Those that windsurf or kiteboard tend to progress through their learning curves rather quickly. That progression along with the innate yearning for adrenaline soon will demand more and more wind. More wind meansmore speed. More speed means higher jumps. Higher jumps mean trickier landings (and very often harder falls). Then before you know it you are turning the heads of spectators on the beach or your new peers of the sport. In some cases you might be stoked just to not wipeout, but it is all about fun anyway. And, If you’re not getting wet you aren’t trying hard enough!
That being said, your fitness level as a rider is key if you plan to turn heads with your unbelievable skills, live through the inevitable monster wipeouts, or simply have the staying power to enjoy what just might be a life changing session.
So I’ll cover some ins and outs of the sports from the early stages of learning through to a more advanced level and let you know just what to expect. You are guaranteed to find new muscles you didn’t know exist during the learning process. I’ll also speak to targeting and conditioning certain muscle groups as it applies to certain aspects of the sport.
Conditioning is paramount. It’s important to realize that regardless of what skill level you are, whether you are a pure newbie, intermediate rider, advanced, or expert. If your body is not conditioned properly you will get injured. All it takes is a misstep. Your body goes one direction and the gear goes another, so you try to muscle through and save a simple maneuver then, BANG – POP – CRACK! “What the (expletive) was that?” You might find your shoulder is not where it once was…
Trust me when I say OUCH! I’m speaking from personal experience of course and this was kind of a fluke, but it came down to my not being conditioned properly. Firstly, I didn’t stretch well enough. Why would I? I’ve been doing this for 20 something years. I’m feeling plenty loose from the all the riding I’ve been doing. It’s a beautiful day with 70 degree water temps, 90 degree air temps (I am in the Red Sea by the way. Riding in Dahab Egypt. More on that later.) I just had a killer set of sessions the three days prior so I’m all set! “Lets get to it.” Bad call!
After dislocating my shoulder and tearing up a bunch of surrounding tissue, I got to think about just how it happened. So as I ponder from a beachside bar and while watching all my buds ride for the next six days (SWEET!) I realized simply that I did little to prepare. I rode each of my first four days there getting tighter and tighter with every session. Maybe a quick stretch here and there, but for several weeks prior I was sitting at a desk. Any working out I did was focused on lifting. Which is great to build muscle but I just didn’t have the agility or dexterity to use it when I needed it.
The moral of the story is: Build your body to use it. Lifting is great! Running or cycling is great! Yoga. Great! You don’t have to do all or one of them excessively, in fact don’t over do any one of them, but it is most important to cater your workouts to what you know will be most effective in practical application.