Surfing is probably more difficult than a lot of people believe and to be a good surfer, a strong body is definitely necessary. You have to manage tough situations in the water when it’s a rough day and you have to paddle and paddle until you reach the line-up. It can get truly heavy and really hard.
In my training schedule that I have designed for this project, I use as efficient workouts as possible, starting this week and goes on throughout the 13 weeks until I fly to Morocco. I will base my training on three photos on different surfers that I find representing the three main-parts in surfing that I want to improve within. They will focus on Strength, Flexibility/Technique and Balance, since I also believe that they are three major parts in order to improve your physical capability in surfing. However the three of them interact with each other and some exercises will include two or even all three of the focus-areas. This is because you need all three of them in every movement in surfing; I just divided my training schedule into parts to simplify it.
Throughout these 13 weeks I will gradually increase my training, with three or four weeks at a time, starting with about 4-4,5 hours training peer week. I am trying to keep the training as efficient as possible, since I believe being at the gym for two hours doesn’t have to be better than doing real efficient workouts for half an hour.
I find all my information and inspiration from either my surf instructors from lapoint or from some videos, movies, pictures or surf magazines.
So of course strength is a key word when it comes to training for surfing. Strength is important not only when you paddle, (and your paddling needs to be good otherwise you’ll never be a good surfer,) but also your explosive pop-ups require god strength in upper-body muscles. Furthermore strength is overall important in surfing, you need strong legs to control your board and body-movement and a strong core to be able to make desired maneuvers.
A few examples on exercises:
– Intervallflex, which is a great group-training at my gym. The first half hour we do interval training with explosive workouts, followed by the second half hour where we focus on the body’s flexibility. Perfect for surfing.
– Soul-surfer (you know the movie?), which is an exercise me and my sister tried and realized it was really good. You stand straight up, one person is holding your feet to the ground. The person standing up then bends the knees, lies down, does a sit-up in order to get speed to stand up again, without using her arms. Difficult to describe and even more difficult to do.
– Paddle on a board, any type of board doesn’t matter. Good for arms and technique.
The second of my three focus-areas is Flexibility/Technique, which is definitely also required in every movement you do. For example you need good technique when doing the pop-up otherwise you will miss the opportunity to catch the wave, which after all is the main part in surfing and also the most fun part! Catching a wave is the reason why we paddle so hard and the reason why some people get so angry in the line-up if you are in their way.
Furthermore you also need good technique when you paddle, you need to flick your hand at the end of every stroke in order to get speed, and this is what one of my instructors at lapoint told me. I had been paddling so hard for so long and then he told me this little technique part to keep in mind, at it went way better after that! This is what efficient technique and surf training is all about, to find small things to work on and you see big improvements.
Some examples on exercises:
– Snake, I will try and practice on my body-movement that is required when you do a duck-dive.
– Side-to-side, this exercise we did first time I was in Morocco and it’s about flexing your body sideways while strengthening your core muscles. You hold a weight and move it from side-to-side with straight arms and when in the middle you put it between your feet.
– Flex, a slow and not sweaty class at the gym, however efficient. Flexing your body in different positions.
The third and last part is Balance, a thing you don’t necessarily practice on when you go out running or so but something that is as important in surfing as the other parts. If you don’t have good balance you will first of all not be able to lay and paddle on your board, of course depending on how big board you have, a small one requires way more balance, and second of all you won’t be able to stand up properly on your board. This of course is important and therefore I chose to have it as my third focus-area within my exercising.
Examples on exercising:
– Balance-board, to stand on this one for a few minutes each time, stand on one leg at a time, gradually make more complex exercises on it.
– Yoga, if there are any good yoga classes at the gym I will do those since yoga is a lot about balance.
– Longboarding, grabbing my board and skate on the streets. Similar movements as in surfing.
– SUP, I will try and stand up on my windsurfing board and do my own Standup-paddling.
I do certainly not have all these strengths and techniques but that is the reason why I designed this schedule – to develop. I just want to get better that’s all.