Spatial awareness, proprioception
10-15 years ago aerial surfing was seriously gaining momentum by surfings elite as a new and exciting way of riding waves. Nowadays aerials are a common occurrence at local beaches all over Australia. In the right conditions pro surfers can routinely pull previously risky airs in competition without much fuss.
Most average to above average surfers have tried an air at some stage just to see what it’s like. There’s something about being air borne that’s really exciting. Generally, getting air is the easy part…all you need is speed and a steep enough lip to get some lift. Part 2 however is a completely different story. Having the poise, composure and even courage to land an air successfully is a huge challenge. If you’ve ever injured yourself whilst trying to land an air, the thought of having another crack at it can be pretty threatening.
So…is there anything you can do to improve your moves above the lip?
Yeah there is!
Proprioception is the bodies ability to notice where it is in space. When you are airborne, upside down, or spinning, your body has an amazing ability to recognise where the ground/water is, and what needs to happen to get there safely.
Our Proprioceptive system is highly trainable which means landing airs or even radical manoeuvrers can be seriously enhanced.
For high level surfing, trampolining can provide huge benefits. Becoming familiar and comfortable with being airborne will pay off in the surf, especially when landing or completing big moves. A high quality landing occurs when forces are evenly distributed throughout the body.
In the photo above Nic Mushcroft is going for height (on the trampoline) whilst also committing to a rapid change in the shape of his body. Similar to a “Method Air” in skate boarding.