Strength Training for Board Sports: Skateboarding, Snowboarding, and Surfing

Why would a skateboarder or snowboarder need to do strength training? Strength training isn’t just going for heavy PRs or working to get as big as you can. 


Using strength training for board sport athletes will help improve technical coordination and improve specific aspects of their strength that relate to their sport. 


There is a lot of technique and a lot of skill that goes into board sports. Along with this technique and skill, there needs to be a proper understanding on how to use your body for acceleration, deceleration, and stability. 


Throughout this article, we will touch on why you should use strength training for board sports and four key things that you should train for. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Why You Should Strength Train for Board Sports

4 Training Factors to Improve Performance
Summarizing Strength Training for Board Sports

Why You Should Strength Train for Board Sports

As a skateboarder, snowboarder, or surfer, you’re constantly using different aspects of strength to stay stable on the board. Whether you are connected to the ground or in the air, you need to be able to create force and absorb it while you perform. 

There are a lot of different factors at play that determine what kind of muscles you need to utilize. This is where strength training comes in as a supplement to your sport specific training.


You should be using strength training to improve balance, dynamic trunk control, acceleration, and deceleration. The strength aspect is not associating directly with absolute strength, but the control over the actions you perform on the board. 


So let’s dive deeper into the main factors you should be training for when incorporating resistance training into your program.

4 Training Factors to Improve Performance

1. Eccentric Strength

When you think of skateboarding and snowboarding, the first thing that comes to mind are probably clips from the X Games with athletes flying in the air doing crazy tricks. Even in the Olympics with snowboarding or alpine skiing, a majority of the event requires absorbing force. 

The body takes on an astronomical amount of force through the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back throughout each landing. Eccentric strength is going to help your body learn how to absorb and reapply force. 


Ways you can incorporate eccentric training into your programming is to combine visualization techniques with slow eccentric work and plyometrics. 

It is also important to add unilateral plyometrics into your training as with many board sports you may be landing on an angle. Meaning you have to absorb an uneven load while still managing to stay stable on your platform. 

2. Dynamic Trunk Control

The second key factor is going to go hand in hand with eccentric strength. Think about dynamic trunk control as the way your body has to stay stable while absorbing force. 


If you can stabilize your trunk while going down a mountain, riding waves, or up a ramp, you can move your legs around the trunk to handle obstacles that your board encounters. 

A great tool you can use to stabilize your trunk throughout strength training is a hydro weight. A hydro weight is going to be a constantly moving load that is meant to force stability. This will simulate uneven force absorption and application for developing the muscles you’ll use while skateboarding or snowboarding. 

If you don’t have access to a hydro weight, you can incorporate different types of jumps, cuts, and unilateral plyometrics to train dynamic trunk control. 

3. Explosive Work

Explosive work is going to benefit your training so you can do more aggressive tricks, jumps, and obstacles that can be the difference between winning and losing. 


Even with a race, explosive work is going to help you drop time in a timed event. An example could be skiing where you need to make a closer cut or sharper turn to achieve a faster time than your competitors. That means you need to be more explosive to perform those tight actions faster. 

To help you make harder and more explosive cuts, start to consistently train your ankle joints, quad, and hips to be as powerful as possible. Explosive work needs to be done in conjunction with eccentric movements and dynamic trunk control. Otherwise, you won’t be able to produce the maximum amount of power your body is capable of. 

4. Power Endurance

Once you have that power, once you have that control, you need to hone in on it. That’s where power endurance and the ability to exert force for longer will take you to the next level.  


To train power endurance effectively, you want to focus on quad isometric endurance and holding table ankle positions for long periods of time. Throughout this training, you need to be visualizing the translation that these movements are going to have on your sport. 

Training power endurance will want to be done later in the season as you start to compete more. That way you can practice direct plyometrics and isometrics to get that feeling of control while you are performing.

Summarizing Strength Training for Board Sports

All the factors that we talked about need to work together for you to be as successful as you can be when you perform. 


Eccentric strength and dynamic trunk control are going to be the two most important factors to help you build that consistency in muscle activation for skateboarding and snowboarding. Once you start to develop that control and stability on the board, start to incorporate explosive strength which will work on the finer details of improving your competitive movements. Finally, develop power endurance so your body is used to engaging the proper muscles together for an extended period of time. 


If you want to see examples of exercises and training programs throughout a season of board sports, sign up for the Peak Strength app to get programming specific to your sport.

Hydro Weight

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Yo, It's Dane

Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!

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