Build a surfers body
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: the professionals, for example.
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, pictured above and below.
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 maneuver 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.
Building a surfer’s body without surfing
The key to “gravity induced” exercise is to maintain perfect control even when fatigue sets in. Do not sacrifice form or technique to squeeze out that last rep.
The Rooboard was invented to enable balance, stability and fitness training for surfing to be performed on the go in almost any location. It is used to increase strength, fitness, balance and stability.
Rooboards Pro Surfer workout demonstrates some the surfing specific exercises that can be used for total body training.