes hampered by lower cross syndrome so can a surfer and add in repetitive movements in one direction (goofy or regular) coupled with heavy wipeouts and landings. These are the ingredients for lower body injury and can translate into neck issues and shoulder problems. The kinetic chain is like the environment of the body. Every individual movement affects the whole polluting potential. The more improper movements the more junk memory to delete. 

So what does this all mean?

Stifle. This is what makes the difference between progression and plateau for the driven athletes. Each percent out of alignment is a pocket of pure creative potential bound up in some movement memory block or old stuck injury. Training for strength and stretching symmetrically cannot change a body that is asymmetrical desiring alignment. You must be specific in all elements. The principle of specificity applies. Why stretch a loose side the same as a tight side? It doesn’t make sense. You just stay the same. This is my biggest problem with symmetrical yoga taught in classes.

Asymmetrical body X symmetrical stretching = assymmetrical body

We must seek out where we are not equal; side to side, twist to twist, forward to back. We must be unlimited in all directions open to all the potential we have been blessed with. Nothing can be stuck. A trained professional can guide you towards alignment. If you were to look to see what the difference between almost and there it’s those tiny pockets of potential stuck inside tight buckled knees from stuck psoas translating into weak ankles. 

Clean out the movement junk and you can learn something new 👌🏽🏄🏽    

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