Thanks to everyone who came to the first Surf Better. Surf Forever Workshop. We covered a lot of topics, so here is some information and videos to help you apply the principles to your health and surfing.



Laying the 


Building your D.R.E.A.M Surf body (that will keep catching lots of waves into old age) involves working on the foundational principles of Stress Management, Rest (Sleep), Eating well, Adding supplements (if needed), and Moving.  

RESTORE BREATHING: The first step in creating a strong, mobile body is to optimize your breathing, ribcage and pelvis mechanics- as your body will forever compensate if this is not functioning well. 

RESTORE MOVEMENT:Doing this will free up more motion in the body.  However, there may be additional steps needed to create full movement through the bodies joints. 

BUILD STRENGTH: Once you have full, or near full, movement through your body-  the next step is to build strength through your lower and upper body.  This will depend on your specific goals and needs but some common moves are squats, deadlifts, split squats and pullups. 

BUILD CAPACITY: Capacity is basically the ability to do exercises over a period of time.  For surfing, this means to be able to paddle for long periods and if the waves are long enough, to use the lower legs for surfing and turning.

MAINTENANCE: Once you have the mobility, strength and capacity you need to surf as much as, and well as, you can- then a maintenance program will keep everything working well long-term.  Every house needs maintenance!

A Big Wave

Define your 


A house won't build itself, and nor does your health.  To create your D.R.E.A.M Surf body, you need to put in some work.  Doing the breathing exercises,  changing your eating habits, meditating etc, all requires some initial effort until habits are formed


The POWER tools that help to build your health are






These POWER tools only last for so long, and then they need to be charged.  The way to charge them is through having clear goals and dreams.



What are your goals?  Do you want to surf for as long as possible into old age? Surf with your kids or grandkids? Compete on the WQS? Get ready for a boys surf trip to Indo? 


Whatever the goal is define it and write it down.  Then see if you can discover what the emotion is that is behind the goal.


Connecting with the emotion of the goal, and visualising the goal are great ways to continually charge up your POWER tools so that you can build your health to help you achieve these goals.   

Don't guess


You can determine what is happening with your "chassis" and how your body is compensating, by using specific tests.

There are 100's of different tests that look at movement, but many of them aren't that useful.  In the clinic,  I have narrowed my testing down to about 15 or so tests that can tell me a lot about how you move and what is going on. If you live locally, feel free to contact me for a FREE 15 minute assessment in which I will run through these tests with you.

There are also some general tests that you can try at home to see how you are moving. You may needs someone to look at the movements for your.   These tests are

1. INFRASTERNAL ANGLE (ISA).  This can be a bit tricky,  but you are looking for around 40-50 degrees on both sides.  Watch the video, and see if you can work out whether you are narrow (I'd say 80% of people are),  normal, or wide.  


Watch the video and try this at home.  You should be able to tuck under your pelvis (or back pocket) while feeling just a mild stretch in the front of the leg.  When you go to lift of,  make sure you don't lean forward with your upper body..  If you do, this is also a giveaway that your pelvis is tipped forward


First: keep knees straight , can you reach down and touch your toes?

Second: Hold onto toes and keeping pelvis tucked under, let knees go forward and drop into a squat. 

-Can you get your thighs to parallel?

-Is your spine in a nice even curve?  



The first step is to raise your arm as high as you can. You should be able to get your arm to about 180 degrees (an observer could see your ear in front of your arm).  From there, arch back letting your hips go forward.  You may need someone to check this for you...

- Do the front of your hips go past your toes?

- Does the back of your shoulder blades go behind your heels?

- Does your spine a nice even curve?

Chest Cavity

Start with 


We discussed how, if you were rebuilding a busted up car, you would start with the chassis.  Getting the chassis aligned will help the wheels line up, the doors close etc.  The same applies to the body.  If we can get our pelvis and ribcage aligned and functioning properly, then our hips, shoulers and spine will move better.  This then flows into better movement throughout the body

It is very common to develop breathing and ribcage restrictions over time, which then leads to compensations in the body as breathing is important!

Common compensations include shoulder blades coming forward around the ribcage, and a tilting forward of the pelvis 



Once you have increased your mobility (as full as possible), then building strength on top of this is the next step.


Having a solid base of lower and upper body strength is good for surfing, as it requires both.  Some common exercises I use with surfers are


1. Deadlift, shifted deadlift, single leg deadlift

  great for your bottom turn and top turns which require  glut and hamstring strength

2. Squat, split squat, step ups

These will build all round lower body strength

3. Pull up variations

 great for developing paddling power

4. Overhead pressing

5. Push ups & burpees

  great for developing duckdiving and pop up strength

Nutrition target jpeg.JPG



Once you have an idea what is happening through your "chassis" (ribcage and pelvis)-  you can use reset exercises to create better ribcage function which will help create better mobility through your body

After a lot of trial and error over the last few years,  these two moves are my go-to exercises for this initial first step. 

Ideally,  do 3x5 breaths for first exercise and 4x3 breaths for squat.  1-2 x day 

The breathing part will differ depending on whether you have a wide or narrow infrasternal angle

WIDE:  Quiet breath in through your nose. Long slow exhale through pursed lips (imagine you are whistling or flickering candles).  Pause for 3-4 seconds. Repeat


NARROW: Quiet breath in through your nose.  Long slow exhale through an open mouth (Darth Vader fogging up a window). Pause for 3-4 seconds. Repeat.


After a week or so of doing these exercises,  retest the above tests and see if you notice any changes.  Please let me know how you go, as I am looking to refine the process. 


Nutrition for 


To support overall health,  the key for nutrition is to get adequate nutrients through the diet.  This involves focusing on a variety of different nutrient dense foods. The image shows a "nutrition target"  which gives an idea on what foods to focus on (although this varies person to person).  

Macronutrients are your proteins, fats, and carbs.  Getting the right ratios of these is also very important. Generally, getting adequate carbohydate is the key to providing enough energy while surfing.  This needs to individualised depending on the persons goals, overall activity level and how long/often they are surfing.

For more information click here