Adam L. | Salt Lake City, Utah
I just took a surf trip to San Diego, at the end of September 2019. I'll be honest: On my first day out, I was a bit nervous. I had really enjoyed my time with the Model W (https://www.surfinshape.com/collections/all/products/the-model-w) in the pool, so don't get me wrong. But I had only been able to get in an average of 3 sessions each week. My schedule is quite busy and my fear was that I hadn't put in enough time--and hadn't progressed through the recommended workout. I had only been paddling 3x per week at a minimum of 800 yards per session (2400 yards per week, at a minimum). The workout guide strongly recommends building up to 5-7x per week, with much longer yardage, during the last two weeks prior to your trip.
Basically, I figured I'd be in "okay" shape, but would still find myself with the familiar troubles that had kind of plagued my other surf trips: weakness, soreness, and the awkward feeling of learning how to be on a board again. Before, when I'd had surf trips planned, I did my best to swim 4-6 miles per week (even using flotation leg devices to isolate the upper body muscles). However, I hadn't ever been all-too-happy with my surfing abilities from swimming training. It usually took me a few days to even get the hang of everything again: duck-diving, timing, body positioning, getting caught inside way too often and feeling frustrated--not to mention the ever-present issue of sore abs and chest, muscle cramps, and bouts of "Surfer's Elbow" that kept me out of the water during what could have been great sessions. My paddling technique was always off from swimming and led to minor injuries and irritation.
So, you can probably understand my worries. However, my first day out in San Diego proved quite the contrary! I took out my 7'2 fish (surfing near OB Pier). I couldn't believe how fast I got out to the lineup! I powered through oncoming sets and got out past the whitewater and breaking waves in under a few minutes. I surfed for about three hours--and never got tired or winded. The next day, I wasn't even sore. I surfed every day of the trip (seven days total) and never once experienced any sort of stiffness, soreness, or Surfer's Elbow. Zero rib-pain. Not to mention, I caught more waves on this trip than I have on any surfing trip since I moved to Salt Lake City in 2008. It felt completely natural to be on my board again. No more awkward moments, no more "Can I even still surf?" self-doubt. Even duck-diving was a breeze! On bigger days (a South swell came in and OB was pretty great: 4-6 feet @ 15 seconds), I still churned through the water with ease. I couldn't believe how much faster I was. It was like being a local again.
Practicing proper paddling techniques--both with and without the weight bucket--was a total gamechanger (thanks for the YouTube clip!). With the Surfinshape, you optimally-condition the "surf muscles" in every way that you cannot replicate with swimming. I caught more waves on this trip than any trip I'd taken over the last ten years. In fact, I feel like I caught more waves on this trip than I used to catch even when I lived in San Diego! I'm not bullshitting or overhyping. On this latest trip, I'd be out for 2-3 hours in the evenings and came out of the water, losing count of how many great rides I'd had. Even when the waves weren't great and were super mushy, walled out, summer quality, I found that I could catch the shoulders with ease and get great rides. Your product has seriously changed my life!
I couldn't recommend the Surfinshape trainer more to anyone who lives in a landlocked area. Yes, it's a little pricey, but completely worth the investment--and I know it'll last for decades, even longer than my current board quiver. And if it ever breaks or got lost (highly doubtful), I would buy another in an instant. Don't get me wrong: Swimming is amazing exercise. But it does not, at all, replicate the kind of training surfers need to stay in paddling shape and to feel comfortable on their boards. Surfing requires very different muscle movements than swimming! Not to mention the fact that having the ability to strengthen your core and re-gain balance, feel, and momentum on the board (without ever getting that rib pain we get when we haven't floated a board properly for months or years on end) is just so crucial. This was, without a doubt, the best surf trip I've taken in the last ten years.
My first week back in SLC, I am already in the pool again. It's become my regular exercise! The Surfinshape has also gotten quite a few questions and praise from local pool-goers who immediately identify it as a surf trainer. My pool is super-friendly to about the Surfinshape, too. I make sure to get a lane all to myself, fire up my waterproof iPod, and just go. And my training time has improved dramatically. During my first training session back in August 2019, it took me nearly an hour just to complete the 800-yard workout. I now complete it in about 25 minutes--and am ready to add more distance.So glad the Surfinshape exists!