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J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):2243-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823a3c81.

Anaerobic and aerobic fitness profiling of competitive surfers.

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  • 1Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. ollyfarley@hotmail.com


Despite widespread popularity of competitive surfing internationally, very little research has investigated the physiological profile of surf athletes and attempted to identify the relationships between physiological measures and surfing performance. This study determined the peak oxygen uptake (V(O2)peak) from an incremental ramp test and anaerobic power (watts) during a 10-second maximal-paddling burst using a surf paddle-specific modified kayak ergometer, customized with a surfboard and hand paddles. Twenty nationally ranked surf athletes volunteered to participate in the VV(O2)peak test, and 8 also participated in the anaerobic power test. The interrelationships between these components of athletic performance and surfing performance, as assessed by season rank, were determined using Pearsons correlations. We found a significant relationship between anaerobic power and season rank (r = 0.55, p = 0.05). No significant relationship between VV(O2)peak and season rank was found (r = -0.02, p = 0.97). Although correlations do not imply cause and effect, such a finding provides theoretical support for the importance of including anaerobic paddling power in assessment batteries and conditioning practice for surf athletes.

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