Elise looking pretty calm, cool, and collected before paddling out for a surf. Photo: @littlebantamsurftrainer Credit: @thedrifterblog.

Elise looking pretty calm, cool, and collected before paddling out for a surf. Photo: @littlebantamsurftrainer Credit: @thedrifterblog.

The Inertia

The Bells Beach Pro is just getting started this week. Can you imagine what the top surfers in the world might be going through as they’re all waiting for the call? Pretty calm I imagine, after all, most of them have been doing this for a while now, and the pre-surf jitters before a heat have become part and parcel of being on the tour.

What about the rest of us? I don’t know about you but I get the pre surf jitters ALL THE TIME! Especially when I miss getting out in the water for a week or two. The minute I hit the carpark my heart lands in my throat, and I’m a fluttering mess: part excitement but mostly nerves! Yep, it feels pathetic. That being said it is totally normal amongst the majority of surfers whether you’re tackling big waves or about to graduate from the white wash to cruisey two foot peelers.


So to help you along, here’s my tips for MASTERING pre-surf jitters.




The minute you accept that the feeling isn’t going to go away, that it is what it is, you can find peace. Accept that you have the jitters, and the sooner you get out there the sooner they will go away.



Let go of expectations and comparisons. Owen Wright put it so well in a recent Instagram post. He said that he found that when he “started comparing it [surfing now, after a brain injury] to what I used to be like or what everybody else was doing out there…it started to ruin my experience.” Need I say more.


Make sure you’re ready to paddle out. In preparation, do strength and balance training, practice your pop-ups, improve your lunge capacity, make sure you’re hydrated, and stay on top of your recovery. The fewer anomalies you have to deal with the easier it will be!




No Toe Pop Ups

When you practice pop-ups on the floor, try NOT to engage your feet. Get up without using them, this is the closest thing to the real situation. Complete 3 sets X 15

Single Leg Tilts

Standing on one leg (knee bent), use the opposite hand to reach for the floor keeping your back straight, belly in. Tap and come back up. Complete 3 sets X 15 ea side

Foundation Tilts  

Inspired by the Foundation Training system, with arms stretched out above the head tilt forward from the hips ONLY bending slightly in the knees. Then lift up engaging the Glutes to lift. Check out the Foundation Training system for more details.


Complete 3 sets X 10

(These moves and more found at SurfStyleTraining.com.au)



Most of the top surfers have a competition-day routine in place. They have a schedule of little things, normal things that they do each day to put themselves in the right mindset for a heat. I’m not saying you need to go by the book, but have one or two things you do before you check the surf that makes you feel comfortable. It helps.




-Wake up

-Have a glass of water and my supplements

-Meditate for 10-15 minutes

-Run through 3 Breath Enhancement Exercises

-Get Dressed


-Enjoy breakfast (Oats, Yogurt + Berries OR Eggs, Avo + Turkey)

-Drink more water and head out the door



Surround yourself with good vibes and all will be right. Surfing is suppose to be fun: an adventure shared with friends. Rather than tackling it on your own, go out with your mates. Then you’ve got someone to laugh it off with when you kook your next wave!



For more information + workout videos to help you improve your surfing and fitness from the comfort of your own home, sign up for a Surf Style Training membership to claim a FREE 14 Day Trial available NOW!

For more health and fitness tips from the author go to Little Bantam Facebook page as well as their Instagram


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