The Number One Surf Training Tip to Give You the Edge Every Time you Surf

by | Dec 3, 2016 | Surf Training

Surfing can be frustrating. It can be easy to plateau and difficult to make epic improvements in your performance.  The difference between you surfing like a frothing legend and surfing like a Sunday novice, can be as simple as having the right focus when you are in the water.  One of the most successful training tools I have ever used during my competitive years, is knowing the difference between “Training to Train” and “Training to Compete”.

The below table highlights this


TRAINING TO TRAINTRAINING TO COMPETE
In your training program, training to train usually occurs at the start of your seasonOccurs around the time of key competitions
Usually you are training your foundations, for example fitness and muscle enduranceYour foundational training e.g. your fitness, strength, agility etc should already be acquired
Usually it is higher volume training and your sessions are longerUsually sessions are shorter and more specific
It usually involves practicing new skills which can involve periods of repetition and hence can require longer surf sessionsYou normally have your basic skills acquired by this stage. However, you may be working on skills other competition skills e.g. competition tactics

For competing athletes, training to train and training to compete are set up in a periodised program around competition schedules. The benefits to competitors is that it can reduce the risk of injury and overtraining. It can also ensure that they are reaching their peak performance at critical competition time.

If you are a recreational surfer having this awareness around your surfing may also help you. In fact, it may be a good way to infuse some vitality back into your surfing in the next 12 months. How would you implement this training knowledge as a general surfer? Here are some ideas:

TRAINING TO TRAIN

N

Work on your fitness and muscle endurance early on

N

If you have an injury to get on top of, do it early and spend the time working on your rehabilitation exercises

N

Start getting your foundational skills under wraps. This often involves practice through repetition and therefore longer surfs

N

You could also commence breath training as part of your ‘foundational’ skill/fitness development

TRAINING TO COMPETE

N

As you progress towards your next surf trip/ important club round start getting your mind focussed around that event

N

Your paddle training should become more explosive

N

Your strength and conditioning training should start to become really specific as well (i.e. it should mimic closely, what you do when you are surfing)

N

Really get to understand your surf spot and watch videos etc around how the wave works. Get this in your mind so that you can visualise whilst you are training

N

Start narrowing your skill development to what you will need specific to that spot, e.g. being quick to your feet, better paddle battle skills, better barrel riding skills

TRAINING TO COMPETE

N

As you progress towards your next surf trip/ important club round start getting your mind focussed around that event

N

Your paddle training should become more explosive

N

Your strength and conditioning training should start to become really specific as well (i.e. it should mimic closely, what you do when you are surfing)

N

Really get to understand your surf spot and watch videos etc around how the wave works. Get this in your mind so that you can visualise whilst you are training

N

Start narrowing your skill development to what you will need specific to that spot, e.g. being quick to your feet, better paddle battle skills, better barrel riding skills

To get the edge with your surfing and to continue to make improvements, put a little planning into your surfing and know where you are at regarding ‘training to train’ versus ‘training to compete’. Having a clear focus and objective can really assist you as a surfer and ensure that you are making the most of your time in the water. Check out the website for information on workshops, tools and resources to assist you with your training.

Article by Candice Land, Enitor Exercise Physiology