We get it. It is REALLY hard to warm up properly when you've just gotten to the beach, the waves are pumping, and you are frothy as all hell.
But, hear us out.
Doing some dynamic stretching before hitting the water will allow you to perform better in the surf and help prevent injury.
I heard I wasn't supposed to stretch before working out? Not quite.
Yes, static stretching before a workout can decrease muscle performance and increase the risk of injury. Dynamic stretching is different. Dynamic stretching is where you slowly wake up your body and get your juices flowing with repetitive movements, starting slow, and gradually increasing your intensity and range of motion. When you do this, you slowly increase your blood circulation, heart rate, mobility, and generally prep your body -- and, equally importantly, your mind -- for your surf session.
Ok, so how do I do this dynamic stretching thing? Do a little jog in place, some jumping jacks, butt kicks or high-knees to warm up first. Then start slow with some repetitive movements to wake up your entire body as well as the bits that tend to get stiff, cold, sore, or a lot of use and abuse while you are surfing (read: hips, shoulders, neck, back). Cat cows, arm circles, hip circles, twisty lunges ... you know your body and what it needs best. At least 10-12 repetitions to get your body working the way you want it. Start small and increase your range of motion as you feel your muscles and ligaments waking up.
Another benefit, if you're still skeptical, is that warming up (properly, please) forces you to take time to check out what is happening in the ocean. While you're doing your dynamic stretches, take the time to assess conditions (swell, wind, current, rips, tide), other surfers (friendly -- yay!; douchebag -- ugh; local ripper: respect; beginners on the inside ditching boards, watch out!).
Stella & Andrea stretching in TBA gear.
Does that mean I'm off the hook from longer stretches/yoga? Nope. More prolonged, focused stretching sessions a few times a week are still encouraged to keep you mobile and flexible.
For an example of some juicy dynamic stretching, watch our friend Stella - pilates instructor extraordinaire and surfer - go through one of her pre-surf morning routines (you may want to turn off the volume, trade winds were insane that day!):
If you are based in Bali and like to do anything with your body, check out Stella Attwood. She teaches private sessions and group sessions around the island, and is a master at getting you fluid, mobile, and strong --> her sessions will kick your ass in the best possible way.