Latest Surfski News

Monday, 22 March 2021 10:35
[Given a recent encounter with bluebottles here in Cape Town, South Africa, this article from 2007 is hereby recycled as being very relevant!] On a 2007 "Miller's Run" on singles in a big South-Easter, from Miller's Point to Fish Hoek, about 20 minutes into the paddle, my paddling partner Gavin Gottschalk and I were stung by bluebottles.
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Monday, 22 March 2021 10:35
[Given a recent encounter with bluebottles here in Cape Town, South Africa, this article from 2007 is hereby recycled as being very relevant!] On a 2007 "Miller's Run" on singles in a big South-Easter, from Miller's Point to Fish Hoek, about 20 minutes into the paddle, my paddling partner Gavin Gottschalk and I were stung by bluebottles.
Read more...
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 13:54
It’s not easy to catch a rolling, runaway single ski in 30kt of gusting wind – and as they attempted to grab it, Alex and his doubles partner lost their balance and fell into the water. By the time they’d remounted, the single ski was gone – blown away by the strengthening near-gale. They turned and paddled back upwind to find their buddy.
Read more...
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 13:54
It’s not easy to catch a rolling, runaway single ski in 30kt of gusting wind – and as they attempted to grab it, Alex and his doubles partner lost their balance and fell into the water. By the time they’d remounted, the single ski was gone – blown away by the strengthening near-gale. They turned and paddled back upwind to find their buddy.
Read more...
Wednesday, 03 March 2021 12:08
Accident reports are easy to write when the story ends happily, but this one didn’t and it’s with a very heavy heart that I’m writing this, with a view to learning what we can from it.
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Wednesday, 03 March 2021 12:08
Accident reports are easy to write when the story ends happily, but this one didn’t and it’s with a very heavy heart that I’m writing this, with a view to learning what we can from it.
Read more...
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:13
When the NSRI found Duncan MacDonald, he was approximately 6km off Smitswinkel Bay, drifting rapidly further offshore. Gale-force squalls whipped sheets of spray off the waves, reducing visibility almost to nothing. What Happened? Given the small size of the surfski community, there’s always intense interest whenever there’s a rescue. What happened? What did they do wrong? What can we learn from it? Clearly there are lessons to be learnt from any mishap – so here’s a description of what happened, shared with the permission and cooperation of the folks involved in the hope that we might all learn from this…
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:13
When the NSRI found Duncan MacDonald, he was approximately 6km off Smitswinkel Bay, drifting rapidly further offshore. Gale-force squalls whipped sheets of spray off the waves, reducing visibility almost to nothing. What Happened? Given the small size of the surfski community, there’s always intense interest whenever there’s a rescue. What happened? What did they do wrong? What can we learn from it? Clearly there are lessons to be learnt from any mishap – so here’s a description of what happened, shared with the permission and cooperation of the folks involved in the hope that we might all learn from this…
Friday, 24 April 2020 11:41
Durban – As the continued coronavirus lockdown grips the country, Canoeing South Africa will host a 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event this weekend as a way to raise funds for members of the broader paddling community that have been badly affected by the lockdown.
Read more...
Friday, 24 April 2020 11:41
Durban – As the continued coronavirus lockdown grips the country, Canoeing South Africa will host a 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event this weekend as a way to raise funds for members of the broader paddling community that have been badly affected by the lockdown.
Read more...
Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:35
“Hey, Rob! Help!” The shouts penetrated the sound of the howling wind and crashing waves – and even through the noise it was obvious from the tone of his voice that something was seriously wrong. I turned and headed back upwind.
Read more...
Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:35
“Hey, Rob! Help!” The shouts penetrated the sound of the howling wind and crashing waves – and even through the noise it was obvious from the tone of his voice that something was seriously wrong. I turned and headed back upwind.
Read more...
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:43
Many paddlers use Personal Locator Beacons, or tracker apps like SafeTrx on their mobile phones. But handheld VHF radios are also a great choice to consider – especially when they’re DSC-capable like the Standard Horizon HX870E.
Read more...
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:43
Many paddlers use Personal Locator Beacons, or tracker apps like SafeTrx on their mobile phones. But handheld VHF radios are also a great choice to consider – especially when they’re DSC-capable like the Standard Horizon HX870E.
Read more...
Monday, 24 February 2020 12:01
I finally got my hands on a demo Fennix Swordfish S this weekend and did two Miller's Runs in succession to see if I could feel any difference in handling between the 2018 Swordfish S and the new Fennix model.  Conditions were challenging: False Bay was covered in whitecaps, whipped by a combination of a 25-30kt southeaster and small, confused seas.  The result?  I definitely want to spend more time in this boat.
Read more...

Latest Forum Topics

How to: Strengthen those core muscles

Sunday, 20 May 2012 10:13 | Written by  Kim Russell
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How to: Strengthen those core muscles

[Editor: can't get enough of this - core strength is absolutely key to paddling fitness.  Whitewater Professional Kim Russell kindly let us re-publish this article she posted on the Wavesport site.  Not only that, but she's written some great stuff about rotator cuff injury recovery and general sholder strengthening...  and those will be posted here shortly too.  Thanks Kim!]

Your "core" encompasses your abdominal and back muscles, specifically the rectus abdominus, obliques, lower back, and the glutes.

Why focus on your core?

It is important to strengthen the core muscles, because these muscles provide stability to both the upper and lower body in all activities: walking, sitting, paddling, etc.... In other words, a strong core is also vital in preventing injury, as it is a cylindrical support system that gives stability to your center. When your core is strong and well-trained, your performance, strength, coordination, and balance are improved.

When choosing your core exercises, specifically those involving the abdominals, it is important to keep your low back in mind in regards to preventing injury.

1. Medicine Ball Crunches: (Straight crunch and oblique crunches)

Medicine ball crunches

Sit on a standard exercise ball, then roll down slightly so the ball is at the mid/low back, giving support to your hips and back.

With arms across your chest, or behind your head, contract your abs, and lift your chest upward off the ball.

As you lift, keep your chin OFF your chest, coming up as high as you can, then slowly return to the start position to finish 1 rep. Repeat until fatigue. 3 sets of however many reps you need to fatigue.

2. Planks:

plank exercise

Planks are a great way to build muscle endurance, and address those small core stabilizer muscles.

Lying face down on a mat, resting on forearms, with palms flat on the floor.

Push up off the floor, raising up onto toes and forearms. Hold this position, as you maintain a flat back (avoid sagging at the abdominals, or sticking your butt up in the air) by contracting your glutes, and abdominals.

Hold until you cannot hold any longer or until proper form is lost, and repeat for 3-5 reps. If you feel this exercise in your shoulders, push back into your toes, and it will take some pressure off the shoulders. If you are having lower back pain, chances are you are sagging at your abdominals and need to rest.

Variation: Side Planks

side plank

Start lying on your side, supported by your elbow. Upon inhaling, lift your hips toward the ceiling.

Hold this position, maintaining a straight line from shoulders to feet. Upon fatigue or loss of proper form, rest. Repeat 2-3 times.

3) V-Up/Roll Up:

Lie down with the legs straight. Do a sit-up, keeping your chin off your chest, and touch your toes.

As you pull away from your toes, roll up your legs; in other words as you lay back down raise your legs in the air. When you are about halfway lying down (your arms always remain in the air) touch your toes again.

Leave your hands in the air and bring your legs back down. Repeat. Each time you touch your toes counts as one rep.

Sit up, and then sit up with legs in the air.  3 set of however many reps yor need to fatigue.

4) Bridges:

Bridge exercise

You'll feel this one in your low back and glutes.

Lying on the ground on your back, making sure your lower back is flat on the ground, perform a "kegel".

The kegel is performed as though you were to stop urine flow midstream. It causes the contraction of your deep lower abdominal muscles, muscles commonly ignored in most exercise programs.

Holding the kegel, lift your hips toward the ceiling, hold for 2-3 seconds, slowly lower back to the ground, and release the kegel. Repeat until you fatigue or lose proper form. Don't forget to breathe.

When first learning the bridge, place your hands on the top of your hips. When lifting them toward the ceiling, both left and right sides should be level. If one side is higher than the other, make corrections so they are even, and proceed with your bridge. 3 set of however many reps your need to fatigue or lose proper form.

Variation:

If you have excellent form and have to do 100 normal bridges to fatigue, it's time to move on to the next progression.

Bridge variation

Perform the bridge normally, however do so holding the Right leg up in the air for 30 reps, and the Left leg up in the air for 30 reps. Be sure to hold the kegel throughout the exercise, and MAINTAIN PROPER FORM.

If the right leg is being held in the air, It is common when getting tired for the right hip to "drop" toward the ground, leaving the body unsupported, and hips uneven. Same with the left leg. As suggested with the standard bridge, when first learning this variation of the bridge, place your hands on the top of your hips.

When lifting them toward the ceiling, both left and right sides should be level. If one side is higher than the other, make corrections so they are even, and proceed with your bridge. If you are unable to keep level hips throughout the movement return to the standard bridge.

5. Reverse Crunch:

reverse crunch

Lie on the floor, legs in the air, above your body, and arms at your sides.

Contract your abs to curl hips off the floor, reaching your feet toward the ceiling. Lower, and repeat until fatigue.

3 sets of however many reps it takes you to fatigue. The straighter you keep you legs, the harder it will be.

Tip: Focus on pushing your heels toward the ceiling, rather than bringing your feet over your head. Also, this is a very small movement, so try to avoid using momentum between reps.

6. Bird-Dog on the Exercise Ball:

Bird-dog

Begin sitting in front of an exercise ball. Roll yourself onto the ball, so the ball is under your hips and your shoulders/feet are about shoulder width apart.

Contract your abdominals, and raise your left arm/right leg simultaneously while keeping a neutral spine (head and neck neutral). Return left arm/right leg to original position, and repeat with right arm/left leg.

Tip: When choosing an exercise ball for this exercise: The exercise ball should be large enough to make you need to stabilize your body, but not so large that you have trouble touching your hands and feet down at the same time.

 


All of these exercises can be performed in the comfort of your home, and take little time to complete. With a regular core regimen, you will find yourself performing better on the water before you know it!

 

See you on the water,

Kim Russell

**Kim Russell has a B.S. in Human Physiology from the University of Oregon. She is currently working as a Physical Therapist Aide, earning glances into stretches, strengthening exercises and mobilization techniques for paddlers. These techniques are ones that she has found to work for herself in strengthening her core muscles, and may not be suitable for some individuals. Consult your physician before trying any of these exercises.**