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 🙂

Fun longboard waves surfing with my Dad…Stoked.


I woke up this morning to tiny little waves out the front of my house in Brackelsham, and Dad and I suited up and got straight out there. It was so nice to surf with my Dad, it’s been ages since we’ve been out together so I am super stoked, love you! I’m still recovering from my rib injury so I had to take it easy but, boy, did it feel food to be back in the water. It’s an indescribable feeling that brings me so much happiness. Every time I get in the ocean I know there’s nothing else I want to do. I love surfing more than anything.

Three days exploring Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Location: Tamarindo
Surf Spots: Langosta, Playa Grande, Tamarindo Bay, Avellanas, Playa Negra
Road Trip Playlist: Clay Marzo Just Add Water Soundtrack
Hostel Accomodation: Oveja Negra (amazing!)
Favourite Bars: Sharkys, The Beach Access
Favourite Breakfast Spot: Kahiki Restaurant
Favourite Dinner: Wok n Roll

On saturday morning last week we set off on a Rica Surf road trip with three girls to go and find waves in the North of Costa Rica up in Guanacaste. The swell was perfect, coming in at 5 feet and 20 seconds, and leaving us dreaming of pealing right hand point breaks and peaky beach breaks. Harriet is visiting from England, and having spent three days getting back into the groove of surfing in Jaco, we thought it would be a nice idea to take her exploring and surfing the northern beaches. The North of the country is stunning with a huge choice of waves. Even at this time of year when you can expect a lot of rain here in Costa Rica, it tends to remain much drier up there and the water is still the gorgeous picture perfect turquoise that you see on the postcards. We drove 5 hours up to Tamarindo from Playa Hermosa, and arrived in time for a super fun sunset surf session in the Tamarindo Bay. It’s a great wave when it works, with fun wedgy lefts and rights breaking off a set of rocks sat in the centre of the bay. It generally needs quite a bit of swell to produce a fun sized wave, so with the predicted forecast we knew we were going to score some good surf. The great thing about the Tamarindo area though is that even with little swell you can always find a wave to surf. In other words if you end up driving up there and being fronted with a flat bay in the middle of town, don’t freak out because there are plenty of other spots where you will be able to find some fun surf :-).


Just North of Tamarindo is Playa Grande, which is a much better facing direction and much more open to picking up swell, so if the main bay looks flat head to Grande to find waves. While we were up there however, because of the size of the swell and the direction, we surfed Langosta on our first morning which is a ten minute drive south of Tamarindo. It was super hollow when we arrived and pretty heavy, breaking on a shallow sand bar, but between the closeouts we scored some fun barrels and had a great session! The next two surf sessions we hit up Avellanas and Playa Negra accompanied by our local surfer boys Beto and Miguel :-). You can find these waves a further 20 minutes South of Tamarindo. We arrived at Avellanas on the low tide and walked down to the rivermouth to find an overhead A-Frame style peak and little crowd. Perfect!The great thing about the Northern beaches of Costa Rica at this time of year is the offshore winds. You can wake up to a glassy surf in the morning, the offshore starts to blow at around 10am/11am, and then you can expect a glassy sunset session. It’s a dreamland. We ventured to Playa Negra after Avellanas, a right hand rocky point break that works well on a mid to high tide. The conditions were great, although we were still a little early for the tide and it was looking really shallow and rocky. We ended up heading back to town for breakfast at our favourite restaurant Kahiki. They do the best and biggest breakfast in town, and its amazing value. We worked our way through the menu over the course of the three days between the five of us. There were burritos as big as your head, amazing local gallo pinto with fried cheese, extra orders of pancakes for only $1, unlimited coffee, granola fruit plates, and my personal favourite; nutella filled strawberry topped cinnamon sprinkled french toast. Oh Yeahhh.
Tamarindo was awesome. We scored amazing waves, ate amazing food and enjoyed amazing company. The town itself is really fun with loads of great bars, clubs and hang outs, and there’s more surf spots than you can count on your fingers and toes. People tend to be turned off by how built up the town is and the reputation it has for being a tourist hotspot, but as a travelling surfer I thought Tamarindo rocked. Everything is reasonably priced, the nightlife is buzzing, the surrounding beaches are gorgeous, and the waves are insane! Thank you for an incredible three days!! We will be back soon 🙂