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EVER wondered what it would take to become an elite surfer?


Bond University assistant professor of physiotherapy James Furness has pulled the curtain back on the attributes that the world's best surfers have and how they stack up against recreational riders.


Furness completed a PHD in which he profiled a group from the World Surf League's Qualifying Series and some weekend warriors.


"We have data now on range of motion, strength, body composition and we can use that information to benchmark against the general public," Furness said.


"We discovered the key movements that professional surfers had in terms of a greater range of motion or strength.


"The internal rotation of the hips was greater in the elites and their ankle mobility was better.


"The shoulders were very similar and the body fat was similar in the competitive surfers.


"The tests involved simple measurements around height.


We also put them on a machine which runs a small and safe electrical current through the body.


"When it meets resistance like fat or muscle tissue, it can and it gives us a profile for each person in terms of percentages.


"We took their blood pressure and did a few range of motions tests, looking at specific movements you need for surfing.


"We know you need good ankle mobility and thoracic mobility to generate torque for turning manoeuvres and good hip rotation for turning." Furness set up the same tests for the study at Snapper Rocks when the Gold Coast Pro was on earlier this month to allow recreational surfers to find out how they could improve their own surfing.


THE NUMBERS: Thoracic rotation (degrees): Competitive: 64 Recreational: 56 Hip (degrees): Competitive: 30 Recreational: 25 Shoulders (degrees): Competitive: 94 Recreational: 49 Ankle (cm): Competitive: 13 Recreational: 17

Period24 May 2022

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