Endurance Is Insurance -- Improve Your Paddling Endurance
Have you ever missed a wave because you were too tired? Have you ever fumbled your takeoff because your arms felt like wet noodles? Arm fatigue or lack of padding endurance is a top complaint of many surfers. A high wave count surf session demands good surf fitness, but the sporadic nature of surfing can leave some surfers undertrained and out of gas when they need it most.
Enter the Power Stroke Cord. Developed by surfers for surfers, this bungee resistance system lets you perform exercises that mimic the paddling movement.
THE TECHNICAL STUFF
First, a quick breakdown of the surfer's paddling movement. A surfer's paddle stroke has five phases: entry, catch, pull, finish, and recovery. It is important to get the proper resistance for each phase of the paddling movement. The following three exercises will help develop endurance and improved biomechanics for all five phases of the paddling movement. It is recommended that all exercises be done with high repetitions to work on endurance. Suggested repetition count is 30 to 50 reps per set, and 1 to 3 sets based on your ability. For maximum benefit, complete each set with little rest between sets.
1. Standing Pull
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, back straight, with a hinge at your hips. Have your hands in the handles in front of your shoulders. The top part of the movement simulates your hand entering the water. Have your palms down and wrists slightly flexed. Keep your elbows slightly bent as you simulate catching water and propelling your surfboard. Pull to your hips and hold for a moment, keeping your shoulder blades pulled down and back. Keep resistance on the bands as you reverse the motion, and then repeat.
2. High Elbow Row
Stand with tall posture and your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp the handles and straighten your arms in front of your shoulders. Pull your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause for a moment, and then return to the start position. This movement helps get your arms out of the water as you recover back to the entry phase.
3. Triceps Push
With the same stance as the Standing Pull, lock your arms close to your sides and bend your elbows. Press back to your hips, working on the finishing phase of your stroke. Resist the band as you bend your elbows back to the starting position, and then repeat.
Solid paddling endurance is great for year-round surfing, but make sure you boost your training if your surf zone is flat or you can't get in the water often. If you are heading off on a surf trip, remember that you must get fit for your trip. It's a total bummer to miss sessions in perfect surf because of poor conditioning.
Stay healthy, and we'll see you in the water!
Disclaimer: Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. The suggestions here are in no way intended to substitute for medical advice.