I'll say it outright: I don't like to work out. That's one reason I love surfing and skateboarding -- they're sports that are both fun and good exercise. But when I paddle out a quarter-mile to make it to the break, or skate a few miles to the park, and at the end I'm out of breath and out of energy...something is wrong. Maybe just surfing and skating isn't enough to do the sports I love well?
Every athlete conditions for his or her respective sport, and so it only makes sense that we should too. Here are a some conventional (and a little unconventional) ways to get in shape to shred.
Core Strength: Your core is essential to balance, which is essential to boardsports. Good ways to work out your core are yoga, planks, pushups, v-sits and supermans. Having a medicine ball helps, or you could just use a skateboard like my friend Kyle does in the Skatercise video below:
Anaerobic Exercise: Anaerobic is about high-intensity exertion for a short amount of time. This is helpful in boardsports because you are realistically only surfing for a few seconds each wave. I've also heard pro vert skaters describe competition skating as akin to sprinting for 2-3 minutes straight, which fits, because sprinting is a good anaerobic exercise. Also try box jumps and weight lifting.
Indo Board: These things are a fun way to exercise and build balance. It's basically a board on top of a PVC pipe, with wood to stop the board from falling off. It's a great help for walking up and down long boards, as well as any balance-oriented sport, and you can do it while watching surf flicks!
Strength Training: Everything listed above will help with this, but sometimes you need to target specific muscles. For surfing, a big one I struggle with is shoulder and back strength (for paddling). I found a great blog on several ways to strengthen those areas here, as well as the video below:
As we're heading into summer, I know I will certainly be trying some of these methods to get ready for as much surfing as possible. Hopefully these tips will help you too!
Have any more fitness and conditioning tips? Share below!
[Always, with any exercise, don't try anything you're not comfortable with, and never without proper supervision. It's easy to damage, but hard to repair.]