Duck diving: take a deep breath

Oxygen and confidence may turn a wave set nightmare into a relaxed challenge. So, how can you physically increase your lung capacity?


If you're a small surfer, live in lower altitudes and consider yourself an obese human being, prepare to suffer at the hands of that huge set of waves. And if you're a woman, it's not that good. Those are the worst variables when it comes to breathing power.

The oxygen capacity of our lungs will also naturally decline with age - at the rate of about 1% per year after the age of 25 - but with proper training, you can elevate your oxygen capacity by between 10-20%.

Increasing lung capacity is, therefore, critical if you want to relax while getting caught by a long, heavy and endless wave set.

The total lung capacity of an average man is of six liters, but only a small percentage is used during normal breathing.

Knowing how to capture oxygen before being forced to dive underwater is important and can be trained and improved. Here are the most important lung training tips for surfers:

1. Stop smoking.
2. Design a simple stretching plan or a Pilates program.
3. Practice meditation or Yoga exercises.
4. Get a full inhale/exhale daily plan; do it completely and slowly.
5. Inhale a deep breath and splash your face with cold water to activate bradycardia.
6. Train apnea by walking underwater in a pool or out in the ocean floor.
7. Swim hard during 30 consecutive minutes, twice a week.
8. Run and workout at high altitudes.
9. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.
10. Dive and stay down for two waves.