Whether it’s lighter surfboards or more flexible wetsuits, surfing has come a long way and at Xcel, we’ve seen an evolution of how nutrition has changed along too. For the weekend warriors or surfers who only make it out a few times a year, there’s always room to improve as a surfer. In this article we’ll talk about 5 ways to help you be a stronger surfer and up your nutrition game.
Surfboards are lighter, wetsuits and trunks don’t give you a guaranteed rash, maybe you prefer to even wear a wetsuit because your skin can’t handle the elements of the ocean. All in all, technology has created a surf environment that has endless adventurous possibilities. Surf in Canada during the middle of winter without the fear or worry of hypothermia.
There are a few factors that weigh into this evolution…when leashes were not a thing, you had to swim if you lost your board. Boards weighed exponentially more, absolutely towering weights of where we are today. Fitness came from the lifestyle.
You swam to retrieve that “lug” of a board, you carried this board to wherever you picked the waves to be the best, paddled out with risk of losing your board, let alone figure out how to turn the thing You were fit no matter what you chose to do outside of surfing. Taking away some of these factors with new technology, aka lighter, high performance technology, you have to figure out how to mimic functional, surf specific training.
Embrace the plank: You don’t even need a gym to do this, simply get in the plank position and hold for 60 second increments to help build your core strength. These muscle groups are foundational in being a stronger surfer and can always use a tune up.
Swimming + Paddling: If you are still new to surfing, this is especially helpful because you’re building up your heart and becoming more comfortable in the water. Find a pool near you and make it part of your workout routine. This is great for leading up to a big surfing trip you have planned so you don’t bonk out in the first hour in an epic destination. Cardio. Cardio. Cardio.
Stretching: This may be the most important. Increase your mobility and flexibility with static and dynamic stretching. Commonly used among top surfing athletes, functional movement provides many benefits that helps make you a stronger surfer. This also helps your breathing which can come in handy while out in the water.
Calisthenics: another dynamic movement: All that sitting at a desk does a real number on your posture and squats, pull ups and push ups can help you build up strength where it matters. Make sure to incorporate calisthenics into your workout routine to stay sharp. Knees over toes, come on, let’s see it.
Good Eats: You’re not gonna crush on the water fueled by Mountain Dew and Ding Dongs. Make sure to incorporate a solid balance of veggies and salad each day along with protein to help keep you lean. Only eat carbs after surfing rather than before and limit them altogether.
There are many different ways to incorporate this into your surfing lifestyle. Not everyone likes the gym. Most professional surfers use other outlets to increase the repetition of specific movements outside of gym specific training. Look into different ways to stay limber, strong, explosive and healthy. Martial arts seems to be a trend for surfers that goes hand in hand and a fun way to stay active and healthy.
What else would you add to this list? We believe we can always improve our surfing and hope this brief list helps you improve. Another way to really up your game is spend time with a surfing coach to help dial in your form.