The Importance of Correct Compression In Surfing

Myth: Barbell squatting instead of a knocked knee lunge

Compression is one of the three fundamental movements in surfing.

A common error is locked straight knees which lead to an awkward, fully-upright stance, especially on the drop. Another mistake is to bend the back instead of the knees. This results in a squatting ‘poo-man’ stance. Either of these movements will render the rider off balance and hinder their twisting and leaning (the other two fundamental movements). So when we think about compression in surfing it is important we bend our knees and think of it as a lunging motion rather than a squatting motion.

Most surfers look at themselves on video or in a photo and don’t like what they see. One of the main underlying factors is body positioning. The person looking at the photo can’t visualise the progression of the move. This normally happens because you have bent your back as opposed to your knees. If you bend your knees, you can jump, you can pop, you can duck and there are endless possibilities as to what you can do. But if you bend your back you can’t see where you are going, you’re off balance and the surfing tends to look ugly.

All the best, most photogenic surfers bend that back knee forward to touch the front knee. Think Tom Curren, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Craig Anderson. This stance looks like a sprinter poised to project their body forward. In surfing terms, the bent knees catapult the rider onwards and into the next manoeuvre.

Insight: Think Lunging (Sprinter Stance), Not Barbell Squatting (Weightlifter)  

 

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