YOGA FOR SURFERS BY PEGGY HALL

OUT NOW ON DVD

Although not an avid yoga enthusiast, the title of this new DVD was enticing - would this really help surfers with their fitness? Well, it has plenty to offer both novice and devotee. Peggy Hall has brought together the right exercise for surfers and the right routine in a well structured film. My favourite exercise illustrated here must be the Cobra for those late take-offs and the Bridge to counteract the effects of paddling. There are also several good action sequences in overhead surf filmed by Bill Ballard and Pete Frieden of surfers Taylor Knox and Rochelle Ballard. Yoga is also supposed to be a great stress buster so if it exercises your mind as well as trim and warm up your limbs prior to surfing, it's worth looking at.

Essential Pre-surf Exercises

Stretching is an activity that most surfers see as a waste of precious surf time. In reality, stretching is just as essential before surfing, as it is for other sports. Before vigorous exercise, your muscles need to be slightly warm and primed with oxygen. In this condition, you're ready for action and therefore far less likely to get injured. To you and I, this means that when you do your first radical snap of your session, your body is ready for it, and instead of your calf muscle tearing and your back popping out, you land the manoeuvre perfectly and charge down the line for your next move. This might sound extreme but it happens easily. Talk to any surfer who has been injured in this way and if they have learnt anything from their experience, they will now be stretching before surfing.

Only push the stretch to the point at which light tension is felt. Bouncing and forcing tension may cause an injury in itself.
Reach forward as far as you can- you are now stretching your back
Keep your legs straight, and pull the front part of your back foot towards you. This stretches your calves
Reach back as if you were trying to do up your wetsuit This stretches your quads-it also helps you focus on your balance ( surfer- coach Tracy Boxall)

Andy Jenkins making the most of some winter waves at The Sand Bar, Langland