When it comes to how we warm up for a session, there are as many variations as there are lineups in the world. Some surfers utilize ancient Eastern techiniques, others rely on jump ropes and sprints, and some surfers don’t do a damn thing. To showcase the spectrum, we called on Evan Valiere, Andrew Doheny, and Keanu Asing, all accomplished surfers with a very different perspective on what needs to be done on the land to excel in the water.
Get Zen. To keep his mind and body on point, Evan Valiere has become a devout fan of Qi Gong, a set of Chinese excercieses that date back 4,000 years. “I’ve been doing something called Qi Gong for a long time now. It’s an old Chinese practice that helps focus your mind and body through rhythmic breathing and stretching,” says Valiere. “I’ve gotten really into it and have really felt the effects on my body and surfing. I had a knee injury that just wouldn’t really heal and I feel like I finally got ahead of it through Qi Gong. I spend about half an hour every day doing the excercises and I’d really recommend it to anyone. It really mellows me out and gives me a peaceful feeling. Overall, it’s a practice that creates health and longevity and I feel great. I’m super stoked on it.”
Warm up Your Mind and Body. Believing that surfing is equal parts mental and physical, Keanu Asing has placed a premium on getting his mind and body in line. “I try to warm up without going overboard before I paddle out,” says Keanu. “I basically warm up my joints and fast-twitch muscles to get my blood going and get loose. I’ll do a couple of lunges and try and work on extending my arms, legs, and hips to get the blood going. That’s the physical part, but I also do a few quick sets of mental exercises to get my head straight. I’ll close my eyes for a second, take five deep breaths, and try to focus without making myself too psyched. I want to try and put myself in the moment, get my concentration, and really enjoy what I’m about to do. I think you have to have your mind and body working together. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes and really gets me ready for a session.”
Do Absolutely Nothing. To become one of the most progressive surfers of his generation, Andrew Doheny has set up a rigid pre-surf regimen that involves him doing nothing. No stretching, no breathing exercises, no pump-up music. Nothing. “I just surf,” says Droid. “To be honest, I don’t really do anything to warm up before a session. I don’t train at all and I don’t even really stretch. I don’t even really equate music to surfing like some people do. I’ll listen to music to feel good, but not to get me amped to go surfing. So I really don’t do much of anything to warm up. Actually, lately I’ve been really hating how much I have to paddle and I feel like I’ve been doing way too much of it when I surf. To fix that, I’ve been shaping my boards thicker to make them paddle faster and make it a little easier on myself. I don’t know, I just surf.”