Question; do you guys not think too much emphasis is placed on swimming as good cross training for surfing?
The reason why I ask is this - regardless of how often you go surfing, ultimately your ability to surf is determined by two things only
1) your ability to pop-up fast & in one smooth motion
2) your ability to paddle really hard for 2-4 seconds in order to catch the wave.
Why do some crank out lap after lap in a freshwater pool when saltwater surfing is an interval-type sport anyway? Why do endurance training when surfing is not really an endurance sport? Think about it -you paddle out the back...and then you sit there for 5 mins or so, you make an extreme explosive effort to catch a wave, ride it for 20 secs and then you do it all over again - that's not an endurance sport in my books. That's doing intervals.
Why don't more irregular surfers do weights? I've been doing them for years to complement my surfing, concentrating on bench press/upper back, shoulders, lower back exercises, lats etc & lots of work on torso/ab strength. It takes less time, is more lifestyle inclusive than staring at the bottom of a pool for hours per week.
If you were surfing daily then fitness would be taken care of anyway, but if you're a weekender or similar, it's better to be muscle strong in your upper body & able to adapt easily - rather than swim fit & generally muscle weak.
ps - you still have to be a reasonable swimmer - that's a water safety issue & different from what I'm talking about above.