4 Ways to Improve Your Surfing Now
While competitive surfing has been around for some time, the whole thought of “training” outside the water is really starting to take hold. Surfers are partnering up with Fitness Coaches that come from many different backgrounds, with hopes of producing the next champion. Surf athletes are now training very similarly to the way conventional sports have been for many years (how do the pros train?). I constantly see 4 ways to improve your surfing now with these easy techniques.
While the benefits of training cannot be argued, it's the methods currently making their way around the surf world and social media that are questionable at best. If there is one thing that stands out to be as an experienced Fitness Coach, it is always easy to tell by looking at an athlete what they should or should not be focusing on. Most of the mistakes I see is people performing exercises that are way above their level.
Now, this isn't another one of those posts where I sit here and bash everyone else to make me look smarter than them. Instead, I would like to offer up 4 ways to improve your surfing now.
Learn to Master Basic Body-weight Movements before you add Resistance (weight).
This principle is much like surfing itself. One does not simply paddle out and get barreled, or stand on a podium early in their surf career. You must build your way up to that. Fitness Training is much the same. If you cannot master the basics with no weights, your surf progression will suffer and most likely, work against you. Squatting, Jumping, Hinging (bending at the waist) and rotating the upper body are the 4 most commonly used movements in the act of surfing. Get good at those in the gym and it will pay big returns in your progression. FREE basic body-weight workout here
Man or Woman, everyone should be training with weights, HEAVY WEIGHTS.
When it comes to power, you can try and try something in the water as much as you want, it wont change the speed in which it happens. True Power comes from Strength. The stronger you are, the more force you can put out and the more force your body can absorb. Don't waste your time with the paper weights in your hands. Get strong and be ready for anything a wave can throw at you.
Get off the BOSU (or unstable surface).
The common theory of the BOSU ball is this: “It takes balance to stand up on there and it's wobbly just like a surfboard when you ride it, therefore it's almost like being on a surfboard”. THIS COULD NOT BE ANY FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. When a surfboard is in motion, it is completely stable and is only capable of rocking side to side, that's it. If you really want to train your balance , start with standing on one foot and moving your body around. Then close your eyes, later stand on a cushion, etc. Make sure everything is under control and there is no shaking in your ankle, knee, leg and hip.
Only train in the GYM what you cannot while surfing.
There is no way better to improve your surfing skills than surfing alone. This is why most of your time spent on balance and surf skills should be done in the water, while surfing. When you train out of the water, your workout should be fully programmed to improve things you lack in your current physical state. The one thing you can't train while surfing is Strength (see #2 above if you need the reason again). Since you should not be spending as much time in the gym as a surf athlete, just concentrate on getting stronger. Your progression will speak for itself in your riding.
If you are currently fitness training in addition to surfing, it's time to take a look at what you are doing and decide if it is helping you or not. Implementing the 4 simple principles above into your own training will pay big dividends you should notice in just a few shorts weeks. Once you have the basics down, the skills can be built on top of them much easier and quicker.
Remember: There is no end game and training never ends, only evolves.
See you in the Water.