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Open access

Matthew John Barlow, Karen Gresty, Malcolm Findlay and Carlton Cooke


Purpose. The objective of this study was to determine the relationships of peak oxygen uptake ( V̇O2peak), power at V̇O2peak and power at the anaerobic threshold (AT) with national ranking in a sample of British high performance junior surfers. Methods. Eighteen male surfers (aged 15.4 ± 1.4 years) from the British Junior Surfing team were tested for V̇O2peak and AT using an adapted kayak ergometer; national ranking was used to indicate performance level. The AT was identified as the point at which V̇E/V̇O2 started to rise without a concomitant increase in V̇E/V̇CO2. Spearman’s rank (rs) and partial correlations (rp) controlling for age were used to identify the relationships between the physiological variables and national ranking. Results. Mean V̇O2peak was 3.1 ± 0.5 l · min-1 (47.7 ± 7.2 ml · kg-1 · min-1) and mean AT occurred at 48.1 ± 12.2 W. There were significant correlations between national ranking and power at V̇O2peak (rs = -0.549, p = 0.028), power at AT (rs = -0.646, p = 0.009), and age (rs = -0.579, p = 0.012). Significant partial correlations were established controlling for age between national ranking and power at V̇O2peak (rp = -0.839, p = 0.000) and power at AT (rp = -0.541, p < 0.046). Conclusions. The power outputs associated with V̇O2peak and AT were significantly related to surfer ranking in this sample. However, due to the low coefficient of determination associated with the AT/ranking relationship, AT does not discriminate well between the ranking of surfers. These findings support the inclusion of power at V̇O2peak in assessment batteries for junior competitive surfers.

Open access

Matthew John Barlow, Joshua Rowe, Oliver Ruffle, Mark Davidson and John O’hara


Purpose. To evaluate the anthropometric profiles of female surfers and to identify whether any anthropometrical factors might predict competitive ranking. Secondly, to evaluate the activity profile of female competitive surfing with respect to environmental conditions using Global Positioning System (GPS) derived measures.

Methods. Following institutional ethical approval, 31 female competitive surfers underwent anthropometric assessment (mean age: 20.49, s = 5.32 years; stature: 165.2, s = 4.8 cm; body mass: 63.0, s = 6.8 kg). A subsample (n = 22) wore GPS units during competition at four different locations with varied surfing conditions.

Results. The mean somatotype values of the surfers were (Endo-Meso-Ecto) 4.06, 4.15, 2.01. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were found between the national ranking and triceps, medial calf skinfolds, sum of six skinfolds, body fat percentage, and sum of eight skinfolds. Percentage time sitting, paddling, and riding equalled 62.58 ± 10.18%, 30.70 ± 9.44%, and 6.73 ± 2.91%, respectively. The mean ride time, maximum ride time, total time spent riding, and total distance surfing were significantly correlated with the round of the competition. Furthermore, the number of rides, time spent riding, percentage of total distance surfing, and percentage time riding were correlated with heat placement (p < 0.05). Time spent sitting was associated with poorer heat placements (p < 0.01).

Conclusions. Body fat levels are associated with the national ranking in competitive female surfers. The number of waves ridden in a heat, the length of the rides, and activity levels were significantly related to heat placement and competition progression.