Are You Surf Fit?

What does surf fit even mean?

Lets look at the word fitness and apply it to surfing.

Fitness noun the condition of being physically fit and healthy: disease and lack of fitness are closely related’

‘Biology an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment:if sharp teeth increase fitness, then genes causing teeth to be sharp will increase in frequency’ (oxford dictionary)

And from etymonline:

Fit: “be suitable,” probably from early 15c.; “to be the right shape,”

An example of ‘Surf Fitness’ could be:

Tube riding: Too ‘fit’ inside the wave; you need to be the right shape to be inside the confined space. To have control and awareness of your bodies position and movement. Your body also needs to ‘fit’ the required shapes needed to efficiently absorb any physical demands the ocean may present you with. This requires the right mobility, strength and awareness to enable the creative expression you deserve. Just as a dancer strives to express a particular choreography to ‘fit’ the visual representation, or as a martial artist will shape his fist and arm to insure safety and power, we too as surfers must biomechanicaly ‘fit’ the movement demands of surfing.

CrossFit is said to be ‘the sport of fitness’ –  They define fitness as: ‘Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains‘ – ‘Work capacity‘ meaning how much you can do, ‘broad time‘ meaning short, middle or long time frames, & ‘broad modal domains‘ meaning varied activities. A good definition, but of course this is in relation to CrossFit. i.e. the fittest crossfitter is not the fittest surfer.

Now lets apply the same definition to surf fitness: ‘Work capacity‘ – how much can you surf; how many waves can you catch, how turns can you do on one wave etc. ‘Broad time‘ – can you surf in short bursts i.e. 20 min heats, middle distance surfing – surf for hours, and of course everyones favorite – multiple surfs in 1 day. ‘Broad modal domains‘ – varied conditions; big, small, fast, fat, hollow, onshore etc. A good definition of an all round surfer and I am sure you would agree that being ‘surf fit’ is a worthy goal!

So to be surf fit is to be able catch lots of waves in any conditions, all day, and maintain your speed power and flow.

Training for surfing should include:

1. Fundamental and ‘functional’ human movement patterns. i.e. squats, pull-ups, push-ups.

2. Surf-specific exercise, or exercises that ‘look’ like surfing and that break down the movement patterns of surfing with the intention to integrate the isolated movements into graceful and improvised surf choreography (surfing). i.e. Surf squats, pop-up push-ups, bottom turn dead-lifts.

3. Breath work (for big waves) If you want to get surf fit this year then come and train with at Manly Beach and at High Performance Surf Centre (HPSC) in Dee Why, Sydney.

Phone 0424 787 343 for more details.

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One response to “Are You Surf Fit?

  1. Pingback: 3 Things Surf Coaches Need To Know About Performance | Surf Health and Fitness - Surf Training - Move Better, Surf better·

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