There is plenty of speculation surrounding surf-specific fitness programs and the debatable need to balance on exercise balls while jumping rope and downing an energy drink to warm up for heats. Thankfully, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research recently published a scientific study about surfing fitness, and it’s backed with actual citations. A team out of Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand conducted the research, one of the first detailed analyses of the physical demands of competitive surfing.
Over the course of two pro events in New Zealand, 12 surfers were outfitted with GPS units and heart rate monitors and filmed during their heats to comprise most of the research. The “scientists,” if I may, were watching to observe the time spent in various types of activities, the physical demands of each, the speed of the surfers, and the distances they traveled. More or less a standard day at the beach for these lab coats.