Every surfer wants to surf better, the better you surf the more fun surfing is. Surfing will always be the best way to improve your surfing because surfing is a specific skill. However surfers are athletes (all surfers) and athletes always do some physical conditioning to help their bodies deal with the forces of the sport, correct imbalances that sports causes, to work on specific weaknesses, injury prevention, and of course, to improve performance, mobility, body-awareness, strength and power. This could be loosely called health and fitness, (in relation to surfing).
Athletes like Kelly slater and Mick Fanning combine these traits perfectly, this translates into the ability to flow with grace, power and speed. Allowing their bodies to do whatever their creativity perceives possible. Have you ever envisioned yourself performing a certain way in the water and your body just didn’t have the mobility or strength to recover from the awkward position you managed to get into, the power to hold your fins in the water or the balance to stay on your board? Athletes like slater and fanning are somewhat genetically gifted, but also have had to train to become as consistently good as they are.
Surfing is unlike any other sport. In fact it is one of the most physically demanding. Although not a contact sport, those that have had a decent wipe out in heavy 8ft + surf know that sometimes it can feel like one. A tail slide in the pocket of a 4ft reef break wall demands dynamic balance, super leg and core strength, and every bit of functional mobility you have. Watch closely next time you view slater in a surf video and take note of the awkward positions he gets into, all the while maintaining perfect poise, travelling super fast and sending spray everywhere.
Training is not just for experienced surfers wanting to get to the next level, beginners and those looking to learn actually benefit the most from training as they have more room for improvement. Every surfer can benefit from training!
1-4 hours of training per week can make a big difference in your surfing and your health.