Aerobic Fitness Markers Associated with Post-Paddling Breath-hold Capacity in Competitive Surfers

Int J Exerc Sci. 2019 Mar 1;12(6):366-373. eCollection 2019.


Competitive surfing is a growing sport with evolving performance and safety demands. One particular challenge surfers face is the need to endure long breath-holds following bouts of surf paddling. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between aerobic fitness markers, such as VO2peak and ventilatory thresholds, and post-paddling breath-hold capacity in competitive surfers. Eleven male collegiate level competitive surfers completed both a maximal graded exercise test and a simulated post-paddling breath-hold challenge on a modified paddling ergometer. Associations between markers of aerobic fitness and post-paddling breath-hold capacity were tested using linear regression modeling. The overall regression model indicated a positive linear association between the assessed markers of aerobic fitness and post-paddling breath-hold capacity (r = .828, r 2 = 0.686, p = 0.035). This association was explained by differences in VO2peak (β = 0.975, p = .034). These findings suggest that VO2peak may be an important training target for programs aimed at improving breath-hold capacity in surfers.

Keywords: Surfing; aerobic capacity; ventilatory thresholds.