Surf Tips


In Part One of the Surf Basics series, French World Tour surfer Pauline Ado runs you through her five minute pre surf warm up routine. She says, “Ideally I’ll do this on the beach before before every surf. Sometimes it’s hard when the surf is really good, but once in the habit, you feel so much better for it. To help me remember the routine I always start with the neck and work my way down to my feet, so that you warm and stretching every part of your body that is needed for your surf. As a rule for each exercise do ten repetitions. Hope you learn from the video and I’ve written the steps below to help you out. I hope it helps your surfing.”

Neck, Shoulders and Arms

1. Neck rolls: Start very slowly moving your neck from right to left, then from left to right, a few times each. Then do half circles, with chin toward your chest, going one way then the other.

2. Shoulders. Rotate your shoulders backwards ten times. Then change and roll them forward ten times. Do each roll slowly with control.

3. Arms: Rotate both arms in a forward motion ten times. Then change and circle them backwards ten times. Move faster as you get to the end of the ten reps.

Core and Back

4. Place your feet wide apart, swing your arms and twist your upper body to the left, and then to the right. Your feet stay strongly planted facing forwards. This warms up the back and the core. Do ten each side.

5. Bend on one leg, then throw your arms up to opposite side towards the sky. It is similar to doing a backhand bottom turn. Do ten to the left side and ten on the right. Do these fairly quickly.

6. Lie on the sand, pull your knees up together towards your chest and move them together to the left and then to the right. It’s important that your back and bum stay firmly planted on the sand. Again do ten each side.

7. Now straighten your left leg, and swing the right leg over it in a swooping motion. Then quickly straighten right leg and bring left leg over it in same motion. Again the emphasis is on control and not speed. Do ten each side.


8. Legs: Side lunges. Place your feet wide apart, keep them stable, then sit down on one, bending the knee, then repeat with other leg. Do ten each side.

9. Forward lunges. To warm up quads and your bum take a step forward, bending one leg and holding, then the other. After four steps, do the same but walking backwards. Going backwards will be harder, requiring more balance.

10. Now hold on to your board or a friend’s shoulder and swing your right leg forward and back for 30 seconds. Repeat on the left. This is a dynamic stretch, so the movement is quite fast. Each swing should be a little faster then the last.

11. Balance on your left leg, then bend your right leg and do big circles to the right. Repeat on other side. Ten times each. Make it harder by closing your eyes.

12. For ankles and calves, push up on to your toes and then drop heels back to the sand. Do ten of these.

13. You are now warm and toasty and ready to rip.


Freesurf or comp surf Pauline is always ready. Now, so are you. Photo: WSL/Kirstin


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