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The OTC Team Riders; Warming up with winter training!

Here is a thought? How do the The Official Test Centre Team Riders stay fit and healthy in the winter months when they can't get out on the water as much? If windsurfing is your main physical activity and the colder months or lack of wind prevent you from getting out on the water as much as you'd like. There are many ways you can stay fit and healthy. One idea is strength training to improve your core, so you will be ready to go when the conditions and weather align. Because windsurfing is a complete body workout, it is a great idea to try and replicate that in the gym by mixing it up, combine cross-training, bike riding or circuit classes. This extra fitness may add a few more knots to your speed and make you ready to make the most of your sessions! Lets here from The OTC Team Riders; Warming up with winter training!


By Emma Nicholson.

Aaron Smith
The Official Test Centre Team Rider Aaron Smith

The Official Test Centre, Team Rider Aaron Smith, said "Go somewhere where I can be on the water just as much! Just arrived in Egypt and planning to be here for three months. Should be on the water three days a week average, but joined the gym two minute walk from my house. Only planning on using the weights and keeping fairly low reps the first six weeks to try gain some strength then increase the reps for the last six to see if I can loose a few of the many gyros I ate last season. If theres a long period of no wind i'll add a few 30 minute runs in there and try to keep up my daily stretching!"  

James Hardy
The Official Test Centre Team Rider James Hardy

The Official Test Centre, Team Rider, James Hardy, said: "I am lucky in that through the winter I get to spend a fair amount of time on the water due to the cycles of work etc… however I've always oddly enjoyed cardio, and occasionally been known to enter a long distance event of some sort. So I do a fair bit of running or swimming. I did get myself a bicycle last year so that will hopefully feature a little more. I do go to the gym but I go through phases with it, I’m still one of those people who isn’t 100% sure what I should be doing sometimes so I just roll with it and get stuck in. I am incredibly lucky though, in the winter it’s relatively quiet with work so i am able to find some time to grab a cheap flight to some warmer waters and hopefully wind. The main thing is keeping active in some way so you’re still ready to make the most of when you can get out.”

Lilia Yelland
The Official Test Centre Team Rider Lilia Yelland

The Official Test Centre, Team Rider, Lilia Yelland, said: "Well, starting from this year I will be attending CrossFit at Portland beach, I didn’t attend as much as I should’ve last year. So over the winter I will get back to CrossFit and also start cycling to help my overall fitness!"

Scott Norman
The OTC Team Rider Scott Norman

The OTC Team Rider, Scott Norman, said: "As of this winter, I’ve started going to the gym to keep me active off the water, I find this a great way to improve my strength and fitness for windsurfing, and it also is a big help in the weight gain, and I believe that’s an aspect of the recent PB's that have been achieved. With this in mind, winter is also a great chance to push the limits on how committed you are, because i think that if your out when the elements are at their worst, then it lets you enjoy them more when they’re at their best!"

Simon Winkley
The OTC Team Rider, Simon Winkley

The OTC Team Rider Simon Winkley, said: "I am lucky to have a pretty active lifestyle without trying too hard. When I am not on the water coaching or playing I have a boat services business which means I am constantly outside walking around, climbing up masts, moving boats, fixing them, crawling under them etc. and this really helps me to keep flexible, strong, fit and active. I don’t think I could handle the gym as I would not know what to do when I got there!


"When I have to spend a lot of time doing admin I limit the time I spend sitting down. My Apple Watch tells to stand up if I forget! A friend who is running ultra marathons recently told me that new research suggests that 'sitting down is the new smoking’ in terms of how bad it can be for your health in the long term. As I type this now I am stood up balancing on a CoolBoard with my laptop positioned on a 35cm high box on my desk. Every second I am making lots of micro movements to stay balanced on this wobble board which keeps the blood circulating and improves balance (especially good for foiling).


"CoolBoards are great as they allow balance to be worked on in all directions using a disc or ball under the board instead of a roller which only gives side to side movement. So you get to work on calf and thigh strength as well as an active range of motion for the ankle/foot (vital movements for windsurfing and wingfoiling):

  • dorsiflexion (toes lifting the foot up towards the shin)

  • plantar flexion (toes pressing down to point the foot down )

  • movement of the sole of your foot to the inside (inversion)

  • movement of the sole of your foot to the outside (eversion)


"Using the disc, you can even stand on it in switch stance/toeside and do foot changes if you’re really keen! All solid winter training.


"Other than that its eating well, lots of water, mostly zero alcohol and a bit of running and local walks between on-water sessions."


Keep an eye on The OTC social media platforms for the latest on the OTC winter Slalom Training Camps, this weekend due to the forecast the camp has been rescheduled, there are two further dates over the weekends of February 3rd/4th and March 2nd/3rd 2024. For all your winter warming kit, check out Surf Doctor, stay warm and sail all year round!

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