SUP Training: Cross Training Adventures

timeSpring is upon us and the weather is stellar! After a winter of riding “the waves that do not move” (aka ski mountain pitches and slopes) we did some serious intervals on the river yesterday. I woke up this morning with pleasant surprises – a core that had been worked, nicely awake lats and some quad twinges that let me know my technique was spot on. All that time on the mountain was a sort of “cross training” for SUP – mental as well as physical.

What have you been going after with passion and gusto – for me, it is water fun whether the water is frozen, salty, fresh, still or crazy rolling.  As Buddha says in the image (left) “we think we have time.” Hopefully you will take the time to do what you love – and do it with energy and playfulness.

With that in mind, we’d like to share some training tips. It’s a sort of physical, mental, spiritual adventure toward goals you might have for the upcoming SUP season. It’s YOUR time!

Get Specific:  If you want to train for big surf, spend time in big waves. Racing? Get your training on – go with a friend, set a plan, plan to succeed. Grab the fitness factors on land or water that will support what you’re after. When you get it right – celebrate. Don’t forget to reflect on your own awesomeness.


Play like Zane! Train with gusto.

Consistency Is Key: Try to do something active every day, even if it’s just a short paddle, time on balance training or a session with the weights.

Paddle with a buddy: When the plan is set and a friend is going to be waiting – you will show up.  It’s a great way to catch up, have fun, and move forward toward goals together.

laird-hamilton-quoteGo for the Distance: Even if riding the waves is your thing, going for a long distance paddle is  great for building endurance and strength. Time and consisten practice is the quickest route to confidence and capability.

Got Tunes: I listen to everything while I train. From old school reggae, to playlists my son, daughter and granddaughter create for me. My request? Give me something that will keep me moving. It’s fun to enjoy “their” music.

Make SUP surfing, downwinding and river paddling as safe as possible: Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations, where the risks and consequences are high, your level of control is low, and you aren’t prepared for those factors. Wind, waves, current, rocks and fatigue can hand any of us a surprise. Got PFD and leash?

Manage Fear: Fear is always there, it’s a survival instinct. You just need to know how to manage it. It’s about sorting out perceived risk from real risk, and then being as rational as possible with what’s left.  Am I in control of the situation?  Do I possess the skills and capabilities to succeed? If you answer yes to these kinds of questions, go.  But if you answer no, have the guts to turn around. Don’t get paralyzed—get rational.

Aging Gracefully: I am not frivilously called “Elder SUP.” At 67 I surf more than a decade ago (and surprisingly better) but race slower (bummer).   But with age also comes a greater appreciations for technique, cross training and experience. I think train smarter and can actually be better prepared, and more selective about the events that I choose.swimsunshine

Live: Life is short.  There is only a certain number days on the water.Go after what moves you – mind, body, spirit! Aloha – see you on the water.