New Surf Fitness Study

New Surf Fitness Study

Recently we are starting to see some more academic research being undertaken in regards to the specific fitness demands of surfers.

One recent study from the Auckland University of Technology (published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research) looked at the aerobic (longer duration energy) and anaerobic (short burst energy) of competitive surfers.


What They Tested

The researchers tested 20 nationally ranked surfers to determine their aerobic fitness using a VO2peak test.

They also tested 8 of the surfers anaerobic power by doing a maximal paddling burst for 10 seconds using a modified kayak ergometer with fitted out with a surfboard and hand paddles.


What They Found

The researchers determined that there was no significant relationship between the surfer’s VO2peak results and their season ranking.

They did however find a significant relationship between the surfer’s anaerobic paddling power and their season rank.


What Does That Mean

The research appears to indicate that the better surfers also had the most paddle power for short paddle bursts.

I would assume that most of the surfers tested all had a reasonable level of aerobic fitness as they were nationally ranked, hence, there wasn’t a correlation between aerobic fitness and ranking.


What Should I Do About It?

Basically, this study points to the fact that improving your anaerobic paddle power will help improve your surfing performance.

Is this ground breaking? Not necessarily, but it is good to have some scientific research to back up what you do in your surf training routine.

If you don’t have a professionally designed surf training program to help improve your paddle power and surf specific fitness, this is what you should be aiming for in light of this study…

  • Exercises to help improve your upper body functional strength and power, whilst keeping your shoulders and back healthy.
  • Workouts that build aerobic and anaerobic fitness, with particular emphasis on training for paddling.

For a comprehensive surf training plan to improve your total body strength and fitness for surfing, including the exact number of sets and reps of each exercise, download our workouts below…


Download Your Surf Workout Plan

Surf Workout

If you want to get started with a step-by-step surf workout plan that can help enhance your paddle power and surf specific fitness, make sure you download Total Surfing Fitness – Functional Training for Surfers

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