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Ryan Huxley concludes his post on the common elbow problem which affects many surfers.

Why should we experiment with alternative board designs when our trusty 6’1 thruster has always produced the goods? Surfbodysoul’s home in Byron Bay is arguably the predominant alternative board hub of Australia. Evidence of this can be observed by joining the mad rush at The Pass on any given east swell. Here you will witness boards of all shape and size, some sliding elegantly, even more sliding erratically. In between this eclectic board paradigm sits your prototypical thruster surfer, quite often a grommet, retired pro, current pro or someone outside that box still ripping.

Personally, I have had the luxury of a Californian shaper who goes by the name CJ Solo living in his van outside my residence. This eccentric cat provides a breath of fresh air in our domicile with his boundless youthful energy, great – if not disturbing – sense of humor, and a capacity to digest nothing but cheap Iranian dates without bodily system meltdown. What I find most intriguing is his absolute skill and stoke in crafting alternative board designs that work. Case in point the 5’6 asymmetrical tail and fin quad he fashioned for me.

It looked amazing but surely this thing won’t be as fun as my usual 5’10 Formula Energy Alien. Hell yes it was! Probably the greatest gift this board gave me was enhancing the sensation of feet to board, whilst nullifying some of that goal orientated surfing a more traditional thruster can have us chasing. Not to say I will be trading in my 6’2 thruster when Lennox hits overhead but in saying that alternative board shapes can work, and definitely have a place in my quiver.

Moving into part 3 of our Surfers Elbow series, below I have outlined some simple and functional elbow strengthening exercises. If you feel these are relevant for you please add them to your regular Yoga or surf fitness practice.

RELATED: Surf Fitness to Improve Your Surfing

Exercise 1: Forearm extensor strengthening

Begin with your forearm resting on a table and take hold of a 1-2kg dumbbell. If this is not accessible just take hold of a can of food or 1kg bag of flour.
With your palm facing the floor slowly lower your wrist towards the floor over a 3 second period.
Now extend or raise your wrist as far as you comfortably can over a 3 second period.
Repeat 15 times, 2 sets per session, 4 x per week.

Exercise 2: Forearm flexor strengthening
Complete as per the Forearm extensor strengthening except turn the hand over so the palm is facing towards the ceiling.
Repeat 15 times, 2 sets per session, 4 x per week.

Exercise 3: Radial/Ulna deviation
Complete as per the Forearm extensor strengthening except turn the hand over so the palm is facing sideways.
Repeat 15 times, 2 sets per session, 4 x per week.
Functional Strength Yoga Posture: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

Set up in pose of the child with arms straight, fingertips evenly spread.
Keep the hands in position as you rise onto your hands and knees.
Tuck the toes under and push through the arms to take the hips towards the ceiling.
Press through the base of your thumb and index fingers, roll your shoulders in (hide your arm pits from your neighbour) and relax the head completely.
Engage the core and tuck the front ribs in.
With each inhalation push through the hands and raise the hips towards the ceiling.
With each exhalation maintain the height of the hips and relax the heels towards the ground.
Hold 6-10 breaths.

I look forward to seeing you on the mat, or in the water!

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