health, surf, Uncategorized

How important is rowing when it comes to surfing?

Have you ever thought, while picturing your first surfing, that you’ll have to row a lot? Few thought about it before they started surfing, but they should have! After all, rowing takes most of the time. First, you gotta row to the line up, then choose the right starting spot and constantly rake up to the place, because you can be carried away by the current. The current is weak at times and you can barely feel it, but sometimes it’s so strong that you do nothing but row all the time. Just choosing a wave isn’t enough, you need to rake it.

Next comes the very moment: you catch your wave! And it goes on over again. If you row improperly, you can get tired in no time, and the whole ride will be ruined, therefore, in order to avoid this, we suggest using some tips and preparation methods.

How to row?

Row alternately, along the board, raking a little under the board, applying force and drowning your hand into the water no deeper than to the elbow. Note! Rowing in surfing isn’t the same as in swimming, though it looks like the crawl style.

Mistakes while rowing

Beginners can be often spotted by rowing mistakes they make in the ocean.

-No need to try to row at speed, it’s important to row with effort, feel the water push. What happens when rowing at speed? Rowing at a crazy pace, you move the body in a way that it doesn’t lie flat on the board and starts wobbling.

-No need to constantly row with both hands at once, you need to row one at a time, like in a crawl style. When rowing with both hands simultaneously, the speed drops when they are above water. Both hands rowing can be used as the last extra stroke before your take – off.

Hold your legs together and don’t hang them down, rocking the board.

-Do not get too low to the board; raise your shoulders when rowing. It’s crucial, in order to fix your body in a stationary state and, accordingly, not to rock the board.


In order to come prepared for surfing, start training in advance, and then you’ll find rowing much easier.

  • Push-ups and pull-ups – If it’s hard, start doing knee push-ups. For pull-ups, use special elastic bands that you can rest on with one knee, fixing the elastic on the horizontal bar. Such exercises really help surfers to strengthen arms.
  • Exercises with elastics – Put a bench opposite the Swedish wall at a distance of about 2 meters, tie 2 elastics to the wall, lie down on the bench, take the rubber bands and start to make back and forth movements with your arms, like in rowing. Stretch the elastic so that you feel an effort while rowing.
  • Pool – Take a usual board which they swim in a pool with, put it under the stomach and begin to row, like in surfing. At first, it may slip out from under you, but you’ll soon get used to it. This workout is like rowing on a surfboard and your back and shoulders are sure to burn after such a swim, which is exactly what we need!

Read more on how to get ready for surfing in an urban environment here.

There are lots of peculiarities, but don’t be scared! It gets better and better with each training session and you’ll soon begin to feel the board, the wave and your body. All the preparation and effort is worth the feeling when you catch your wave, glide along, and take every second in!