Posts Tagged ‘surfing hazards’

Stand Up Paddling (SUP) Health Benefits

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Stand up paddling (SUP) is a super fun activity, but even more so it is a great way to stay in shape. Kelly Slater, the man who has now won 11 World Titles in professional surfing was recently interviewed by CBS television. In this interview Slater states that he has, “friends who are 90 that still surf every day,” and that he plans on surfing forever. In this post I will focus on the health benefits of SUP so that you too will be live a long, healthy and active life even if you don’t live near the ocean!

Laird Hamilton SUP

Laird Hamilton- So strong he can paddle with his mind.

What do you think of when you hear the word healthy? Is it hulk-like-muscle, toned lean physique, or the flexibility to touch one’s head to one’s toes? If you answered yes to any of the above, stand-up paddling can help you achieve your goals. Once you’ve got the basics of SUP down you can begin to design SUP workouts to reach your specific health goal. Don’t get me wrong, learning to SUP is a unique work out in and of itself. Let’s break down the health benefits of SUP to help you get control of your SUP-soreness.

Although it may not be obvious at first, SUP is a great aerobic workout. Most doctors and health experts agree that regular and substantial aerobic exercise is key to a healthy life. What does regular and substantial mean to you? For some people it might be a half hour 2-3 times per week, others may want to head out for 2-3 hours every day! A great way to up the Aerobic benefits of your SUP session is to simply paddle faster! Try racing a friend or racing the clock!

SUP is an awesome way to build strength. It is easy to see and feel how paddling an SUP works the muscles of the shoulders, arms and hands. Less obvious are the benefits SUP has for the core muscles of the stomach and back. Muscles like the abdominals are engaged heavily not only in the stoke of an SUP paddle, but also in the act of balancing on an SUP board. Having a strong core is a great foundation for your health, to make your SUP workout more beneficial to core strength try out a smaller board, and take on choppy days!

To get the most out of your strength training working on flexibility is crucial. Stretching will prevent injuries that can be painful and set you back. To get the most from your flex try yoga. Although yoga doesn’t have the reputation of being the toughest sport out there, most anyone who has tried it would agree that it can a real workout! Add a wobbly SUP to a yoga practice and you’ve got a real challenge! Yoga on SUP board combines the aerobics, balance training and flexibility into an awesome outdoor activity.


  • To reach your sup goals keep a log of your workouts. Google maps is a great way to measure how far you’ve paddled!
  • Want to know how Aerobic your workout is? Be mindful of your lungs, they’ll be the first to tell you how hard you’re working them!
  • To engage your core paddle on a choppy day, the chop makes it harder to balance, and its a great reason to get out when conditions don’t look ideal!
  • Aim for balance in your workout to prevent overuse and injury. Stretching will help you get the most from strength training without painful injuries!
  • Mount some of our new Heavy Duty SUP racks to a secure wall and do some pull-ups when you get home!

As with all exercise, know your limits, train with a friend, and increase the difficulty of workouts in small increments. Stand up paddling is amazing because it is a great way to access the great outdoors, but keep safety in mind. Always be cognizant of hazerdous conditions, especially if you plan on doing an exhausting workout!

Got any tips, let us know on Facebook!



Nice Rack Guide to Duck-diving

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Nice Rack Beginner's Guide to Surfing

In this edition of the Nice Rack Beginner’s Guide to Surfing I hope to explain what duck-diving is for those who are not familiar with surfing and give those who do not know how to duck-dive some how-to advice. For those who can already duck-dive, I’d like to share some tips to get the most out of your dive.

First things first, the term itself: duck-diving, means to do as a do as a duck and submerse oneself. If you spend some time observing actual ducks or seabirds you will notice that every so often they will disappear under the water’s surface, they do this to look for food. Sometimes sea birds will pop back up with a wiggling fish in their mouth. (Note to beginners: avoid this.)

The function of duck-diving is to push past the walls of incoming waves. By submersing the entire surfboard and one’s body the surge of water created by a breaking wave can be avoided. It is often the case that surfers use duck-dives to escape the brute force of a wave, especially when waves are larger. While duck-diving is the go-to maneuver for most surfers and is easily the safest and most efficient way to get to the outside of a break.

The turtle roll-technique involves rolling upside-down while still holding the board. This technique blocks the impact of the wave, but it causes the surfer to lose any moment they had paddling out, which is one reason duck-dives are a valuable skill. Duck-diving will slow you down some, but usually this technique will afford you time to paddle and prepare to catch or avoid the next wave in the set.

Now to the good stuff: how to duck dive. As with most techniques in surfing, there are many personal variations; the following are meant to get new duck-divers started.

  1. Paddle towards a wave, it is important to make sure you are avoiding the paths of other surfers, for more info on this visit this post on the rules of surfing.
  2. Paddle hard, your momentum will help you. Don’t forget to breathe though, remember that you’re heading under.
  3. Point your surfboard straight into the wave, the straighter your angle the less force will be exerted on you. If you are turned sideways you will chances of getting flipped up and over into the impact zone.
  4. Place one knee on the tail of your board, where the tail-pad on a shortboard is placed.
  5. Press down with your knee while doing a push-up motion with your upper body; the goal is to push your board as deep under water as possible.
  6. Quickly follow your board under the water, as the wave passes over your body, be sure to keep the nose of your board pointing upward. Exhale through your nostrils and relax as you pop out of the other side of the wave unscathed!


  1. The board you are riding greatly effects your duckdive, the more volume you have the harder it will be to push your board under water. Because they are voluminous beginners boards are often the most difficult to dive. To learn duckdiving I advise practicing with a  shortboard on a small day, or in a swimming pool.
  2. Because a board is voluminous does not mean it will not duck-dive! Instead of pushing your board flat against the water, turn it slightly to one rail and “knife” it into the water. By repeating this process on both sides you can get very deep underwater, it’s a trick of big wave surfers!
  3. Some people push down with their foot rather than their knee to get deeper. While this might work for some, I’ve found that a well executed duck-dive using my knee works best.

Hope this helps you get started!

If you have any secrets or tips let us know on Facebook !

For more beautiful photos like the one above check out:



How to escape from a Rip Current in 3 easy steps

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Rip Currents can be dangerous and no doubt provoke thousands of lifeguard rescues and drownings each year. However, don’t panic. Its actually quite easy to escape from most rip currents. This article will show you how.

What is a Rip Current?

A rip current is basically a current that returns water (and anything else floating on the surface for that matter) back to sea. You can usually spot one by looking for an area of slightly choppy and/or brownish water. Rip currents are nature’s way of getting water trapped by rolling whitewash waves back to sea. The bigger the waves, the more water gets pinned inside by the crashing waves, so the greater the chances for rip currents. That’s why whenever there is a high-surf advisory its usually accompanied by rip current warnings.

How to escape a rip current

How to escape from a Rip Current:

Step 1: Relax. The biggest mistake you can make is to panic and try to fight the current. Unless your like Michael Phelps and have some sort of super-human swimming capability, battling the current actually puts you at more risk of drowning, not less. (more…)

Surf Safe: Surfing Protection for you and your Surfboard

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Surfing is a relatively safe sport, however when you are learning to surf its a good idea to take extra precautions. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself and your surfboard is to use a protective Nose Guard. SurfCo Hawaii offers a full line of reasonably priced rubber Nose Guards.

Also, have you checked the sharpness of your fins? Glass on fins can be razor-sharp! In fact, fin cuts are probably one of the most common surfing related injuries. Its a good idea to take a piece of sand-paper and lightly sand the sharp edge of your fins. Or check out SurfCo’s Pro Teck Fins, which feature a rubber-coated edge to help reduce the risk of lacerations to yourself or others. Available at most surf shops or online.