Participation in surfing has evolved to include all age groups. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether activity levels and cardiovascular responses to surfing change with age. Surfing time and heart rate (HR) were measured for the total surfing session and within each activity of surfing (paddling, sitting, wave riding, and miscellaneous). Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was also measured during laboratory-based simulated surfboard paddling on a modified swim bench ergometer. VO2peak decreased with age during simulated paddling (r = –.455, p < .001, n = 68). Total time surfing (p = .837) and time spent within each activity of surfing did not differ with age (n = 160). Mean HR during surfing significantly decreased with age (r = –.231, p = .004). However, surfing HR expressed as a percent of age-predicted maximum increased significantly with age. Therefore, recreational surfers across the age spectrum are achieving intensities and durations that are consistent with guidelines for cardiovascular health.
LaLanne, Cannady, Moon, Taylor, Nessler, Crocker, and Newcomer are with the Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Marcos, CA.