Paddle Fitness – Swim

Water is a surfers element, we spend most of our time paddling so improving your paddle power and fitness is key.

Wear good quality googles and ear plugs as public pools can harbor nasty chemicals and germs.

Freestyle swimming is about as close to paddling a surfboard you can get. If you local pool will let you take your board in even better, or use a bodyboard.

As far as technique goes it would be good for you to get a lesson. Total Immersion coaches are held in high regard.

Below are some ideas for swim fitness protocols:


2-3 x per week

1, Warm up: 400 meters, nice and smoothly, not too quick, not too slow. This is to warm and loosen up  your body.

2, Rest 2mins, breath.

3, Short quick sprints:  8 x 25m, (or 4 x 50m) each one as quick as you can, with a 20 second break between each 25m. (or 40 sec every 50m)

4,  Take another rest. 2-3mins

5, 5 x 100m, smooth, strong and powerful. 40-60sec rest between each 100m.

6, Take another rest. 2-3mins

7, 6 x 50m, with a 20-30 sec rest between each. Again smooth, strong and powerful.

8, Roll right into a slow “warmdown” 100m, swim very gently, mix it up, here. Some freestyle, some breaststroke etc.

9, Drink plenty of water. And have a healthy meal after.

When your fitness levels exceed this then its time to step it up:


1, Warm up: 400 meters, nice and smoothly, not too quick, not too slow. This is to warm and loosen up  your body.

2, Rest for 1-2mins

3, 10 x 50m, first five rest 2mins every 50m, second five rest 1min. Strong smooth and powerful. Push hard.

4, Rest 2-3mins

5, 10 x 50m, first five on 1 min, second five on 45 seconds.

6, Rest 2mins max

7, 8 x 25m UNDERWATER, each on 1 min rest.

8, 6×50, Each 50 on 1min rest.

9, Rest 2mins.

10, Swim the remaining 500m at a nice consistent pace, focusing on smooth technique. Cool down on the last 100.

Drink and eat.

If you can get through this a handful of times then your swim fitness will improve dramatically, and paddle fitness and strength will soar.

Find a training partner for this to motivate each other!


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