Going on vacation with your family is a great opportunity to compensate your loved ones for the 52 weekends when the search for waves is, for us surfers, the top priority, and nearly an obsession.
For most of us, summer holidays may mean a week or two away from the ocean or, in other words, the tragic absence of surf and perfect swell lines.
On top of that, there is a way of making it all harder: ten days stuck in a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, with clear blue water, in a random 5-star hotel located 300 miles away from the sea.
We can dive 20 times, swim and rest in the sun, but the wave set never arrives. Once in a while, someone takes a dive, and the concentric lines produced by the splash mathematically propel through the pool until they reach its edges.
At that moment, we recall once again that we are surfers. Salt water, sand, and ocean wave addicts, whether it's nature or man-made swell. But don't stress, it can't be all that bad.
If the waves can't come to you, there are some things you can do for your surf. And no, reading books or magazines won't solve the drama. The solution is to use the pool on your behalf. Here's how:
1. "Body Running": invite your wife, son or friend to ride on your back for a body building run inside the water. Just like in rock-running, this is a great way to train all the muscles in your body for the next great swell of the year. Plus, it will be fun for everyone!
2. Breath-Holding: increasing lung capacity means improving tolerance and confidence in stressful big wave sessions. The pool edge and a chronometer are all you need to gain a few breathing seconds.
3. Underwater Swimming: trying to cross the whole pool underwater is a good way to keep you from feeling bored, especially if you make it more exciting by competing against someone else. But it’s also a great exercise to improve paddle power.
4. Push-Ups: the arm muscles are essential in critical surfing moments such as paddling and the take-off. For each dive in the blue pool, try to build and work your muscles by simulating exit on the pool's edge. Repeat 20 times.
5. Diving: reach the part of the pool where the water is at chest level and try to dive until all your body touches the bottom of the pool. This workout pushes the body to defy the strength of the water that pushes it up, making it an excellent preparation for the most demandingduck dives, when it comes to facing real waves.
Even if you're feeling lazy, don't despair - just have fun. Remember: 10 days in still water are the exception and not the rule. The real training starts where you least expect it.