Time-motion analysis of a 2-hour surfing training session

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015 Jan;10(1):17-22. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0002. Epub 2014 May 2.


Purpose: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: 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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Time and Motion Studies*
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult