Keeping the Stoke Going From Home During COVID-19

by Adrian Johansen May 16, 2020 4 min read

Sheltering in place has many surfers jonesing for the day they can get out and paddle around again. Making matters worse, some surfers live by the beach and can see the perfect barrels from their windows.

Even if your area allows outdoor activities, think twice before you head out for a short session. Kim Prather, an atmospheric chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego reminds surfers about the dangers of sewage runoff and pollutants after a rain, which enter the
ocean and cause all sorts of nasty illnesses to surfers. COVID-19 can make its way into the ocean the same way. Not to mention how hard it is to remember to socially distance when you’re battling it out with someone else to catch a wave.

While the world waits for the word to safely head out again, there are five things you can do at home to stay fit (and not lose your mind) so you can pick up right where you left off.

1. Stay Fit

The biggest challenge to surfers right now is keeping fit from home. It’s way too easy to spend the day munching on snacks and laying around. At some point, you’ll start losing your hard earned strength and flexibility. Consider doing yoga to keep your body and mind balanced and in top shape. Many yoga positions are perfect for surfers because they focus on core and arm strength.

There are plenty of free, guided YouTube yoga workouts available. Or you can sign up for streaming yoga sessions through Gaia or other yoga apps. Look for yoga flow videos if you want more of a challenge.

2. Safeguard Your Lungs and Improve Capacity

One of the most important factors in improving your surfing is strengthening lung capacity. The best way to do so is by doing underwater sprints while carrying a heavy rock. But if you can’t head to the beach or don’t have a pool in your backyard, you can continue working on your lung capacity indoors.

Pinch your nose shut and do jumping jacks, sit-ups or run on a treadmill. You may be missing the full-body resistance of being underwater, but you’ll at least be working towards expanding your lungs’ capacity.

Staying indoors helps you safeguard lung strength in another way — avoiding getting sick (especially from respiratory diseases) protects your lungs as you continue to strengthen them. Stay healthy, challenge your lungs daily, and you’ll be back out there in no time.

3. Catch up on Your Surfers Journal Reading

If you have piles of Surfers Journals you haven’t had the time to read, there’s no better time than now. The magazine’s surf photography rocks. The articles are exceptionally well-written and just plain awesome for anyone who takes pride in surf culture. Set aside time in your day to
read through the stories. You’ll feel more connected to surfers around the world while you wait things out. And if you don’t get the magazines at home, you can check some of them out online.

4. Plan a Surf Trip

Let’s face it. The coronavirus has put a major dent in travel. Airlines, hotels, and the travel industry in general are hurting. The silver lining is that many travel operators will be offering some killer deals when the quarantine is over.

You may finally be able to score your dream surf trip to the Mentawais in Indo for a bargain. Keep an eye on travel prices, put some cash aside now that you’re home more, suss out your ideal travel itinerary, and know everything there is to know about your target destination. When travel gets the green light again, you’ll be ready to throw your credit card down and lock your ultimate barrel-hunting trip in. You might even save enough on travel to buy one of those eco-friendly wetsuits you’ve had your eye on for a while.

5. Find New Beach-Related Activities

If you’re a surfer, the ocean is your soul. It may not be the safest time to jump in the ocean, but your city or town may still allow you to access the beach. Get some of that salt air therapy however you can by picking up new beach-oriented activities.

Choose solitary activities and make sure you keep safe distances, for your safety and that of people around you. Some things you can do include jogging, walking your dog, mastering hacky sack, or pulling out the old metal detector to hunt for treasure. It may sound geeky to be one of those people — the ones that spend the day outside with their metal detector in tow. But it gives you a reason to catch some sunshine. Plus, you might make a little side cash finding loose change or even jewelry in the sand.

Hang (Ten) in There

Sheltering at home isn’t easy, but it’s not forever. The world will slowly get back to normal sooner than later. Take advantage of this strange and crazy time to develop new skills and catch up on things you’re interested in. You’ll be back out on the water soon …

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