The Stab Guide To Fitness
Words by Tom Fjord… Don’t look at Stab like that. What, it’s lame to look after the physical form? Maybe stressing your fitness ain’t so cool. But a ragged has-been who falls apart at 40 and can’t surf, youth’s sweet ink stretching with his flaccid cellulite ‘til it’s illegible, bent and bitter and sputtering… that […]
Words by Tom Fjord…
Don’t look at Stab like that. What, it’s lame to look after the physical form?
Maybe stressing your fitness ain’t so cool. But a ragged has-been who falls apart at 40 and can’t surf, youth’s sweet ink stretching with his flaccid cellulite ‘til it’s illegible, bent and bitter and sputtering… that ain’t so cool, either.
Mike Ho is cool. Brother Andino is cool. Surfing better, looking and feeling fine for the ages — that’s cool. So put your weapons down and let’s live good, yeah?
This is Stab’s primer on adequate fitness and the joys thereof. Pick your activity and tune up, because baby, you’re worth it!
OK, one, bikes are hipper than high-waist jeans right now. Two, petrol cost is higher than high-waist jeans right now. Three… ever seen a surfer’s legs? Spindly pipes wouldn’t even fill out some high-waist jeans right now.
So pedal, man! Do hills and sprints for power and that savory cardio burn. Plus, redwood thighs that make above-knee trunks nearly tear at the seams. Look at you!
See, the surf body tends to diminish as it nears the ground: strong up top, weak down low — and low is where the power for Occ-turns comes from. Cyclists’ bodies are the opposite. Maybe there’s opportunity here.
Core. CORE! Laird Hamilton’s bedroom safe word. Indeed, “slamming one’s core” sports a bit of a jock connotation. Stab must agree.
But get past the fitness mags and yogilates and you’ve got a pretty worthy concept: buffing up your central musculature helps twist through carves, stave off back pain, and turn your whole torso into a chiseled pillar of iron and capitalism.
There’s full Kama Sutras’ worth of positions to help with this but you can go far just with various planks in your living room when no one’s around. Yoga’s good too. Embrace the core!
Exercise trend of the decade, f’sure. Militaristic self-abuse in just 20 minutes a day. Hot both with average chubs who want a transformation and athletes seeking pleasure in pain.
Here’s the cheat sheet: heavy weight-lifts and movements done fast and hard. The workouts don’t last long but the hurt does. If y’want explosive strength and power, and are short on time, and love the smell of napalm in the morning, then by all means have a go. Stab warns, though: the Crossfit mascot is a clown called Pukie, depicted spewing from exertion. We sorta prefer a good surf, ourselves.
Y’may rightly regard this quasi-sport as the worst bits of surfing all distilled and extended, like a morning after with no one-night stand. Like a chair lift with no ski run. Like golf with no hole.
But in surfing the best paddlers catch the most waves, and you want to be that. Plus they get that wide V-shaped super bod chicks want to writhe under.
So sure, pass if there’s swell on — but when it’s flat? Paddleboarding just might be your gig.
Stab’s gotta say, there’s something primal about just up and running the fuck outta there, wherever it is. No equipment, no partner, no body of water required. Just float through the streets blasting Stillmatic while office-bound donut fiends look on with spite and envy. Good for the heart, too.
That’s the upside. On the other hand, running totally sucks.
Nat Young, not quite pumping iron.
Near-exclusively the work of men who wanna look hot naked. Now, Stab ain’t judge nor jury, so if that’s your goal, pump away.
But we will humbly propose that a surfer who doesn’t look good nude either isn’t surfing enough, is overly generous to his local Maccas, or is cursed with most pitiful genetics and should pen a stern memo to his folks. Iron is the extreme solution.
Defenders of the gym will cry “strength,” but honey, deadlifting crazy plates is a recipe for tight, tired muscles that don’t wanna surf later. Or the next day. Or the next three days if you lift heavy. For strength try chin-ups in a park and push-ups in the grass. Bodyweight squats and plyometrics for the legs. But when your training holds back your surf sessions you’ve officially jumped the rails.
A Gray, Wassell, Doz, Dunfee.
Swimming’s bad for no man, but it’s an absolute must for one particular sort: The tortured soul living hours from a coast, who doesn’t surf often but wants to keep tuned for when the chance arrives.
To such a man Stab says: Swim. Swim like your unborn kids on their first egg hunt. It’s the best physical approximation for surfing, gets you in the water, works the whole unit, and won’t blast your joints like running or land sports. Y’know Curren used to swim hard back in his prime? And Clay Marzo was a state champ? And Kolohe put in daily laps for his ankle rehab last year? Swim.
So good for your surfing and general quality of life that it ought be state mandated.
But beyond the ample benefits to body and mind…y’ever been to a yoga class? Y’ever seen so many fit, healthy gals, skin out, panting and contorted? Short of a swingers party this is truly your best chance. Believe the hype.
Wanna see king-of-zen Dave Rastovich’s entire yoga routine? Roll over here.
Ah, this mahfakka. Do we even gotta? Already you surf more than your strained relations and flagging on-job performance would suggest is responsible, right? Keep truckin’, tiger. Too much is never enough.
Surfing. More benefits than can be listed here. Fights acne and ugliness. Strong back and shoulders. Vitamin D from the sun. No sweating. And never before hath exercise been so cleverly masked as pure hedonic fun.
John John Florence, first surf back from injury. Reckon that ankle healed up from JJ sitting on the couch? Na-ah! Photo: LaserWolf
Go on now, there’s a million ways to complement your surf habit with pleasurable motion. Explore them! For the modern gent who both enjoys and looks after himself.
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