Since around early August, except for a few days of good swell on a 6', I've been pretty much exclusively riding a 5'9". This is around 5-7 days every week, for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours or so. Around the same time I started having some pretty severe back pain, to the point where I was popping a hydrocodone and/or flexorall every other day. This was on top of 2 days of Yoga a week. I just chalked it up to the years and the mileage and kept shrugging off the wife's insistence to "go see a doctor" or her cousin the chiropractor. It was really mushy yesterday and I decided that for a change of pace I’d take out a longboard instead of the 5’9”. I got out of the water feeling pretty good. The day went on and I kept feeling fine. This morning the back pain’s gone or at least almost, much less than it’s been in weeks! Not what I was expecting, so I started thinking about if it was because of the change up in boards and if so what was I doing with the MegaMind that I wasn’t with the longboard? The answer was that I have to greatly increase the arch of back to keep the nose of the 5’9” out of the water while paddling. That’s all I can think of anyway. The short boards I’ve ridden my whole life have always run in the 6’-4” to 6’8” range. Even when I was teenager. I know that I don’t arch my back as much on them as I do on the 5’9"or even the 6'. It wasn’t until just the last couple of years that I got on the whole shorter, wider board band wagon. Anybody else experience this kind of problem with boards that are much shorter than your standard HPSB?
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Thread: Grovelers and back pain?
Sep 30, 2013, 09:07 PM #1
Grovelers and back pain?
Last edited by zaGaffer; Sep 30, 2013 at 09:12 PM.
Sep 30, 2013, 09:13 PM #2
I think you answered your own question, it's gotta be how much more you are arching your back. Since you're not going to stop riding grovelers, try pelvic thrusts before and after and see how you feel. If that doesn't work then burn a fatty down chug a 40 of Old E, if that don't work, go to the local J Spa.
Well, ZA, I think you did answer it spot on for yourself. I get some good back pain after groveling for a few days, and I always chalk it up to arching my back severely to keep the nose up when scratching to get in the wave. It takes that little extra arching of the back to keep the nose up and get some good paddle speed and get on plane for the take off. There are good pain relievers for this... That stinky green stuff, mmmmm..
I welcome that pain with open arms... it means we been surfing a lot on the old Atlantic Lake
Sep 30, 2013, 09:28 PM #5
My back used to go out a couple times a year. where the back and buttocks meet. I moved my wallet to the front pocket, no problems for 10 years. it took a few years to get used to it. I'd reach for my wallet in myy back pocket and get a shock not finding it.
You identified that it is the back arching required to ride the 5'9".
Curious when you say 2 days a week of yoga what postures you include? Do you try to do a balanced routine?
The body is a continuous chain, much of the time the pain shows at the weak point or the shear point, not necessarily the part of the body that is "out of whack"
The low back (lumbar area) is an area that breaks fairly often because other parts are not working right.
A couple things to look at are: how tight are your hamstrings? these are big ass muscles and can pull really hard and it can show up in low back pain.
Is your upper back (thoracic) or neck flexibility limited? If you are trying to lift your head as you paddle and the thoracic section of your spine isn't flexing all the curve is taken up in your lumbar causing excessive curve and pain
If I recall you write code for a living, being hunched over a computer can set up T-spine disfunction/immobility
Good luck finding the cause
Oct 1, 2013, 01:27 AM #7
You're complaining about riding a groveler 5-7 days a week meanwhile on the east coast we're surfing 5-7 days a month. You sir are a lucky man. It's like kids in America complaining about eating meatloaf, meanwhile kids in Africa are eating half a slice of bread once a week if they're lucky.
Guys, I've been get barreled so much lately that I'm losing my base tan.
Oct 1, 2013, 05:06 AM #9
Everything comes with a cost though, even surfing. This is my oldest board, I've had it since I was a teenager. I'm not much to look at either.
I'll tell ya, comes a point where pain management becomes a necessity, either that or you quit surfing. I'm the last of my old crew. Everybody else is too busy or taken up stand up paddling or body surfing or just moved away. you ask them the last time they paddled out, they can't tell you. Life gets in the way and surfing never gets easier, no matter how long you do it. You just get better at it; but at the same time, surfing will mess you up. It gives and it takes. In April of 2012 my father-in-law FIL, had four vertebrae in his upper back/neck fused. Looks like Frankenstein's monster these days. Surfing for 50 odd years and a couple of bad wipeouts at Todos Santos and the TJ Rive Slough, aka the Slooze for you EC guyz, had compressed his spinal column and caused pretty severe nerve damage or something like that, I'm not a doctor. I don't go to yoga class twice a week just cause I like pretty girls in tight pants, that's just a fringey. I do it so that I can drag my a$$ out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and keep up with guys half my age.
I'm not bragging about how much I surf, I live really close to the beach in San Diego. You'd live the same way, a lot of people do. I see a lot of the same faces everyday.
Honestly, I'm just wondering if any of the other more experienced (read other old farts who've not yet given into Lost's domesticated line and aren't riding on 40 or 50 liters) experienced any trouble in their lower backs when they started riding boards that where a lot shorter than they were used to. I'm wondering if it's a common pattern with this revival of short, fat boards. Nothing is new, just different.
Last edited by zaGaffer; Oct 1, 2013 at 05:11 AM.
I think this is the surfer's version of a humblebrag.