Ever wondering how fast you were going when you were flying down the line? Turns out you don't have to wonder no more. All you need is one of those GPS watches, and set it to record your session.
Local surfer Anthony Adler tried it out during last Thursdays big swell at Jbay. Pity he didn't wear his heart rate monitor too, cos would be interesting to see how that spikes up during a big drop or a looming set!
He recorded a 400 metre ride, which lasted 53 seconds, with an average speed of 27.7km and max speed 40.3km. Pretty neat! You can even go download your stats on a website like Strava, and then others can see how they stack up against your stats for that same section you surfed.
Turns out professional surfing dabbled into GPS tracking for a brief moment back in 2011, but it quickly slipped back into obscurity. Competitors during the 2011 Quik Pro at Snapper were fitted with rash vests with embedded GPS trackers.
There were a coupla interesting observations. The distances being covered by the surfers were pretty huge. Joel Parkinson covered nearly 4km in 25 minutes. I barely run 4k's in 25 minutes, let alone paddle that far in that time!
So to all those lighties training for competitive surfing - certainly proves that you need some serious paddling fitness - cos you paddle your mielie off in a heat.
Speed was the big question everyone had - how fast do these guys go? The top speed achieved by Slater and Fanning actually happened mid turn. At Snapper Rocks, Mick Fanning was the fastest surfer. The Aussie recorded a maximum speed of 39,1 km/h. In second place, Joel Parkinson clocked 34,6 km/h, Bede Durbidge third at 33,6 km/h and 10-time world champion Kelly Slater places in fourth (32 km/h).
Remember the guys were monitored during competition surfing - which means plenty of turns and pivots - not flat out speedlining - as would be the case at big JBay for example.
Would be interesting to see what they'd clock if they were on a race-track like Jbay on a good day and they were purely surfing for speed.
So for all those surfers out there who normally use their GPS watches for running or cycling, maybe take it out with you on your next surf just for fun and see what sort of speed you can clock.