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How to Quickly Improve Surfing Fitness for Competition
Before you think this post may not be relevant to you… all surfers are in competition with themselves when they paddle out… and most of us can benefit from the surfing fitness tips at the bottom of this page because we typically want to pull off powerful turns and be seen in the eyes of others as good surfers…
Before we jump into the surfing exercises lets quickly go over how the current ASP judging criteria is set out. At least, this is what I think is current… does anyone really know with the ASP?
ASP Judging Criteria – Will Surfing Fitness Help?
* Usually 5 ASP judges score each wave between 0 and 10 Points.
* Of those 5 scores (per wave) the highest and lowest scores get dropped.
* The remaining 3 scores (per wave) get divided by 3 to give a total wave score.
* Higher score winners in each heat move into the next rounds, knocking out surfers as they go, until only two surfers battle it out in the final. ( A bit like a Tennis Grand Slam)
Generally speaking judges look for;
Power & Speed
Rhythm or Flow
Variety & Difficulty (Of each maneuver in steep sections of waves)
Speed and Improvisation
On the ASP World Tour a certain amount of points get awarded based on each surfers results, and when the world tour wraps up, each competitor’s two worst event scores are thrown out.
Remaining points are tallied up and the World Champion is announced…
So… how can your training improve your surfing fitness so that you can score big?
SURFING FITNESS: SURF TRAINING SECRETS
1) Train in the surf specifically for short specific intensities and practice specific movements you need or want to master. Perform 20 – 30 Min intense surf sessions (Just Go Surf) followed by a 15 Min wind down on the beach with some goal work, reflection and re-hydration time. Repeat this 3 x. This is one of the quickest way to quickly improve your competition surfing fitness – especially if the waves are on. Force yourself to perform at your best on each wave.
2) Know your strengths and know your weaknesses. With surfing it is always good to play your strengths yet many surfers forget to focus on building their surfing weaknesses. How is your back hand, air game, small wave surfing, big wave surfing; what ever it is… we all have preferences and strengths and we all have weaknesses. All round surfers have a knack for improving and working on what they need to work on… you can too.
3) Paddle Fitness is key for free surfing enjoyment and competition, so each time you surf use the first 20- 30 minutes to work on speed and power paddling. Catch as many waves as possible and surf your brains out on each wave – even take waves that may close-out or possibly put you where you do not want to be (not advisable if the surf is heavy and huge) however on smaller days this method quickly forces you to ‘get out of the impact zone’ by training your cardiovascular system and developing speed and paddle power which will carry over into better surfing fitness. Just remember to keep your head and body still and focus on powering through with your arms and having a high elbow with each stroke.
Obviously faster more efficient paddlers means getting back into position faster and gives you more time for wave selection and getting priority as both a free surfer or competitor.
4) Power, rhythm and flow; get these ingrained into your DNA. Golf, martial arts, dancing, gymnastics for surfers, skateboarding, snowboarding can all help with your surfing training and performance conditioning. All are fun and easy to do and all quickly carry over into your surfing. Many of these sports or disciplines also allow for innovation which is also scored when surfing. So… Just Go Surf… on everything…
4) Surfing is a lot like golf. It’s all about consistency. The more consistent you are with your performance the more likelihood of getting consistently higher scores. If your surfing game is inconsistent judges know this and their subconscious minds click in with ‘doubts’ on every wave they judge you on. So consistently choose good waves, surf all out and know that your highest score will be dropped. When you think about it – getting a perfect score for one wave means all judges must be scoring very highly and consistently across the board.
5) Practice big moves in big sections…that’s what scores highly. If you fall then there is more duck diving, more impact zones and more challenge getting back into position. This combined with mentally going over what to do next time to improve your surfing will all add to your surfing fitness and make you a better surfing athlete.
6) When your surf training in the gym do intense 20-30 minute sessions simulating heats and throw in some confusion. Get your trainer or surf coach to throw some curve balls into your surfing workout to distract you, put you off guard, challenge you with mental games. Typically we don’t surf as well as we would have liked because of psychological challenges or external distractions, so practice dealing with these type of situations when you train.
7) Your cardiovascular system combined with stability and flexibility across the joints of your body is the base of both your flow and your surfing power. Find a trainer who surfs well and also understands and teaches all components of surfing fitness and not just stranded surfing exercises.
If your thinking about bribing the judges or getting them a little smashed prior to the competition to get higher scores it may all go pear shaped…. best to get in the water and let your surfing do the talking. Just go surf.
Surfing is our medicine right? So… remain surf strong, fit and flexible & keep your exercise surfing workouts short, sharp & real.
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