P-90 works to a certain extent...but only really as a cardio exercise. However, If you ask me from a person who lifts 4 days a week, I would say the most benefit for me comes from core/circuit workouts..It's not all about the bulk. If you really want to be able to paddle do exercises which incorporate your whole body (mt biking, running, swimming, yoga, basketball) anything where you need endurance will greatly inmprove your ability to stay out in the water...just my .02
this works very well. In my opinion if you have the resources swim. Swimming is the best possible exercise for surfing. Also if you have a gym membership, work out your biceps, shoulders and back. Exercises such as seated row and lat pull down will work best. Don't forget the best exercise of all also the simplest, pull ups.
don't get me wrong, i love swimming. but swimming is audio, and surfing is cardio. in theory, running is more simulated. and what would biceps have to do with paddling? triceps is what you would use for duckdiving and paddling. look at the body of every top pro surfer. they are performance oriented. no pecs, no bi's, no quads. they have little muscle and for good reason. the only thing I can gather from the best surfers on earth is they surf alot and train when they have to for fitness. THE BEST SURFERS that I know in my local area surf every little or big swell, skate the half pipe and drink beer (and fish). But that wouldn't answer the question asked. Those same boys train by boogie skimming in the summer. Sprint running to arial blasts. I can crush all of these boys in a 1000 meter paddle or swim and when I boogie skim, I want to puke my brains OUT. You just have to enjoy it. Surfing is just that, sprint paddling. Except for the outer sandbar paddles, catching waves and pulling in needs a powerful blast.
there is no better way to surf better except for surfing more. the more you're in the water, SURFING, then the better your paddling/endurance/turns etc will be.
a lot of people don't have the luxury to surf whenever they want, so there are alternatives.
going to the gym could help your surfing if done properly. i do a lot of interval running and that has definitely helped my endurance. there is nothing wrong with lifting weights though. just because it won't DIRECTLY help your surfing, it could help with other sports.
I just stay in shape. do alot cardio. Gym 3-4 times a week 2-3 hours a time, hour of that cardio. mix it up. It's the water when you fall down and get hurt on land your gonna be okay. When you get F%$#ed up in the water your F^%$ed. Look at the football players who drowned this past year down in Fl. Professional athletes but the skinny little guy lived.
what do you mean by "swimming is an audio workout?"
If you're thinking about swimming do a quick search on surfline for the swim workout by Nick Caroll (i think). I did it for quite a few years 5 days a week and it kept me in shape. It consists of timed interval workouts which would simulate the anaerobic work your muscles do while paddling (ie 25yds on 30 seconds). If I remember correctly the workout was:
400 yd warmup
8x25yds w/ 10 sec rest (5 would be better)
6x100yds w/ 15 sec rest (10 would be better)
8x50yds w/ 10 sec rest
100 yd cool down.
The above is a good way to get started...as you progress, add yardage or different workouts. To echo some other points, cross-training, circuit work, yoga, exercise ball will all help in some way. Personally, I started doing triathlons last year which kept me in great shape and added variety to my workouts as I am training a different discipline each day (or twice a day).
wen i first started to surf paddling was a ***** then i joined a swim team and started swimmin about 3 miles a day and now im rowing and those 2 sports help drastically i can go out 8hours and wont cramp up and paddling as hard as i did on my first wave