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Surfing strength, flexibility: From the yoga mat to the surf board

SURFING: Back in the early ’70s Gerry Lopez was known as the, ‘King of Pipeline’ – he had flow, timing and style to become the ‘worlds best tube rider’. Today, nearly 50 years on, Gerry surfs fresh powder in big mountains and yoga helps him maintain his strength and his flow. He may have been one of the first surfers to truly benefit from yoga.

Sunday 23 December 2018, 11:00AM

Yoga is one of the best exercises for surfers.

Yoga is one of the best exercises for surfers.

Today, many athletes including some of the world’s greatest surfers implement yoga practices into their surf training regimes. Yoga enhances surfing performance by improving postural balance, flexibility and breath mechanics – all vital for surfers. Yoga also improves moods and the ability to focus – hugely beneficial for all surfers!

In Phuket, now that we are heading into the high season and the oceans turn into beautiful flat peaceful bodies of water – it is one of the best times to start working on your off season body work and fitness – I would highly recommend Yoga.

Physical yoga is based on stability and flexibility, which is the foundation of all athletic ability. From beginners through to professional surfers, adding stability and flexibility exercises into your surf training will improve how your body moves, both in and out of the water.

However, enthusiasts should note that some yoga can be dangerous, particularly if you have spinal or joint issues, so personalised flexibility and stretching with personalized strength conditioning is best. It’s probably not wise to rock up to an advanced yoga class off the bat.

That said, with the right instructor and practice, your surf training just got better. Some of the benefits of yoga for surfers include: more flow and better timing; enhanced range of motion through turns when you surf; better joint stability and mobility; stronger focus and improved breath mechanics; less injuries and stronger core function; and enhanced well-being of mind – body – spirit.

QSI International School Phuket

Jack Farras from Yoga Republic in Cherng Talay has 10,000 hours (plus) of teaching yoga around Bali and Southeast Asia. He is the first one to tell you that surfing athletes will benefit greatly from incorporating yoga into their surf training regimes. Jack himself started with yoga to help with injuries and constant pain from unmindful fitness approaches.

After being based in Bali for a number of years he now resides in Phuket where he owns and operates Yoga Republic, a successful island-style studio. I practice with Jack and love his ‘no nonsense – let’s have fun’ approach to yoga and mind-body performance.

For a comprehensive 28-day Fast Surfing Fitness Program that guarantees results check out the “Yoga-work-out-for-surfers” video at (Click here). Click on the “Fast Surfing Fitness” tab to receive 50% off now for Xmas! First 10 surfers only. Use the discount code: Xmas.

Remember, surfing is your medicine – so be at your best. For speaking engagements or private performance coaching to improve your surfing, health and fitness contact Hayden at



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