How do you surf while pregnant?
This is the question I've probably gotten almost as much as "Is it a boy or girl?" and "Are you still eating soy sauce on your cereal?" so I thought I'd answer it here too.
There are three main things that I would note from my experience of surfing during my pregnancy so far...
1. You must be an experienced surfer. Surfing isn't the safest sport, so it's not something you want to be doing while pregnant if you aren't very confident on a board and in the ocean.
2. Surf differently. In my experience it's not that hard to ride your regular boards and surf with friends whose abilities you are familiar and comfortable with in the beginning, but once the baby grows and rises past the protection of your pelvic bone (usually around three or four months), you have to start to rethink your approach completely. After my first trimester, I began looking into safer, softer boards with more volume. From probably four and a half or five months until my eighth month of pregnancy I've ridden a 5'10" fish from INT Softboards. It's been perfect because not only is the surface soft and forgiving, but it's longer, thicker and wider than my typical shortboard and has made catching waves easier. To avoid putting weight on my stomach, I've placed weight on my chest and knees. This makes paddling more difficult because your arms are farther out of the water and your weight is distributed differently, so a bigger board helps. That being said, I found it easier to paddle prone on a shortboard over a longboard since the tail sinks down, allowing more water to support my body. Later in my pregnancy I've knee paddled a 9'0" INT Longboard when it is small and now that I am nearing the end, I have begun body surfing instead of paddling out on a board most of the time. In summation, it's helped me to...
-Learn to paddle differently-
-Ride a safer board-
-Ride a board with more volume-
-Surf alone or with only a few people I trust-
3. Put your baby first. This is obvious, but I figure it's worth mentioning anyways. Sometimes when the waves are really good, it's tempting to revert to old habits of pushing yourself and not holding back even unintentionally because that is what feels more familiar to you.
+Have you or do you know anyone who has continued with a sport during pregnancy?
+Use the code mermaid20 to received 20% off INT Softboards!