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  • Writer's pictureSurf Getaways

How to improve paddle fitness for female surfers

Surfing is more than just a sport; it's a lifestyle and a thrilling adventure that connects you with the ocean's natural beauty. For women who are learning to surf or jumping back into the waves after some time away, building paddle fitness is a crucial step towards mastering this exhilarating water sport.


Paddling is the foundation of surfing, and a strong upper body and endurance are essential for catching waves effectively. In this blog, we'll explore some effective ways for women to improve their paddle fitness and enhance their surfing experience.


improve paddle fitness

Start with the Proper Technique

Before focusing on building strength, it's essential to learn the correct paddling technique. Ask for guidance from experienced surfers or take lessons from a qualified instructors. Proper technique minimises energy wastage and prevents overexertion, allowing you to paddle efficiently for longer durations.


Build Core Strength

A strong core is the key to stability on your surfboard. Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your fitness routine, such as planks, leg raises, and bicycle crunches. A strong core enables you to maintain balance while paddling through choppy waters.


Upper Body Strength

Surfing demands a lot from your upper body, particularly your shoulders, back, and arms. Include exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and resistance band workouts to target these muscle groups. Dumbbell rows and shoulder presses can also be beneficial.


Cardiovascular Conditioning

Paddling can be an intense cardiovascular workout, so it's crucial to have good endurance. Engage in aerobic exercises like swimming, running, or cycling to boost your lung capacity and stamina. These activities will help you paddle longer distances without fatigue.


Practice Yoga

Yoga offers a multitude of benefits for surfers. It enhances flexibility, balance, and breath control. Poses like downward-facing dog, cobra, and warrior II can improve your paddling posture and prevent muscle strain.


Swimming Drills

Swimming is a fantastic way to mimic the paddling motion and improve your technique. Try incorporating interval swimming workouts into your routine to build strength and stamina.


Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be particularly effective for surfers. It simulates the burst of energy required to catch a wave and paddle out to the lineup. Include short, intense bursts of exercise followed by brief rest periods in your routine.


Paddle Regularly

Practice makes perfect. The more time you spend in the water, the better your paddle fitness will become. Try to paddle out whenever you can, even on small or less challenging days. Consistency is key to improvement.


Rest and Recovery

Don't forget the importance of rest and recovery. Surfing can be physically demanding, so allow your muscles time to repair and grow stronger. Make sure you get adequate sleep, hydration, and a balanced diet are essential for overall fitness.


Remember that building paddle fitness is a gradual process. Stay patient and persistent in your efforts. As you progress, you'll find that not only does your paddle fitness improve, but your overall surfing experience becomes more enjoyable and rewarding. So, grab your board, hit the waves, and embrace the journey of becoming a skilled and confident female surfer 🤙🏻


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