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Kettlebell Kettlebells for learning to surf

Valley Ninja

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice about how to prepare to LEARN to surf.

I'm 44, 179cm and about 90kg. I completed Timeless Simple last year, and Strong! more recently. I'm currently doing @Geoff Neupert's Kettlebell WOD.
I have a two week holiday at Christmas time, and would like to learn to surf. I've tried unsuccessfully before, with a major problem being a lack of fitness, which resulted in a lack of time in the water. I have since taken up kettle bells and am fitter and healthier overall.

So my question is, is there anything I can do before my holiday to get into better and more specific shape, to give me the best chance of enjoying the learning process? I won't be able to get to the coast beforehand, so everything will have to be strength and fitness based.

Thanks in advance,
Alex
 

Lotto

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi Alex. My first big kettlebell achievement was Timed Simple. I can't directly comment on how it affects surfing. As a family we do a lot of walking to wild swimming areas. Since starting kettlebells I can without doubt say that my swimming has become much stronger.
 

GaryT

Level 2 Valued Member
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice about how to prepare to LEARN to surf.

I'm 44, 179cm and about 90kg. I completed Timeless Simple last year, and Strong! more recently. I'm currently doing @Geoff Neupert's Kettlebell WOD.
I have a two week holiday at Christmas time, and would like to learn to surf. I've tried unsuccessfully before, with a major problem being a lack of fitness, which resulted in a lack of time in the water. I have since taken up kettle bells and am fitter and healthier overall.

So my question is, is there anything I can do before my holiday to get into better and more specific shape, to give me the best chance of enjoying the learning process? I won't be able to get to the coast beforehand, so everything will have to be strength and fitness based.

Thanks in advance,
Alex
Seems to me the swings you’ve been practicing would continue to help. Swinging a KB while rooting your feet seems a logical fit for balance and fitness but I’ve never attempted to surf even though I live just blocks from the ocean.
 

lais817

Level 1 Valued Member
Try standing and balancing on a bigger bells' handle, I'd say balance is one of the biggest factors in learning to surf
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
One of the physically challenging aspects of surfing is simply paddling out.
Getting gassed while doing that is often a limiting factor to being able to get enough board time.

Lots of swimming will go a long way to help prepare you for that.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
I was fortunate to have ONE DAY of surfing in Costa Rica last year... and it was a lesson, so that helped a lot!

Your kettlebell training will serve you well. I can't think of anything specific to target with the kettlebell training. The general strength and conditioning that you are building should get you in good shape.

But, I would practice this ahead of time -- do these stand-ups as shown around 2:10 in this video. If you find the push-ing up part challenging at all, I would add push-ups to your training. Mountain-climbers might help with the ability to bring your knees/legs forward between your hands.

Also... spend time in horse stance (or, the surfing position version of it)... semi-crouched, torso upright, hands out for balance. I think it's lead arm out front, other to the side.
 
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Halfakneecap

Level 2 Valued Member
I haven’t surfed regularly in years but now that I’ve switched to kettlebells from barbells, im looking forward to the extra fitness when I get back in the water. I think it will help fitness a lot. There’s nothing worse than huffing and puffing out in the surf.
 

Sean Mulcahy

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Been surfing for around 30 years and running S&S for around 6 years.

One of the physically challenging aspects of surfing is simply paddling out.
Getting gassed while doing that is often a limiting factor to being able to get enough board time.

Lots of swimming will go a long way to help prepare you for that.
Yes, yes, and yes. Most comfortable I've ever felt in the ocean was when I'd been regularly putting time in the pool. Oddly enough, the activity of surfing also follows the SAID principle. Paddling on a surfboard is something you get better at by doing it, consistently. Swimming is a good exercise to mimic that.

Also, push-ups help. To the tune of 10x10, or something similar that isn't close to a max effort. "Pop-ups" on the board become a breeze when you're regularly doing push-ups and/or burpees (the SF burpee routine looks like a good one).

Outside of those two, I try to build a deep base of fitness by following @Al Ciampa 's Polarized Program, which I'd summarize as 3x/week of anti-glycolytic strength training (I use S&S here) and 3x/week of locomotion (run/ruck/walk at a low HR).

Good luck, and hope you catch a few !
ffffa8a1fcc608524556994592f8a9ff.jpg
 

Halfakneecap

Level 2 Valued Member
Been surfing for around 30 years and running S&S for around 6 years.


Yes, yes, and yes. Most comfortable I've ever felt in the ocean was when I'd been regularly putting time in the pool. Oddly enough, the activity of surfing also follows the SAID principle. Paddling on a surfboard is something you get better at by doing it, consistently. Swimming is a good exercise to mimic that.

Also, push-ups help. To the tune of 10x10, or something similar that isn't close to a max effort. "Pop-ups" on the board become a breeze when you're regularly doing push-ups and/or burpees (the SF burpee routine looks like a good one).

Outside of those two, I try to build a deep base of fitness by following @Al Ciampa 's Polarized Program, which I'd summarize as 3x/week of anti-glycolytic strength training (I use S&S here) and 3x/week of locomotion (run/ruck/walk at a low HR).

Good luck, and hope you catch a few !
ffffa8a1fcc608524556994592f8a9ff.jpg
Sean, can you be a bit more specific about using AGT with S&S? I stopped surfing after my knee injury, been a long time and looking to specifically increase paddle fitness. Currently I am trying to bring my time down with the S&S swings, by using a timer between sets, reducing rest by 10s a session.

? the pic
 

Sean Mulcahy

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Sean, can you be a bit more specific about using AGT with S&S? I stopped surfing after my knee injury, been a long time and looking to specifically increase paddle fitness. Currently I am trying to bring my time down with the S&S swings, by using a timer between sets, reducing rest by 10s a session.
A few resources for this:
Essentially, do not chase the clock or work to bring your time down. Use the "talk test"; I tend to use 75 or 80 second intervals for consistency (i.e., 10 swings every 75 or 80 sec).

do-less-meme-300x202.png

I can't help myself, too many good surfing related memes.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I have surfed (to great joy) for a grand total of 2 hours, so take this with a grain of salt
A regular fitness routine like S&S will be great. If you don't swim, practice that a bit. As noted, the tiring part is getting far enough to surf back in. Especially since as you learn, you'll be spending a lot of time falling off the board and having to swim back out
 

Valley Ninja

Level 4 Valued Member
Thank you for all the advice.

I went swimming for the first time in years yesterday. I was NOT good at it. This, I hope, is a technique or breathing issue, rather than a fitness one. I think I need to invest in a pair of googles and get back to the pool.

I've also tried popping up like in the video from @Anna C. I'm also not very good at that, but do seem to be getting better. I think I need some more flexibility and well as a smaller belly.

In terms of strength, adding some push ups to (as recommended by @Sean Mulcahy) to my current program (@Geoff Neupert 's KB WOD) should be easy enough. Would running push ups and swings from Q&D better better again?

Thanks,
Alex
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Thank you for all the advice.

I went swimming for the first time in years yesterday. I was NOT good at it. This, I hope, is a technique or breathing issue, rather than a fitness one. I think I need to invest in a pair of googles and get back to the pool.

I've also tried popping up like in the video from @Anna C. I'm also not very good at that, but do seem to be getting better. I think I need some more flexibility and well as a smaller belly.

In terms of strength, adding some push ups to (as recommended by @Sean Mulcahy) to my current program (@Geoff Neupert 's KB WOD) should be easy enough. Would running push ups and swings from Q&D better better again?

Thanks,
Alex
Swimming is pretty important in surfing. Especially from a safety perspective. If you lose your board, or get caught in some current you could end up having a very bad day if you aren’t a solid swimmer.
 

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
@Valley Ninja.

People are often shocked at the results they get from Kettlebell W.O.D. - BIG returns, for such seemingly low investment. So, I would trust that process, get some surfing lessons (VERY helpful!), and add in some extra swimming.
 
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