We will be testing our legs and shoulders for strength.
First of all, a decent shoulder strength will make a massive difference for all levels of surfing, but especially in the first years.
For the beginner it starts there. If you do not have enough strength to continue paddling, your session will be over quickly. The more time you can spend in the water, the better you'll become.
Once you progress, it is all about reaching the line up and once you’re there your arms have hopefully enough strength left to paddle for the waves.
Or at my level, a scenario’s I would like to avoid: "The sessions were after a 1,5 hour surf, suddenly the best moment of the day arrives, but my arms are already too heavy & tired to paddle for the next wave. Or my pop up becomes a lot slower because pushing myself up is getting difficult."
Only 1 solution for this, train and make sure you have sufficient upper body strength.
Secondly, the strength in our legs. They might seem less important than our shoulders, but depending on your level leg training towards surf specific movements will help you a long way.
As a beginner, stronger legs will help in finding balance and keeping your position on your board: low and steady. The more you progress, the more manoeuvres you will be doing and of course, besides your technique, absorbing impact by bending through the legs, which looks a bit like a squat position, will help you to stay on your board and finish riding your wave.
But what motivates me personally is when I think about the longest wave I have ridden. Imesouane in Morocco, up to 1 minute carving on this long right hander wave.
After that you have to walk back to the beginning of the point, it's amazing, but besides my arms, my legs are tired as well. Maybe you think about another wave?
I know, I want to avoid having sore legs there so I can keep on surfing for 3 hours in the bay of Imsouane.