Cardiovascular fitness through ski vs SUP

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39477 by dapara2004
I am interested in surfskiing for cardiovascular fitness. I SUP and feel that long before my heart bpm gets anywhere near what I easily achieve running, the strain on my shoulders limits me and I have to back off. It seems analogous in feeling to rowing on an Erg with the resistance set at maximum . I am wondering if surfskiing might be better for balancing the torso/leg workout with the cardiovascular demands than trying to do so on a SUP. Is there a way of SUPing that can reduce the load that the SUP drag puts on joints so I can make it more about cardio and less about strength? Or does the mechanics of surfskiing lend itself better a cardo workout? 

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39478 by [email protected]
>> Or does the mechanics of surfskiing lend itself better a cardo workout? 

Not sure about SUP, but I can say that surfski paddling gets my HR cranking just as much, if not more than running.

What makes it easier for me, perhaps, is that most of my paddling is downwind, where I'm trying to go fast, but the downwind aspect makes it much more fun and less grind than paddling on the flat.  On flat water it's a little more tedious, but it's still pretty easy to get the HR up. 

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39479 by dapara2004
Sounds like skiing is fun and that motivation Is key to enjoying a good cardio workout. SUPing often seems like battling the drag on the board and is discouraging on the flat water. It’s hard to make progress into the wind, too to enjoy doing laps when there is swell.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39480 by [email protected]

Sounds like skiing is fun

You have no idea!  It's what has kept me sane these last couple of years.  We have a fabulous year-round downwind route here called the "Miller's Run".  In summer we have prevailing southeasterly winds and surf from Miller's Point to Fish Hoek...  In winter, the wind blows the other way so we surf from Fish Hoek to Miller's Point! 

I usually get around 80-90 runs in, in a year - but last year a couple of maniacs (our WhatsApp group is called the Miller's Maniacs) did over 200 - the top score being 222.  So you can imagine just how often the wind blows here!

Downwind paddling is fantastic - the Miller's Run is never the same, the subtle changes in wind and swell direction make massive differences to the ease with which you catch the runs.  Even after 20 years of doing it, I'm still learning, still trying to be more efficient - and faster!  It's an obsession really! 

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39481 by kwolfe
I paddle SUP, OC1 and surfski.  Part of your issue with SUP is that you might be using too big a blade to get your tempo and heart rate up.  That said, I love paddling ski (more so actually).  SUP is my least paddled craft since I started ski and OC1.  I paddle flat water and the speed in the ski is just so addicting.

As far as I'm concerned, do both! :)

 
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39482 by Epicpaddler
I SUP, sea kayak, and surfski. Surfski is BY FAR my favorite and the quickest way to get a good cardio workout without overdoing it on my joints. SUP is relaxing and fun if I want to explore a calm cove somewhere, but with proper leg drive and torso rotation surfski is a full body workout. Unlike the lucky folks who have access to a Miller's Run in their backyard, most of my paddling involved an out and back which means upwind/downwind. Oddly, the downwind paddle can be just as demanding as upwind because I'm constantly trying to use the wind and waves to generate as much speed as possible. If you haven't paddled a ski in the ocean yet, you owe it to yourself to try. I don't think I've touched my sea kayak or SUP in the last 3 years.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39483 by dapara2004
Most of my paddling would be flat water, or the loop of upwind and downwind on small days (<15 knots of wind). I have only demoed surfskis on flat water days and find that the drag factor is so much less than that on the SUP. It's not so much speed that I am after, but reducing the drag factor so that I can feel that I am not always bumping up against the speed limits set by the watercraft. In SUP, I feel that only in a Herculean sprint, could I get the board planing to overcome the wetted surface drag coefficient, but that on the ski, the design allows for a practical upper speed that would exceed that needed to get my HR up and maintain it at that speed without wild paddling efforts. But I might just be trying to convince myself of that??? Your advice and input are much appreciated! Thank you.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39489 by Ranga
Just a note, yes a herculean effort is required to get it on the plane, like an outboard motor! We have displacement hulls so there is NO planing involved, no matter how strong you think you are.
One huge caveat if you want to get anywhere on a ski. STABILITY! Without it you will not be getting any HR, however maybe from the swimming you might do, but not sure you want a ski to get swimming fit? Swimming only requires bathers!
Start off with a stable ski and learn to paddle properly first, not to just stay upright. It is very easy to sell a stable ski but hard to sell a tippy one.
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39490 by dapara2004
So true!!! I sat in a more elite ski for my first lesson and was swimming and remounting for the first half hour: I guess I worked on my rock climbing mantling skills, but not much else. The next week, I demo’ed a Nelo 550 and did laps working up a real sweat! I definitely would start with the more beginners-friendly ski since I need all the help I can get. So much more fun, too. I suppose a Nelo 550 would sell well?

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39492 by agooding2
The Nelo 550 is an intermediate ski, not a beginners ski. It's what I use. Should be a good option.

if you're coming from other sports it might be harder to get your hr up until you get your muscles and technique where it needs to be, but with practice it will come.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39493 by dapara2004
I really enjoyed my experience on the 550. Glad to hear that I will not likely outgrow it anytime soon; maybe it could be my one and only ski if I can learn to handle it slowly in other than glassy conditions. But, even if flat water, it was a great feeling. Have you found it to be a well-made boat compared to others you have owned/researched/tried out?

Thank you for your advice.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39494 by zachhandler
A few thoughts: It is hard to get a good cardio workout in ski or sup when you are new to the sport. Just as you say, fatigue of small postural and shoulder muscles limit you long before cardiovascular fitness does. You have to build adequate strength in these muscles before cardio becomes challenged. it as also necessary to learn decent technique so that you use more of the large muscles in the lower body, and avoid destroying the little muscles of the rotator cuff. 

I have been racing all sorts of paddle craft and nordic ski racing in the winter for decades. None of the paddle sports are as demanding cardiovascularly as nordic skiing, running, or cycling. Paddling is just as hard and painful as those other sports, but it is less about cardio and more about muscular endurance. As far as ski vs sup, I find sup to be a better cardio workout once specific strength and technique is dialed in. The fact that you are standing requires more cardiac output, and the stroke itself uses a lot more legs, assuming you are going hard. 

It can be tricky to compare heart rates from paddling to other sports. All of the upper body muscle use in paddling increases pressure within the torso.  That makes it harder for the veins to fill the heart with blood. So the heart squeezes a smaller volume of blood with each beat, and compensates by beating faster.  I am not sure how big the difference is, but to me it feels like about a 10 bpm difference. If my hear rate is 140 paddling, I breath about as hard as I would with a heart rate of 130 nordic skiing or running.  

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #39495 by dapara2004
Very interesting and helpful information on the fitness aspects. I will definitely research the proper paddling technique while SUPing so as to avoid injury and to build muscle endurance. As I age, having upper body muscle endurance sports would be great since I'd like to stave off the decline, in as much as is possible, through proper form. Super interesting about the vascular effects you mention. Thank you for sharing your observations and experience in the various disciplines.
Last edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by dapara2004.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39496 by agooding2
My 550 is a generation 1, the generation 2 has a lower center of gravity so is more stable. I got mine used, seems plenty sturdy, the WWR/4 layup has no core so a little give and seem s plenty tough. Only issue I see I feel it Is a little unstable in rough water, the gen 2 may have fixed that.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39497 by Atlas
You certainly won't "grow out" of a Nelo 550 any time soon. You probably won't "grow into" it any time soon either. The 550 is at the higher end of intermediate skis. It will require good balance for you to get any kind of cardiovascular benefit. Unless I have misread your posts; you do not yet have that kind of skill. There is no shame but a lot of fun in using a stable ski like a Fenn Bluefin S, Epic V8, Carbonology Sport Cruze etc. Ranga made two very good points. Firstly; the most important component in learning to paddle properly is stability. Without good stability you will be imprinting terrible paddling technique while simply staying upright. Secondly; if and when you do "out grow" a stable ski it is very easy to sell that ski.
There is a hell of a lot more to paddling a 550 properly than just staying up right.

Current boats
Epic V10L Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV X, Fenn Bluefin, Nelo 510, Fenn XT double, Nelo 600, Expedition Kayaks Azure

Previous boats
Spirit PRS, Fenn Swordfish, Fenn XT, Fenn Swordfish S, Think Zen, Epic V10L Club, Epic V9 Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV
Most with DK rudders
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39498 by waverider
I have never paddled single blade but I would imagine double blade to be a more symmetrical and fluid movement that would put less potential strain on the shoulders, and streading the load through the whole body, especially if you have a lower angle style.. Downwinding and chasing waves is definitely a good interval workout to get the heart rate up.

Its a sport where us older blokes can get a full body workout while sitting on our arses, how good is that??
 
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39499 by agooding2
Atlas makes a good point, if this is your first ski and you plan to paddle rougher water and downwind you'd be better off starting with the 540. I have been paddling the gen 1 550 for two years now and I still have troubles controlling it in rougher water, even though I paddled a 20" wide surfski before.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39500 by dapara2004
I am trying to get a side-by-side demo of the 540 and 550. I was leaning towards the 540 or 550 since I'm most interested in my own fitness outdoors on flat water and small days should the wind come up. I tried the 520 before getting into the 550 and thought the 550 felt better to me on flat water. Perhaps the 540 hits that sweet spot? I just want to keep the drag as low as possible for slowly working up the load on the whole body. Skis all seem fast and slippery through the water after paddling a SUP.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #39508 by qmento
I used to sup quite regularly. Surf sup almost everyday and entered a couple of races w/ a 14' bump board, the longest being 17 miles. I'd suggest trying a shorter paddle with a more flexible shaft before completely changing sport. You'll be able to power up (and get a high heart rate) with a lot less strain on the body. Though I exclusively surfski nowdays (and will till I no longer can get in a ski) imho - for fitness and a total body workout - it's hard to beat sup paddling (maybe swimming, but that's too d*** boring.)
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9 months 2 weeks ago #39510 by LaPerouseBay

Perhaps the 540 hits that sweet spot? I just want to keep the drag as low as possible for slowly working up the load on the whole body. Skis all seem fast and slippery through the water after paddling a SUP.
This is a classic error among new ski paddlers.  "keep the drag as low as possible"  is incorrect. 
Barton published the drag/speed vs. ability numbers on all his skis years ago. 

If you want to "slowly work up the load on the whole body" you do it by paddling properly.  Not by wobbling around in a ski that is too tippy for you.  Your logic is absolutely backwards on that topic.

Yes, all skis all feel fast compared to SUP's.  

If you really want to 'feel' fast and ramp your cardo up, get an Oc-1.  You can cheat on the ama and paddle as hard as you want.  You won't fall in.  Doesn't take much skill, discipline or perseverance, but it will make you huff and puff on day one.     

downwind dilettante

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