There’s nothing much cooler than surfing, and the lifestyle can keep you in shape for decades – look at Laird Hamilton, stacked at 52, if you don’t believe us.
The key is to not make mistakes before you even hit the water, according to Surfcoach.com’s Martin Dunn – don’t use a board that is too small, don’t try to take on the big waves before you’re ready and check the conditions from the beach rather than blindly diving into where the crowd is. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to practice in the winter, wear a wetsuit.
Improving your paddling efficiency will improve your ability to catch waves without being overwhelmed as soon as they hit you. Ensure your toes are off the end of the board, and lift your chest slightly away from the surface (like the cobra pose in yoga). Paddle with one hand at a time. Reach towards the nose of the board and go deep with a cupped hand – plunge it in like you mean it. Drive the hand back towards your hip before repeating with the other arm.
In surfing, your body follows where your head leads, so if you’re looking at the water once you’ve popped up, that’s where you’ll end up. Use your
feet and legs to tell you what the wave’s doing and keep your eyes firmly ahead on the beach to help you stay upright.