The Journey Towards Having More FUN Surfing

Surfing means different things to different people, but should always remain at its core


Lack of progression and fatigue leads to frustration which then leads to an unpleasant lineup.  Nobody wants that.  The first step in thwarting this downward spiral is to improve your entire surfing experience, from the pre-surf ritual, paddling out, deciding on a spot to surf, making adjustments, choosing the wave for you, riding with flow, kicking out, sharing with others, and finally exiting the water to talk story with others afterwards.  At its root, to have more fun means to improve.  It doesn't matter where you start in this journey of progression, from novice to pro, you can always improve and enjoy the experience of surfing just a little ... bit ... more.  


Muscles May Play Less of a Role in Strength Building Than Thought

surfing fitness Jul 13, 2020

By Gretchen Reynolds

When we start to lift weights, our muscles do not strengthen and change at first, but our nervous systems do, according to a fascinating new study in animals of the cellular effects of resistance training. The study, which involved monkeys performing the equivalent of multiple one-armed pullups, suggests that strength training is more physiologically intricate than most of us might have imagined and that our conception of what constitutes strength might be too narrow.

Those of us who join a gym — or, because of the current pandemic restrictions and concerns, take up body-weight training at home — may feel some initial disappointment when our muscles do not rapidly bulge with added bulk. In fact, certain people, including some women and most preadolescent children, add little obvious muscle mass, no matter how long they lift.

But almost everyone who starts weight training soon becomes able to generate more muscular force, meaning...


Shoulder Maintenance and Preparation for Dryland Paddling

surfing fitness Apr 15, 2020

After a lot of inactivity, the shoulder tend to deteriorate faster than the rest of our body simply because we aren't reaching over our heads in our daily lives all that much.  

With my foot injury, and now this shelter-in-place, I've been quite inactive, in my entire body!  But I'm slowly rehabbing the foot now (thank you to Jim and Shane).  And I'm almost ready to get back in the water.  

But before I do, I conduct these exercises to bring my shoulder back to a general baseline strength and mobility.  ESPECIALLY before any dryland paddling since dryland paddling is harsher on the shoulders than in-water paddling or swimming.  It's much easier for us to make technique mistakes when dryland paddling for fitness than it is paddling around in the lineup.  Often times we get so into the workout that we end up pushing down or pulling too soon which engages those tiny little rotator cuff muscles too much.  

There's a quite...


At Home Paddling Technique Exercises

Stuck at home?  I put together eight different paddling technique drills and exercises that you can do while you are stuck on land.  

The first four exercises are drills to enhance paddling technique while the second four exercises are designed to help you maintain and improve your fitness and mobility:

There are many other dryland drills shown in the Paddling Technique Level 1 Online Course.  

Improving your paddling technique first and foremost comes from understanding how to move through water efficiently and effectively.  Then you will understand why it's important to work these drills and exercises - to what end.  

When you can understand why something works the way it does, you are then able to adapt to the variety of scenarios we come across as surfers - different board designs, different wave sizes, different ocean conditions, etc.  The "why" is so critically important.  

Be sure to find out some of the "why" in the ...


SurfinShape Board Product Review

In this SurfinShape Product Review video, I took a look at the SurfinShape "O" Model and the "W" Model and put them through the paces.  

A breakdown of the video:

00:00 Intro

00:28 What comes with the Board

01:30 "O" Model test, no bucket

02:50 Thoughts on the test

03:30 Installing the bucket

04:22 Guesses on how it will perform

05:05 "O" Model test, with bucket

05:40 Thoughts on the test and comparisons to other resistance tools

09:32 "W" Model no bucket expectations and predictions

10:18 "W" Model test, no bucket

10:50 Thoughts on the test

12:13 Installing the bucket on the "W" model (no different than the "O" model)

13:13 "W" Model test, with bucket

13:42 Thoughts on the test and comparison to the "O" Model.

14:53 Summary and Recommendation

If you have any questions regarding this SurfinShape Product Review, feel free to contact me.  

See you in the water...



PSA on Using Resistance Tools for Paddling

In this PSA on Using Resistance Tools for Paddling, I discuss the different tools you can use to work on technique and fitness for improving your paddling as well as an important warning

It's important to use Resistance Training Tools Safely.  There are several different resistance tools you can use to improve surfing paddling technique and paddling fitness, and there are pros and cons to using each tool.  However, across all of the tools, there is one very important safety measure you should take so that you don't injure yourself while using the tools.  

That important safety measure is to "level down" your effort.  More is explained in the video...


Hope this helps.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

See you in the water!


The Best Way to Improve Your Surfing For Tomorrow

surfing fitness Sep 14, 2016

There is no way you are doing this. It's the #1 technique to improve your next surf, and I never see anyone doing it.



New Surfing Workout - Leg Day

Sometimes, you just have to mix it up with your surfing workout.  This day was our second time out trying to dial in the right wake.  While we were working on that, we took a few cracks at it.  

By the end, my legs were toast!  Funny how a few dozen bottom turns and off the tops will wear you out.  

When we talk about building long term strength and muscle memory, it's all about repeating a motion (correctly) over an extended period of time until our brain skips a step.  When learning something new, the brain takes two steps to get the body to react.  Over time, through perfect repetition, it reduces that to one step.  

This is most likely a human adaptation for survival - the brain is realizing that the things we do repetitively might be important so it tries to speed it up.  

Unfortunately, with surfing, we get few chances to repeat a motion.  That's why workouts like this, skateboarding, snowboarding, and other similar...


Challenge Equals Change

surfing fitness Apr 13, 2016

How many of you have a hard time getting motivated to go work out, when the workout is so monotonous?  We'd so much rather just go surf, or skate, or do anything but work out.  

XSWIM Workouts mix up that monotony of a normal workout.  And just sometimes we need that extra motivation.  

We need that extra motivation to affect change.  And the only way to get your blood pumping with the competitive fire within yourself is to challenge yourself.  Put yourself in uncomfortable situations and do the best you can to overcome that feeling.  

It is only in the defeat of the things you are uncomfortable with do you grow.  Sometimes you overcome it right off the bat.  And sometimes it takes time.  But you can't grow without trying. 

Challenge Equals Change...


Duck Diving - John John Style

duck dive surfing fitness Jan 05, 2016

This is one of the most innovative duck dive workouts I've seen.  After trying it a few times, it's really a lot of fun.  Go ahead, try it out!  



My Favorite XSWIM Workout - It Hurts So Good

surfing fitness Mar 11, 2015

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite workout in the program is.  I really enjoy the XFIT advanced workouts, but I had to answer with one of the first workouts I created just because of a swim set that I love so much.

I named the swim set "All You Can Eat 50s" and you can find it in the Test workouts (#2 of 5).  We start with a solid warm up of swimming with core work in between swim sets (crunches, scissors, heel ups, bicycle crunches, and elbow plank).  Then we get into a combined Endurance and Agility section - the All You Can Eat 50s set.  Here's how it works so you can try it on your own (be sure to warm up / warm down and do not add any additional rest once you have started the set):

1. 1x50 free, SPRINT, timed, rest = 1/2 of your timed lap (e.g. if swim time was 0:40, then rest is 0:20).  The time + your rest becomes your interval for the next 4x50s (e.g. interval = 0:60)

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