Be sure to like the Inland Skimboarding Facebook page!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Skimboarding Training - Balance: Yoga

Many recreational, as well as professional surfers have begun to use yoga to help increase balance and flexibility. Skimboarders as well can benefit from integrating yoga into their fitness program. The following video discusses some of the connections between yoga and surfing. Many of the same connections can be extended to skimboarding as well.




Here are three Yoga exercises that will help increase your balance.

Warrior III Pose
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bring your hands together like in prayer at chest level.

Rotate your upper body to the right and at the same time take a step to your right. Keep your left leg straight and left foot facing forward. Your right foot should end up facing 90 degrees to the right of the direction you were facing when you started (Perpendicular to your left foot). Your right thigh should be parallel to the ground and your upper body will now be looking directly over your right knee. Your hips should also be rotated 90 degrees so they are now facing to your right.

Now bring your weight forward onto your right foot and rasie your left leg. At the same time, bring the torso forward until it is parallel to the floor. Keep your hips pointing toward the floor as you bring the your left leg in line with your body. Stretch your arms out along side your head and point them forward.

Hold this position from 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat in the opposite direction stepping, then balancing, with your left leg.

Half Moon Pose
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bring your hands together like in prayer at chest level. Rotate your upper body to the right and at the same time take a step to your right. Keep your left leg straight and left foot facing forward. Your right foot should end up facing 90 degrees to the right of the direction you were facing when you started (Perpendicular to your left foot). Your right thigh should be parallel to the ground and your upper body will now be looking directly over your right knee. Your hips should also be rotated 90 degrees so they are now facing to your right.

Bend forward and reach your right hand forward, at least 12 inches beyond your right foot. Press your right hand and right heel firmly into the floor, and straighten your right leg, simultaneously lifting the left leg parallel to the floor.

Now rotate your body and lift your left arm toward the sky. Rotate your head to look toward your left hand. Your arms, sholders, hips and legs should all be in the same plane.

Hold this position from 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat in the opposite direction balancing on your left leg.


Tree Pose
Stand with your feet shoulder together and bring your hands together like in prayer at chest level.

Raise your right foot and place the sole against the inner left thigh. The toes of your right foot should be pointing toward the floor.

Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg.


To increase the difficulty of any of these exercises, try them with your eyes closed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skimboarding Training: Fitness Program

A solid strength and conditioning program will make you a better skimboarder. It will allow you to recover much faster between skims. You will also be less prone to injury. You will have more stamina to skim longer and actually have fun, rather than pretending you are having fun as you stand around on wobbly legs, trying to catch your breath watching other people skim.

If you want to take your skimboarding to the next level you’re your definitely going to need a fitness program. Why wouldn’t you? The top athletes in any other sport spend countless hours working on strength training, stamina, and injury prevention. Professional athletes are in peak physical condition. If you want to be one of the top skimboarders, it won’t take any less.

A good program should focus on 5 main areas: Balance, Speed Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance, Power, and Flexibility.

Balance
Good balance is essential in skimboarding. The whole sport is performed on a relatively small board, while in motion on a slick, unstable surface. The benefits of good balance should be obvious. What is not so obvious is that balance training can also help reduce the incidence of injuries to the ankle, knee, hips, back and upper body.

Speed Endurance
Speed endurance will help you to maintain a higher intensity, for longer periods of time. Any athlete that is required to repeat high intensity sprints in quick succession, with minimal rest periods in between, can benefit from this type of training. This is exactly what happens in skimboarding. A high intensity sprint repeated over and over again. It is important that you can maintain your speed throughout your skim session. Without it your rides will not be as long, your ollies won’t be as high, and you will not get the kind of pop that is required for many tricks.

Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods of time without tiring. It is an important component of skimboarding. Cardiovascular Endurance deals with how well you are able to get oxygen to working muscles. Working muscles use oxygen to burn carbohydrates and other fuels to produce energy. A high cardiovascular fitness level will help your skim sessions last longer. Longer sessions means more runs, more tricks thrown, and ultimately more tricks landed. The more practice you get on your board, the better you’re going to get, but you can’t practice if you can’t breath.

Power
Power is not just strength. It is a combination of speed and strength. Power = (Force x Distance)/Time. Power training is not just strength training. Strength training focuses on just the force part of the equation. To maximize power, the force needs to be applied in a shorter amount of time. This is the focus of power training, to reduce the amount of time it takes to apply a set amount of force. Power is essential for the most important trick of the inland skimboarder. The ollie. The three most important components of the ollie are, speed, jump height, and how well you pop the back of the board. More power means you will be able to run faster, jump higher, and pop better.

Flexibility
Flexibility is a joint's ability to move through a full range of motion. Increased flexibility means that movement will be easier, require less energy, and ultimately be more efficient. As your flexibility increases, the likelihood of pulled or strained muscles decreases. Fewer injuries means more time on the water. More time on the water means more practice. More practice means…well, you get the picture.

In the coming weeks drills and exercises for each of the areas will be posted. So start getting warmed up.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Skimboarding Tricks: Ollie

How to ollie a skimboard.
In order to ollie, you need to find some deeper water or dig an ollie pit. It should be at least 4 inches deep. As you approach the deeper water, your feet should be about shoulder width with your back foot as far back as you can put it. Your knees should be bent quite a bit, keeping your center of gravity low. Once you get to the deep water, slam down with your back foot and then explode upwards, with your front leg coming off the board first and most of your force being generated by your back leg. Once your back foot is off the board, pull both legs up towards your chest. Flatten out the board with your front foot while it is in the air. As you come down, make sure the board is as flat as possible. When you land absorb the impact with your legs.

video

Tips
Squat down and bend your knees!
It is very important to have your knees bent dramatically when approaching your ollie. The reason for this is because you can only ollie as high as you can jump, and if you don’t bend your knees, you can’t jump very high. Let’s try an experiment. Stand up. Lock your knees straight. Now jump as high as you can, keeping your knees locked…or at least try to jump. If you used some momentum from your arms and have strong calves, you may have gotten off the ground a few inches. Now bend your knees so your hips drop a few inches. Jump as high as you can without bending you knees any further. You probably got a bit higher. Now squat down and jump as high as you can. You can jump much higher when you bend your knees and are able to use your upper leg muscles. When you ollie, make sure you squat down and bend your knees! You can only ollie as high as you can jump.

Keep your center of gravity over the center of the board.
Do not lean back when you push down on the back of the board. This will pop the board out from under you making it impossible for you to land your ollie and ride it out. Keep your body straight up and down. If you were to draw a line straight down from your head, it should hit your board half way in between your front and back foot. If your head gets over, or past, your back foot, you’ve leaned back. Don’t! Press straight down with your back foot.

Speed is crucial.
The faster you are going, the higher you will be able to ollie. Most of your speed is generated in your running approach. Some extra momentum can be gained as you step onto your board. Practice going fast!

Ollie over something.
Having something to ollie over helps with a number of different aspects. First of all, it gives you a goal. It will help you get your timing down. It will also help you hit your ollie pit. Start out small and work your way up.

Use your front foot to level out the board.
Leveling out the board in the air will do two things for you. First, it will increase your overall height. Second, in order for you to ride out your ollie, you need to land with the board flat on the water.


Now it’s time for a quiz. What is wrong with the following ollie attempt?

video

Yup, you got it.
Knees are not bent enough and leaning too far back.



How to ollie higher.
There are three keys to ollieing higher. Go faster, push down quicker and harder with your back foot, and jump higher. Building strength in your legs will help with all three. You will be able to run faster and get more speed on your skimboard. When you're going faster, it becomes more difficult to push down on the back of the board. Remember, when you push down on the back of the board it needs to be a quick pop with lots of power. Increased leg strength will help with the pop. Finally, as your legs get stronger, you will be able to jump higher.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

skimboarding video #7

Skimboarding a rollercoaster rail on the virgin river.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Flatland skimboarding or inland skimboarding?

Flatland skimboarding or inland skimboarding, is there a difference? As you read and talk to people about skimboarding you’ll hear the terms flatland skimboarding and inland skimboarding used. When people refer to flatland or inland skimboarding, they are referring to skimboarding that doesn’t involve waves. Technically this is the definition for flatland skimboarding. Inland skimboarding would then be defined as flatland skimboarding that takes place away from coastal beaches, (or inland) on rivers, lakes, streams, puddles, etc. Flatland skimboarding is a more general term, while inland skimboarding is a type of flatland skimboarding. All inland skimboarders are flatland skimboarders, but technically speaking not all flatland skimboarders are inland skimboarders. Those that skim on the coastal beaches,and don’t skim waves, would not be considered inland skimboarders in the true sence of the word. But, when it comes right down to it, does it matter which term you use? Not really. People in the sport use the terms interchangabley, so flatland…inland…pick your favorite and go with it. We’re all skimboarders.

Virgin River water levels

Virgin River water levels
Check out how high the river is before you go.

Friends of Inland Skimboarding

Questions, Comments, etc.
rcskim@hotmail.com