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 comes in.
The Rooboard was designed by a surfer to develop core strength, fitness and dynamic balance. The instability of the Rooboard creates tension as the body struggles to maintain balance. This increases the resistance and makes simple exercises that much harder to perform. The sports specific nature of Rooboard training, means we can train the same muscle groups we use in surfing. By using the free fitness videos on the Rooboard site and YouTube channel you can build a surfers body and increase your surfing power, agility, stability and fitness.