For all new blog posts please subscribe at www.eviesurf.co.uk

Hi guys!

From now on I will be posting all the new blogs on http://www.eviesurf.co.uk

Please head over to the new site and re-subsribe there to receive the new posts daily via email.

Thank you and hope you all have a good day!

EvieSurf is moving domain! Please re-subscribe at www.eviesurf.co.uk

Hi everyone!

I want to let you all know that my blog will be moving domain in two days time. The new site will be http://www.eviesurf.co.uk. If you would like to keep following me, please go to the new site and you can re-subscribe there. I am sorry that I have not been able to do it automatically.

I also want to thank all of you for the support, likes and comments over the last months. I’ve really enjoyed writing the blog this year and have also been inspired by reading a lot of yours, so thank you for sharing.

This up and coming year is looking really exciting filled with surfing, travel, competitions, and of course some hardcore training! So please, if you would like to continue following my workouts, travel advice, surfing tips, food suggestions and photos, head over to http://www.eviesurf.co.uk and follow me :-)

Happy new year and I wish you all the best for 2013!

Deep tissue massage…Why it’s oh so good.

307623_10151364969001411_1862255611_nFirstly thank you Mira for the most amazing and relieving massage today. I feel a million times better! I am still having problems with my back and hips as a result of my rib injury last year. I have been paying a lot of attention to my body recently and I am try to do everything I can to get back into shape the “right way” and to take care of myself. However, my body keeps shifting back into an unbalanced alignment where my spine corkscrews and my hips become twisted. This then affects the major muscles groups in my back (the erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, and trapezius) which can make it uncomfortable to even sit down. My rhomboids are also tight from paddling, especially on the left side where my rib injury was and compensation has been made around the problem area. I am still seeing the chiropractor weekly and I have just started going back to the gym as of two days ago. I am trying to practice yoga daily and do everything to keep my body in alignment and the muscles flexible, so the massage today really helped relieve some of my most stressed areas.

Surfing involves a lot of radical movements: swinging, twisting, cut backs. It’s only normal that we suffer from tight areas and pressure points. This is why a deep tissue massage is a key aspect to add to your training programme to keep your body happy and doing everything you ask of it. Massage is a form of passive exercise and stretching. It improves circulation, increases a sense of wellness and heath in your body, improves lymphatic flow which leads to detoxification, and enhances performance in physical activity; the benefits are endless.

Mira gave me a trigger point deep tissue that help release the hypertonic muscles, especially in my back and hips, and this will help keep the spine from being pulled out again.

I’m super stoked to be back onto my training programme with a much better understanding of how to look after myself and work with the injury, and I’m thankful to be surrounded by so many helpful and supportive people!

Post surf yoga and daily stretches

Yoga is quickly becoming something that is part of my daily routine. I never used to do yoga, or any kind of stretching on that matter. I’de normally get up and surf for hours and hours, eat well, go to the gym, do some work, and then sleep. Stretching never even crossed my mind. However, when I was recovering from my injury my physio would give me stretches to do to improve my body condition. I instantly felt a huge difference in my body once I started to do the stretches on a daily basis, so I did a little bit more research on some good yoga postures to relieve the major muscle groups we use when surfing. I now try to do these deep stretches every day for about half an hour, and can only praise the effects. As well as releasing all of the tension within the muslces, I have considerably increased my flexibilty and stability. I am much more confident in the water because my body feels better and stronger and my energy levels are much higher. Its improved my surfing so much I can’t tell you. Yoga is also a great way to train your mind to focus, and I feel it has really helped with my mental discipline in and out of the water. Here are a few of my favorite stretches. I normally do them before I go to sleep as they help me to relax, but you can do them at any point throughout the day when you get time. Dedication is key :-)

I normally start off with a couple of rounds of sun salutations to warm my body up and loosen any really tight muscles before I go into these deeper stretches.
Downward dog is one of my favourite poses to release tension in my shoulders, and it also strengthens the wrists and the arms, it feels great!
The lotus pose is a nice position to start in after you’ve warmed up a little. It opens your hips, and stretches your ankles and your knees. You can also spend a moment here to concentrate on your deep breathing, which is something you should maintain throughout your whole practice.
The extended side angle pose stretches the top side of your body from your back heel through the raised arm. You will feel a stretch in your groin, an opening of your hip bones and a release in your shoulders and neck.
The dolphin pose (similar to downward dog but resting on your forearms) is another great pose to open up those tight shoulders.
Both warrior I and warrior II poses are great for increasing stamina and strengthening you legs. This is a great moment to really concentrate on lengthening your spine and using your core to hold you tall and straight.
The camel pose I love becuase it relieves any backache. It also improves flexibility of the neck and the spine.
Pigeon is my favourite way to open my hips amd stretch my glutes. It’s a great stress relieving pose, and I hold it for several minutes on each side.
To stretch you knees, thighs and ankles, try the reclining hero pose.
I like to include some kind of spinal twist to my practice, whether I am seated or laid on my back. There are several variations so chose one that you feel comfortable with.
I always end my session with a long seated forward bend. It stretches the complete backside of your body from the back of your head down to your heels. Breath deeply into into yout entire back and each day try to reach a little further to increase your flexibility.

Depending on your sore areas, you can add in stretches to each practice and try different variations to keep it interesting. The hardest thing for me however with the yoga is the discipline. It’s so easy just to skip it out of your routine. That’s why I dedicate to myself half an hour before I go to bed every day. It helps me relax and even improves my sleeping. I go to bed with peace of mind that I am going to wake up feeling bouncy and ready to get out there and surf again. Super happy with my new found love for yoga!

Let’s take a look at our pre-surfing warm up.

148618_507644352601091_425100720_nI’ve never really been the kind of person to do a proper warm up before surfing. I arrive at the beach, I see the surf pumping, I may quickly bend down and touch my toes in a loose manner but then I’m straight onto my board and paddling out.
I’ve been told by many people that stretching before paddling out isn’t actually as effective as it’s praised to be. But recently I have done a little more research. Having spent the last year injured and definitely not paying enough attention to my body, I am now just getting back into shape and realising the importance of post surf stretching and warm up. The deep stretches and yoga can definitely be saved for after your surf session, but should not be ignored. They are incredibly important for flexibility, core strength and recovery. However these stretches aren’t ideal for your pre surf warm up.
Essentially what we want to do before any vigorous sport activity is gradually increase the heart rate, raise your body temperature, and start moving the body into positions that we will be using whilst surfing. One of the benefits I love of this warm up is that it will have you performing better from wave one. Instead of paddling out to the line up and wasting your first couple of waves to get into rhythm, you’ll paddle straight out there and be ripping from the moment you pop up. Your mind will be more focused, your muscles ready to contract, and you are also reducing the chances injuries.
I have chosen several dynamic stretching exercises, which I now do before every surf session. I can really praise the benefits. From the moment I hit that water, my body is awake, my muscles are ready to perform, and my mind is focused. And what’s even better is that it doesn’t even take 5 minutes.

1. Lunges: walk forward four, holding each lunge for 2 seconds, and then walk back four. Pull in though your core. Repeat 3 times.
2. Squats: 15 squats. Get your bum really close to the floor, and spring back up.
3. Torso twists. With floppy arms, swing left and right.
4. Torso twists. Rigid arms, and turn your head to look behind. 15 twists.
5. Explosive twists. Squat down low “hands over your rails” position, and then explode up and twist into the opposite direction, turning your shoulders and head. 10 starting on the left side and exploding up and to the right. And then 10 vice versa.
6. Lower back warm up. Lie on the sand, hips at 90 degrees and knees at 90 degrees and let your legs fall left and then fall right.
7. Same again, but shorter, more explosive twisting movements back and forth. Use you core and your stomach muscles to pull your legs back and forth.
8. Lie on your back with your arms stretched open. Straighten your left leg and kick over to your right hand. Then repeat on the other side, right foot to left hand. Repeat 10 times.
9. Warm up the hamstrings. Standing up and using your board as a balance, kick you left leg as high as you can, swinging it backwards and forwards. Repeat with the right leg. 10 each side.
10. Fast scissor lunges to get the heart rate high, followed by some high jumping jacks :-)

Surf video analysis sessions with the girls in Santa Teresa

videoanalysisI have been really lucky to be involved in the video analysis training sessions with all the girls here in Santa Teresa. Once a week, they all meet up at 6am on the beach and film for two hours with Martin, a fantastic surf coach from the UK who has kindly offered up his time to help the surfer girls in Teresa really progress and push their surfing to the next level. In the evening everyone gets together and the video footage is projected on a large wall so that the girls have front row seats of their morning waves. Martin explains in detail exactly where improvements can be made, and demonstrates key techniques.

Video analysis can make a massive improvement to your surfing skills and rapidly increase your learning curve. I can’t think of a better or more productive way to get better at surfing quickly. Even though at times it can feel humiliating watching yourself surf haha, the amount of important and valuable information you take away from one video analysis session will have you seeing results after day one; it’s incredible. A great piece of advice is to watch your video just before you go out surfing so it’s fresh in your mind exactly what you need to work on. You can also write on your hand, or stick masking tape on your board with key words to constantly remind you of what you should be focusing on whilst you are in the water :-)

After session number one, my key word from Martin was HOLD. What he wanted me to concentrate on was to hold my body positioning for a second longer to help drive through my bottom turn and through my roundhouse cutback. On the cutback, this means holding the rotation in my shoulders for a fraction longer so I come back up the wave higher and rebound off the white water, creating more speed to enter the next section. On my bottom turn, holding the rotation and looking up at the lip will help me to enter the wave more vertically (judges love this in contests!).

I was stoked today to get this shot from Antonio Russo this morning. Having been given the advice the day before from Martin, I went out there with one thing on my mind which was to hold through my bottom turn and try to get more vertical and boom, it actually worked! I am so so stoked and super pumped for my next video analysis session on Monday! Yewwwwww
65069_507644962601030_194520553_n

Give your board some personal love. Posca pens, spray paints, and how to.

boardpaintingPainting your surfboard is a super fun project, but personalising your stick can make you love it and want to use it even more; so pick out some of your favourite colours and go big. On this particular one I chose to use Posca pens and Sharpies. They are really fun and easy to draw with, and allow you to go into lot more detail than just using spray paints.

Here are a few tips about how to glam up your board :-)

Step 1: Clean your board thoroughly. First, take the wax off using a wax comb or some sort of spatula. Paint thinner is a great way to get off that waxy film, and any dirt or salt. You can buy it from pretty much any hardware store. People say don’t put any harsh chemicals on your board, maybe they are right, but paint thinner has always worked great for me and does a thorough job! You can also use the Wax Pickle to remove excess wax, and then scrub using the green side of a sponge or even a light sandpaper.

Step 2: Find a design. It’s always easier to have some sort of design in your head or even better printed out in front of you, especially if you’re not an artist which I am not haha. You don’t necessarily need to stick to it exactly, but some sort of starting point is important.

Step 3: Do an outline in pencil. Sometimes it can be overwhelming going straight in for the thick black marker.

Step 4: If you want to use spray paints, get a base colour down marking out the area using masking tape. Once this is dry, you can really go to town using the posca pens. They have amazing bright colours and are easy and fun to use. Remember if you ever make a mistake, you can go back to your paint thinner and use it like an eraser :-)

Step 5: Once you finished your work of art and left it to dry, you need to do a topcoat. Ideally you want to use a clear acrylic spray paint, and you want to do a couple of thin, even coats, using long, smooth, horizontal strokes.

And VOILA, your rocking new board is ready to go.

eviejohnstonesurfboard

How to surf small waves. Yes it’s lame, but sometimes we gotta do it

evie johnstone surfer girl
Lets face it, we all know that rocking up to the beach and being confronted with 1-2 foot onshore mush can really kill your surf froth, small waves are lame. However, surfing small conditions can really help you develop and improve all aspects of your surfing. So first things first, we’ve got to change our attitude. This means instead of getting back in the car and driving home dry, we need jump out and attack the water with full energy and positivity. At the end of the day, waves are waves, it could be flat. Let’s not forgot that 80% of the contests we do (especially as girls), we are challenged with small conditions, the worst tide times, and normally mid-day onshores. The main thing to remember about the small days is to stay light on your feet and to really work it. On bigger days the wave does most of the work for you, but on the smaller days, you do. Doesn’t sound fun does it, but here are some useful tips to get you ripping on smaller waves and out there surfing more days of the year.

Paddle hard and attack the take-off
You need to enter a small wave at high speed, so when you chose what wave to go for, go at it hard. Paddle fast, kick your feet, and fully commit. Also think about taking off behind the peak so you get down the line projection.

After take-off
Lift your arms on takeoff to lift the weight off the board and accelerate you forwards. Turn down the line fast with a slightly further forward stance and stay on your toes. Really work using your legs, keep you weight centred over your board, and be as light as a butterfly; you’ll be speeding down the line faster than the longboarders. Remember when you go for a turn manoeuvre to shuffle that stance back again.

Manoeuvres: When. What. And where.
Floaters and cutbacks with re-bounds off the foam are good manoeuvres to maintain speed and flow. Tail slides, 360s, chop-hops, and airs are also great tricks to practise in small waves, but make sure you chose your section wisely as your more than likely to only get once chance to pull it off.

No hopping/bouncing
Rail to rail surfing is key for fluidity and style. My coach drills this into me on a weekly basis. Work using your legs and your back foot to skim through those flat sections, and eliminate the hopping! The other key to gliding through flat spots and connecting waves is having enough foam under your feet (Rob Machado), which leads me onto board selection.

For small waves you want to look for something that has more volume in the tail and through the middle than your standard board. A wider nose can also help increase your paddle speed, and get you into waves easier. Look for a short, fat, flat, wide design with a wide tail, and don’t be afraid to go a good few inches shorter than your standard board. Swallow tails, bat tails and diamond tails are all great designs for surfing the small conditions as they will help you release from turns more quickly and also turn on a tighter radius, which are all key elements to enhance our small wave surfing.

My normal short board is a 5’11, 18 1/4, 2 1/4, but when the conditions are small like they have been recently, I always chose my magic “Diamond Geezer” Quiver. It’s a 5’8, 18 5/8, 2 1/4 wide nose, wide tail magical creation. I love it. Whatever the conditions are like, I still froth to get out there because I know I’m always going to have a good surf on this board. I think it’s really important for the mental side of surfing to love your board :-), so chose something that really works for you.

DiamondGeezerQuiver
So to finish off, what are the benefits of surfing small waves?? You work harder, so you are fitter, you will perform better on the bigger days, you can add another board to your quiver, and you’ll be smashing the contests. Yewwwwwww :-)

Cruising down to Santa Teresa with the girls….

RicaSurfGirlsCrossingRiversRicaSurfViewRicaSurfWe have had an awesome adventure driving down the beach tracks of the Nicoya Peninsula, crossing rivers and surfing amazing breaks, with plenty of laughs with all the girls. We have just reached our final destination of Santa Teresa, where we will be hanging out and surfing for the next four days.

Day 1 on the Rica Surf All Girls Road Trip!

AmazingFirstDayrica surf girls roadtripWe have arrived safely up in Tamarindo, our first stop on our 10 day road trip. The weather is absolutely stunning, and we gave the girls their first surf lesson this morning in Tamarindo Bay. The waves were two foot, clean and fun; perfect conditions for learning! We had a lovely sunset yoga session to help stretch out after all the paddling, followed by a huge dinner and a few ice cold beers. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the adventure! We have a couple of days here surfing before we head south down to Nosara for our second stop of the road trip. Super stoked to be cruising down Costa Rica’s Pacific coast with 10 surfer girls for the next 10 days! Yeewwwwww

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