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surfing archetypes – the stretcher and his routines

Yes this is an exaggeration, the big Woody Allen sleeper ball and all, ridiculous. Plus the matching footlog, there are better ways to practice your backhand.


Generally speaking there are about three groups of surfers. The ones who get out in the pre-dawn dark, the ones who hope for an hour before work, and the ones who wander down after breakfast and spend about a half-hour doing stretch exercises on the beach. Everybody else is a loser and beyond inclusion. Try golf. Bugger off.

We are concerned here with number three, the exercise guy, hard to fathom his priorities but we’ll give it a shot.

Now stretching and pulling yourself this way and that is a fine way to start the day, all that metabolic and cardiovascular routine. Apparently it stimulates brain growth, strengthens immune systems, combats obesity, prevents depression, battles diabetes, beats insomnia, enhances erection time, wins babes in bars,  – all those nifty opioid peptides ripping around in there doing good. Can’t beat that. Lovely.

Can’t beat sex either, also lovely, but done in the privacy of a darkened room with good sound cover. All the muscles covered and everyone is having fun.

There is the common view that the ^ chaps who insist on doing their extremely long and complicated exercise routines prior to taking on a few waves are in fact a little neglected in the conjugal situation as it were, ie; morning glory* deprived. I remember walking past Mark Warren one morning at south Avalon as he was rooting away in the sand and purely as a gesture of brotherly goodwill I asked him if he was gettinany. Lovely fellow, apparently not. Pity.

What defies common sense is that while the ^ laddie is running through his repertoire of ankles, calves, knees, thighs, abdominals, chest, arms, shoulders, neck and ears, the waves are not exactly going unrewarded. Every man and his dog is running past him on their way out the back and he’s wanking around on the sand pretending that the Queenscliff two-foot slop he’s preparing for is the equivalent of ten foot low-tide Backdoor**

Now I’ve watched these blokes (you think that I can put this stuff together without solid research?) for a quite some time and have yet to understand why they insist on doing their routines in front of everyone – you want exhibitionism you should buy a ticket to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – yet there they are getting in everyone’s way flexing parts of their bodies that would be better off covered with a pair of trousers. There’s a homophobic parallel there somewhere. Thomas … ?

The other great mystery is why the only blokes you will ever see exercising on the beach look like they don’t need it. When was the last time you saw some overweight 45+ mal rider pull his left ankle over his right ear ..?  Doesn’t happen, cannot happen – they just walk past and by the time the Body Beautiful has finished his stuff they all have about ten waves under their belts.

Bring back the surfer

* morning glory – sex before breakfast

** a tidy little beach break in Hawaii

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sex before surf weakens the legs – but broadens the smile… Life’s all about choices…

    December 6, 2011
  2. I don’t stretch, I get hurt… I can’t afford another dislocated shoulder…

    December 6, 2011
    • yeah, I get that – but surely it’s all wasted after 5 minutes in cold water – and especially when you have to sit out a 20 minute lull

      December 6, 2011
      • Seaman Staines #

        I was told by a professional rugby league coach that the injury preventing benefits of stretching are all but a myth and you won’t find them stretching at all, warming up the muscles is the way to go hence the exercycles on the sidelines for the reserves.

        December 6, 2011
      • I continually stretch my shoulder while out in the surf. I think different things work for different people.

        All i know is, the 4 times I haven’t stretched since first injuring it, I have hurt it again.

        So I’m going to keep stretching, even though I may look like a twat. It’s better than looking longingly at the ocean, wishing I had stretched.

        December 6, 2011
  3. YES !! I can see it – a retractable housing on the bottom of the board that, at the flick of a switch, opens and disgorges a pair of cable connected stirrups that can be fitted over your feet and there you have it – surfercycles.

    Remarkable how the great ideas come out of the blue.

    December 6, 2011
  4. joe green #

    drink a beer.smoke a joint.relax the way god intended.

    December 6, 2011

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