Mastering your balance is an important part of improving your surfing. Balancing on a surfboard is a lot different than balancing statically – you’re making micro-adjustments and shifting your weight and center of gravity constantly as the wave changes in front of you and you perform maneuvers.
Balance is a huge part of surfing. It’s also a skill that you can always improve, even as you progress.
While a big part of balance for surfing comes from developing instinct and intuition on a wave, the muscles and movements can be trained when you’re out of the water.
Using a balance board is a great way to work on your balance, stability, core strength, and leg strength when you’re out of the water.
You can find plenty of balance boards to buy at your local surf shops or online, or you can make your own pretty easily.
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Balance Boards for Surfing
Balance boards consist of a deck and a roller or a static balance ball.
Indo Board, one of the original balance trainers specifically designed for surfing, offers a good deal of versatility in its balance trainer products.
Some of the balance decks are longer and more narrow with a longer roller that can be useful for cross-step training.
Regardless of which type of balance board you get, you’re usually able to flip the orientation and position of the roller to work on different types of balancing.
It’s usually smart to do this on a carpet or soft surface to avoid slipping out. Make sure you’ve got enough room and are well away from anything fragile.
How to Use a Balance Board
A balance trainer is a great way to strengthen your stabilizer muscles and improve your balance while you’re not surfing.
Will your balance board translate 1:1 when your surfing? No, but it will help you and is a great addition to any training routine.
To use your balance board:
- Set the deck on top of the roller.
- Positioning the roller towards the center of the deck (either parallel or perpendicular depending on what kind of challenge or training exercise you’re looking for).
- Step onto the deck and shift your weight to lift the board off the ground and onto the roller.
- Stay balanced over the roller.
- As you get more comfortable, try to shift your weight and work on your balance while moving around.
Balance Training Exercises
While simply balancing on an Indo Board in different ways is a good way to build your balance, you can also use your Indo Board for some balance-specific workouts, including:
- Balance board push-ups: Position the roller in the center of the balance board and position your hands on either side. Perform a push-up. This can mimic the balance necessary when popping up on a wave.
- Balance board squats: Stand on the balance board and perform a squat. This can help you develop leg strength along with the tiny muscles that will allow you to make quick adjustments. You’ll also get a feel for changing your weight from one leg to another as necessary.
More Balance Training for Surfers
Balance boards are not your only option when it comes to improving your balance for surfing. Here are some other things you can use:
- Exercise balls & Bosu Balls – you’ll find these at your gym or anywhere you can buy workout equipment. They can be used for any sort of stability exercise you can think of – push-ups, squats, core workouts.
- Yoga – yoga is excellent for improving your balance and stability. Any yoga move that either gets you onto one leg or into a staggered stance is going to help you when you’re on your surfboard.
- Skateboarding & Snowboarding – Other boardsports are an excellent way to cross train and improve your surfing balance.
- Slackline – If you’ve got two tree, you can set up your slackline and get to balancing. This is a great way to build your balance and your reaction/micro-adjustment skills that become increasingly important as your surfing progresses.