Whether you feel like your surfing has hit a plateau or you just want to keep your body in shape during the week when you can’t get in the water, having a surf fitness regime will really help. Surfing is a demanding sport, even if you tend to stick to riding the small stuff on a longboard. To surf well you need strong core strength, coordination and balance. If you prefer big waves you’ll need a strong paddling ability and high lung capacity to recover from the inevitable wipeouts. No matter what types of waves you prefer to ride or what size board you use, good fitness will really pay off when you’re out in the line-up. Here are a few tools that can help you to keep in shape for the surf and catch more waves.
Cardio and Balance Training is Core to Surf Fitness
Good cardio-vascular fitness and balance training go a long way in keeping you wave-ready, so laps in the pool, a half-hour ride on an exercise bike or a work-out on a rowing machine will all help. Keeping your balance in check can be achieved in a few ways, and there is a great surf specific device to use called the Indo Board. Easy to use anywhere, hopping on the Indo Board every day will work wonders for your balance. You could even try your hand at skateboarding if you don’t already skate. Skateboarding uses the same core muscles as used in surfing, so is a great way to train. You don’t have to be hitting the ramps in the skatepark, just a gentle hill skate with long carving turns is enough. Z-Flex Cruisers and Sunset Skateboards are great for this.
Training Like a Pro
If you want to take it a step further then you could use the advice of pro surfers to really regiment your training programme. Joel Parkinson recently released a training programme he created with Wes Berg, a renowned Iron Man winner, and you can download the Joel Parkinson Pro Surf Training app to see the fitness regime Parko used to win the WCT in 2012. The app shares over 150 surf specific exercises to try out, and has 30 different pre-loaded programs for you to follow. It also helps you to focus on particular areas of your body or surfing that you want to improve. A number of training programmes endorsed by pro surfers have emerged over the years, but to date this new app looks like the best out there, so give it a try.
Nothing Better Than a Surf
While keeping your surf fitness in check is important, nothing will improve your surfing more than getting out there in the water and actually surfing! So go for a wave every chance you get, and your surfing will improve. When it’s flat take advantage of the downtime to work on aspects of your surfing that need improving, whether it be paddle power or board balance, and you should soon start noticing the difference.