Time–Motion Analysis of a 2-Hour Surfing Training Session

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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To provide a descriptive and quantitative time–motion analysis of surfing training with the use of global positioning system (GPS) and heart-rate (HR) technology.


Fifteen male surfing athletes (22.1 ± 3.9 y, 175.4 ± 6.4 cm, 72.5 ± 7.7 kg) performed a 2-h surfing training session, wearing both a GPS unit and an HR monitor. An individual digital video recording was taken of the entire surfing duration. Repeated-measures ANOVAs were used to determine any effects of time on the physical and physiological measures.


Participants covered 6293.2 ± 1826.1 m during the 2-h surfing training session and recorded measures of average speed, HRaverage, and HRpeak as 52.4 ± 15.2 m/min, 128 ± 13 beats/min, and 171 ± 12 beats/min, respectively. Furthermore, the relative mean times spent performing paddling, sprint paddling to catch waves, stationary, wave riding, and recovery of the surfboard were 42.6% ± 9.9%, 4.1% ± 1.2%, 52.8% ± 12.4%, 2.5% ± 1.9%, and 2.1% ± 1.7%, respectively.


The results demonstrate that a 2-h surfing training session is performed at a lower intensity than competitive heats. This is likely due to the onset of fatigue and a pacing strategy used by participants. Furthermore, surfing training sessions do not appear to appropriately condition surfers for competitive events. As a result, coaches working with surfing athletes should consider altering training sessions to incorporate repeated-effort sprint paddling to more effectively physically prepare surfers for competitive events.

Secomb and Sheppard are with Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre, Casuarina Beach, Australia. Dascombe is with the Dept of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, Australia. Address author correspondence to Josh Secomb at josh@surfingaustralia.com.