Skimboard Tutorial | cork traction

Cork traction? It’s the first we have heard of it and the dudes at Bick Skimboards are claiming it is God’s grip. That’s pretty damn grippy! They Utah skimboard crew put together a tutorial, so everyone can try out cork on their board.

“Cork is Gods grip! Bick Skimboards shows you how to totally customize your skimboard with a cork traction pad. Cork is lighter weight and has more grip than its foam counterpart. Cork is a gives you a unique close feeling to your skimboard that provides maximum grip and control, plus it is super easy to customize.”

Cork traction pads available at www.bickskimboards.com

bick-cork-traction

CTKNS (Cross Training Knowledge for your Noggin’, for Skimboarders)

skim-science

Words by Nancy JP
Photos by Skim Magazine staff of Matt McDonald

Note: This article has considered the commonalities of flatland and wave skimming. The ideas represented here are applicable to any style.

The Cross Training myth

Most of us have heard of “Cross Training” and have a preconceived notion of what we think it entails. Maybe the thought of a strapping on a pair of Nike shoes comes into mind, but the problem here is that cross training, has become somewhat of a broad and vague term, somehow lost in translation from the misuse of those exact words. It can be puzzling, for most folks, when you have companies like Nike marketing athletic footwear designed for “Cross Training”. Media has branded cross training to appear generic all around us.

waves

So what is cross training, really?

Cross Training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness – (Jessica Matthews, American Council on Exercise {ACE} September 2009, “What is cross training and why is it important?”)

Knowing the specific skill sets that are essential to a skimboarder’s practice can help us select and define the choice of activities and or exercises required to cross train effectively, in order maximize the training results.

matt-skim-04

Why cross train?

• To improve, gain and or maintain essential specific conditioning and skills such as functional muscular strength, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility

• To prevent repetitive stress on the bones and joints, and to help the body heal/ recover from intense skim sessions, minimizing the risk of injury

• To create learning challenges and prepare the body to skim (motor/physical and cognitive)

• To create variety and conquer boredom, enhancing training adherence (who wants to go inside a gym and exercise when you can do clever things at a beach or park?!)

• To break training plateaus (when one does not achieve further results from their current workout regime)
When should I cross train?

Normally anyone can begin a cross training program at anytime, upon completion of a foundational program following these basic criteria:
• generic full body exercises – major muscles and multi-joint
• minimum 4-6 weeks in length
• minimum of 2-3 sessions per week

Cross training is usually practiced off-season, when one is not skimming or competing, however it is highly dependent the individual’s training goals and yearly plans. It can also be a good way to change up one’s training program in-season.

matt-skim-02

What cross training skills are essential to a skimmer?
Skimboarders face some tough, extreme and varying conditions. Here are the five key components in planning your cross training programs:

• Balance training – spatial awareness and stabilization movements designed to help your body stay in control in order to avoid falling; reacting to the environment

• Agility training – AKA body power to create speed using quick, reflexive reactions to change the movement; incorporating reaction time with stamina and or with cardiovascular fitness

• Functional strength training – what I refer to as natural body weighted movements, incorporating strength and stamina eg. yoga, squats, pull ups

• Flexibility training – AKA stretching and being as pliable as possible to avoid injury and maximize the body’s ROM (range of motion) of the joint/ muscle

• “Core” training – a generalized term to define the center region of the body which includes your postural, abdominal and back musculatures (the most important part of your body to train in order to prevent injuries and be able to skimboard!)
And the verdict – “The 5” cross training choices for skimboarders, in no particular order…

• Running
• Swimming
• Yoga and Pilates *
• Gymnastics and Dance *
• Other board sports eg. skateboarding

*These activities have been paired together due to the similarities and overlap in skill set required to perform them.

Remember, be creative within each activity choice; vary the intensities and types of training, and work on combining the skill sets together. (For example there are a number of ways we can run – sprint, slow, continuous, intervals, hills, hurdles, directional, etcetera each with their own benefits and outcomes).

If you are new to the sport, and or have been inactive or inconsistently training for a given period of time, enlist expertise from your qualified local trainer and start with the basics before progressing into specialized cross training.

Happy cross training skimmers,
Nancy Plechaty

About Nancy

Nancy Plechaty, BHkin Nancy is a well rounded athlete and avid board sport junkie. Skimboarding is her main passion, but she also enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing. She has worked in the sport, fitness and recreation industry for a number of years in various capacities. Armed with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics from UBC, Coaching and Instruction Diploma from Langara College, and holds the title of a BCRPA Supervisor of Fitness Leaders, she possesses a wealth of both knowledge and experience. Currently, she is working for Sport BC coordinating events and programs and teaches regular aquafit classes. From time to time she teaches weight training courses and athletic workshops and also works as weight room supervisor mentoring personal trainers and Human Kinetic students.

Questions, comments? Would love to hear from you on any skim related fitness topic! Your suggestion could be chosen to be featured in the next article! skimgalnancyjp@gmail.com

matt-skimboarding

“Active” Rest 101 for Skimboarders

It’s that time of the year we skimmers dread, back to school, back to life, back to reality, and the end of warm summer sessions. I know it can be hard to slow down when the weather is still epic, and all you want to do is continue that skim stoke vibe 24/7, but this is actually the best time of the year to unwind physically and incorporate some “active” rest into the otherwise #skimeverydamnedday routine. (Sorry Igers!!!)

bc-01

To keep this whole concept simple to understand, there are two basic categories that sport and physical activity are classified as: higher impact or lower impact. If you haven’t already taken a guess, skimboarding is considered a higher impact sport. It is because of the repetitive stress placed on a skimboarder’s bones, muscles, liagments, tendons and body in general caused from repetitive running, jumping, stomping, landing, twisting and torquing movements. When one participates in higher impact activities continuously, on a daily basis, without planned and adequate rest, the risk of potential physical damage to our body increases greatly. Think about it, when you hit the weight room, you have easy days and hard days, and you also have rest days in between workouts. Skimboarding is no different than going to the gym or participating in any other higher impact sport or activity.

So what’s with this “active” rest stuff?

Active rest is a brief, non-traditional resting period that lasts anywhere from a few days to about a week. It is cycled on and off, as required or as the body demands, throughout yearly skim season training and conditioning. Active rest does not mean sitting on your laurels, AKA butt, for the entire week . What I am referring to is slowing down a few notches and pursuing activities that are non-sport specific and lower impact in nature. Some examples of lower impact cardiovascular activities (used for improving heart function) could include walking on the beach, leisure swimming and bike riding, or if preferred and appropriate, anaerobic activities (non-cardiovascular) like pitching lawn darts and horseshoes or playing a round of Frisbee golf. These activities don’t involve placing the same physical repetitive stress on your body that skimming does, like the constant demands that running and jumping create. Active rest should be integrated into your annual skim training plan at least 4 x per year, or approximately once every 3 months, depending on the individual.

Why should I do it?

The goal of active rest is to create balance and equilibrium within the body. When you have a good night’s sleep how do you feel the next day? Fantastic right?! Rest, in general, helps the body repair, rejuvenate and revitalize. If you don’t get enough sleep, you pay the price until you give in and actually give it what it needs; sleep.

Skimboarding can play havoc with the body if you’re out there giving it day after day, due to the higher impact nature of the sport. When are we are physically active, our muscles undergo a mini breakdown effect, better known as the catabolic phase. While at rest or sleeping, our bodies naturally go into an anabolic phase, also known as the repair or restorative effect. (Factors such as nutrition, sleep habits, mental stress and so on, are also co-dependent on recovery from higher impact bouts, but I will only address the issue of active rest within this article). For most of us, avoiding injuries is the key to staying active and healthy. No matter the sport, overtraining and overdoing it are the prime cause for injury, sickness, stress and depression, forcing your body into an unplanned resting period. When this occurs, all the hard work and training can go to waste in as little as two weeks. Within a month, muscular atrophy (loss) is noticeable both functionally and visually.

Besides taking care of the obvious stated, taking a leisurely break will help get the blood flowing throughout the body, bringing oxygen and nutrients to muscles damaged by overexertion. It will aid in repairing and rebuilding the muscles. This process, in turn, will help improve your overall skim performance. You will notice that you will be able to get back on your board with ease after staying away from it for a week, because your muscles will have had the chance to heal and become functionally stronger.

Additionally, practicing some active rest in between non-planned times is a great way to help flush away waste products such as lactic acid that can build up in muscles post sessions. Lactic acid is the immediate tension and burn you feel after ripping it up. It normally lasts for a day or so. However, if you wake up the next day and can’t do simple functional daily movements like sitting on the toilet seat, you know that you have done more damage to your body. This is called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and is usually noticeable 24-48 hours after a hard session. It can last anywhere from a few days to over a week, if you really hit it hard. Active rest is one of the best prescriptions for DOMS, too.

Remember always listen to your body. If you’ve been going hard for a few weeks, or if you are feeling tired, achy, sore or sick, take it easy for a few days. It pays to pay attention to the warning signs. One strong word of caution to the groms or parents reading this article: don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t need to worry about kids because they’re just kids! Yes it’s true, the younger you are the quicker the body will bounce back, but there are a host of issues such as growth plate damage that need to be factored into entire the equation, giving active rest much more validity, no matter how young or old you are!

Off to play some croquet now…cheerio,
Nancy Plechaty, BHKin

About Nancy

Nancy Plechaty, BHkin Nancy is a well rounded athlete and avid board sport junkie. Skimboarding is her main passion, but she also enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing. She has worked in the sport, fitness and recreation industry for a number of years in various capacities. Armed with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics from UBC, Coaching and Instruction Diploma from Langara College, and holds the title of a BCRPA Supervisor of Fitness Leaders, she possesses a wealth of both knowledge and experience. Currently, she is working for Sport BC coordinating events and programs and teaches regular aquafit classes. From time to time she teaches weight training courses and athletic workshops and also works as weight room supervisor mentoring personal trainers and Human Kinetic students.

Questions, comments? Would love to hear from you on any skim related fitness topic! Your suggestion could be chosen to be featured in the next article! skimgalnancyjp@gmail.com

bc-02