Image from surfatom.com
In my research of a better surf training routine, I recently came across a product called; SURFATOM.
Little did I know about the company and its one-product lineup, so I decided to reach out to them to form a better understanding of their product and its approach to surf training.
Disclaimer: The co-founder Javier was kind enough to jump on a zoom-call with me to chat about surf training. He gave me some great insights for improvement and sent me a “Surfatom Board Training Kit” to try out.
The harsh reality of Covid-19
As corona hit, I got forced to swap out my sweet island life with a more traditional lifestyle in a big city. Living in the canary islands allowed me to surf daily and build some “muscle memory” – Something I can only dream about these days.
Living on an island is the kind of chill lifestyle that most surfers probably dream about, but the reality often takes us away from the beautiful surroundings of coastal towns and islands; with good surf conditions.
At least that’s the case here in Europe, where most jobs are centered around the bigger metropolitan cities. This a situation I’ve been in before, but always found frustrating, as I would not feel in proper shape/rhythm before the end of my surf trips.
So what does someone do when they love surfing but only have the chance to do so – on the yearly surf trip or during the weekend getaways?
While nothing can compare to surfing daily, I knew that the answer to my frustration could be found in; surf training. So I started to research and experiment a bit.
A stronger focus on surf training
While I had a lot of knowledge and some good routines built around surf training, I still missed something more specific for the muscle groups used for paddling.
I love being in the water, so swimming comes naturally to me when I need to work on my cardiovascular performance. I prefer it over other types of cardio, like running or the cross trainer, as it’s more gentle on the joints and reminds me of being in the ocean.
Even though swimming is a great full-body workout, it lacks the static posture used in surfing to emulate the same movements and provide a more isolated focus on the shoulders and upper back used for your paddle endurance.
I came across an innovative product called SURFATOM, founded by two surfers in Spain. The product seemed to solve this exact challenge in my swimming sessions; so I decided to give it a try.
What's in the box
- 1x SURFATOM board: Size standard 74x46x10cm & 20 litres volume
- 1x Light travel-nilon bag
- 1x Leash-swimming cords
- 1x Grid cover
The specific benefits of the SURFATOM
Imagined by an experienced surfer, and designed by an ex-shaper and professional industrial designer – the SURFATOM board has been created to replicate the surf paddling posture.
Surfing is one of the most demanding and beautiful sports on earth. The average time spent paddling during a surf session is nearly 50%, so your success in the ocean depends a lot on your paddle ability and endurance.
SURFATOM eliminates the frustrating element of not being in proper shape for surfing for those of us who can’t surf on a weekly basis. SURFATOM allows us to stay prepared and ready whenever we get the chance to surf a good swell.
SURFATOM is a small, lightweight, and inflatable board that can be used when training in swimming pools. It’s hydrodynamic, emulates the perfect surfing posture, and has a soft anti-slippage grip. A cool innovative product, that is locally manufactured in Europe and recyclable!
Check the video below!
How I've been using my SURFATOM board
Without exaggeration, SURFATOM has truly been a game changer in my surf training routine. I haven’t found any other product or training routine that does so well in emulating the surf movements and targeting my upper back and shoulders to improve my overall paddle endurance and strength.
That being said, it should not stand alone. I still do my regular laps of swimming when training in the pool. Regular swimming is great for your core muscles and overall physique. So I start off by doing 20 laps (Olympic Pool) before finishing the session with my SURFATOM board.
I like to do as many laps with the SURFATOM as possible before my shoulders and upper back starts to feel fatigued. I push do this to build up my resiliency and endurance. Then I rest a bit and finish off by using the leash to get a more static paddle “sprint” where I can focus on paddle speed and get that extra burn!
While the product looks simple, it still comes with a learning curve – just like a regular surfboard. So don’t be frustrated in the beginning. Experiment with your placement on the board for optimal balance and adjust the amount of air to get the right volume.
I’ve been using it for about two months now – and I really have fun with it! – but more importantly, I see a lot of progression in my surf posture and paddle endurance.
Personally, I’m quite tall (187 cm), and I found it better to have my legs below the water surface rather than trying to lie horizontally. Having my legs and feet below the surface instead of level with the surface, gives me more stability and control over the SURFATOM board. The way my chest and upper body fits on the board, gives me a perfect replication of lying on an actual surfboard in the correct paddle position.
My final verdict
The best way to train for surfing will always be in the ocean getting real experience, but for those of us who are not fortunate enough to live by the ocean, a surf training routine is a crucial part of staying in shape for our next getaway (read: surf trip).
While training with Surfatom Board can’t stand alone, it is definitely the best training for paddle endurance that I’ve tried, and it has become an important part of my surf training routine. So check it out for yourself – and give it a try!