Surfers And Balance
The Rooboard was designed by surfers to develop core strength, fitness and dynamic balance. The instability of the Rooboard creates tension as the body struggles to maintain balance.
“A few years ago I invited friends and fellow surfers to participate in the workout I used to stay balanced, agile and in shape for surfing. I still surfed as often as possible but this was becoming more difficult as I worked long hours in London. I called the workout Surfgym.”
“The Surfgym workouts went down very well. What didn’t work well was the amount of equipment I was using. While each piece of equipment worked well individually they had serious limitations. Large, heavy, unwieldy and sometimes dangerous for new users this equipment was also extremely difficult to transport between venues and impossible on the tube.”
“What I really needed was a product that combined elements of each piece of equipment in a single, truly portable package. When I discovered it didn’t exist, I decided to make it. The Rooboard Balance and Core Board was finished in late 2013. It received such positive feedback from friends, surfers, fitness professionals and medical professionals that I launched it officially with a small first batch,” says Mason Gilmour-Platt Full story here.
The traditional image of a surfer’s body is lean, long limbed and V shaped. This was especially true in the 1950′s and 60′s when boards were very heavy and difficult to paddle, and lots of shivering – caused by a lack of wetsuits – kept body fat levels low.
Modern equipment, and diets with a higher fat content, mean that the traditional body shape is no longer the norm. These days the average surfer’s body can come in all shapes in sizes. However, the traditional body shape is still the norm for high participation surfers like the professionals.
For many people this is a very desirable body shape. Lean and lithe, without appearing undernourished. Muscular, without appearing over-muscled, or extensively weight trained. And of course, sportingly athletic. Examples are world champions Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore.
Obviously the easiest way to build this type of body is to surf, and do lots of it. Paddling builds shoulder definition, strengthens the lower back muscles, and increases cardiovascular fitness. Duck-diving builds arm strength: tricep strength in particular. The pop-up manoeuvre engages the core and pectoral muscles, and helps to build explosive strength. And, the actual process of standing and riding the wave increases leg strength, flexibility, and engages all the postural muscles.
Paddling is the only true resistance-based component in surfing. As water is much heavier than air, paddling can be a very strenuous activity, especially against heavy currents, or large beach break swells. Almost all the other exercise components would be termed “gravity induced” training. And, this is where the Rooboard balance board comes into its own.