Discovering Virtual Racing

Discovering Virtual Racing

Virtual racing tips from The SUP Coach.
October 17, 2020 — Enzo Boccia
5 of the best exercises to improve power and speed

5 of the best exercises to improve power and speed

The posterior chain is the driving force behind power in the stroke.
The chain is comprised of the primary muscles of the back including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

A weakness in the chain leads to the smaller muscles over compensating for poor movement patterns and ultimately lower back ache when paddling. So before you change your technique or paddle length ensure your engine is firing on all cylinders.
March 17, 2020 — Enzo Boccia
QUICK LINK SUP Paddle Height  Chart

QUICK LINK SUP Paddle Height Chart

Personal ride style including board volume, reach and cadence should be taken into account when choosing the length that’s right for you.
August 07, 2019 — Enzo Boccia
Ocean Specific SUP Surf Photo Contest Winner

Ocean Specific SUP Surf Photo Contest Winner

Congratulations to Matt Barker-Smith for winning the SUP Surfing photo contest with this incredible air shot of Matt at Watergate Bay. 


July 28, 2019 — Enzo Boccia
Photo Contest

Photo Contest

  • Photo contest
Win an OS SUP Surf Leash and celebrate with authentic wood fired pizza for four guests at Hot Rocks Restaurant and Cocktail Bar Bournemouth.
Here is your chance to catch waves and then kick back at our favourite Surf restaurant.
Hot Rocks is the place for great food, spectacular views and has been the surfers go-to venue for decades.

How to enter

  • Submit your SUP Surfing photo to:
  • Include your name and photo location
  • Share the contest on social media (even if you don't win you could still be one of the lucky three the winner invites).
  • Like our Facebook page and that of our Sponsor. 


From bumps to barrels. The contest is open to all ages and skill level.


All entries must be submitted by 15/07/19 12pm (BST) 


One Ocean Specific SUP Surf leash in required length (subject to availability).

If your preferred length is not available an alternative will be offered.

One pizza voucher for four guests redeemable at Hot Rocks Restaurant and Cocktail Bar Bournemouth.


The photographer retains copyright but agrees that the photo may be used by Ocean Specific and Hot Rocks for publishing, marketing and promotional events.
June 15, 2019 — Enzo Boccia
The Turkish.

The Turkish.

The 'Turkish Get Up' is an excellent exercise for the Stand Up Paddler looking to add to their land based strength and conditioning program.
March 19, 2019 — Enzo Boccia
Board Ready Burpee

Board Ready Burpee

If you are looking for a sport specific exercise to add to your workout or a single exercise when short on time then this is it. Needless to say getting to your feet quickly and efficiently when on the water is a must in all SUP riding styles. The Burpee simulates this and when done with intensity and short rest intervals (HIIT) can boost strength,power,balance and endurance. The Burpee has to be the King of all land based exercise.
Board Ready Burpee
January 03, 2018 — Enzo Boccia
Tags: #OSblog Burpee
Beginner's quick tips for standing in small to mid-size waves

Beginner's quick tips for standing in small to mid-size waves


This quick tip will maximise the amount of paddle strokes between waves and give you a much better chance of generating speed to punch through oncoming sets.

See you out there..

September 10, 2017 — Enzo Boccia
Tags: Quick Tip
The Ultimate Stand Up Paddle Exercise For Shoulder Health

The Ultimate Stand Up Paddle Exercise For Shoulder Health

Paddle x ray

The Dislocate

Shoulder strength and mobility are at the core of a good SUP stroke. The shoulder joint dictates everything from reach to straight arm strength but is also vulnerable to strain and inflammation if not strengthened through its full range of motion. The dislocate exercise is used as a foundation exercise for rehabilitation and injury prevention in sports where shoulder integrity is paramount by improving strength and mobility through the full natural range of motion. Add this simple but effective exercise to your workouts for bulletproof shoulders.
Perform this exercise when fully warmed up or at the end of workouts/paddle outs. Do not perform this exercise if you feel any pain or discomfort and consult your physio/doctor.


SUP Dislocate step1


Grab your paddle with a wide overhand grip, arms down straight, elbows locked and core engaged with a shoulder width stance.







Raise arms to the ceiling maintaining elbows locked and core engaged. As you come overhead slowly roll the shoulders forward (think of showing your arm pits). Once the paddle is overhead bring your shoulder blades together.





SUP Dislocate step 3



Rotate shoulders to slowly pull paddle down behind your back keeping elbows locked and a light but firm grip to stretch the forearms and wrists. Once the paddle has touched your body return to the front by squeezing your shoulder blades together and rolling your shoulders forwards as you reach overhead.


Perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps 2-3 times a week.

As your flexibility improves gradually decrease the width of your grip over time. As your mobility improves you can add the strength phase of the exercise by gradually increasing the weight. This can be done by using a dowel and barbell weight plate or simply by strapping a water bottle to your paddle.

See you out there..




February 10, 2017 — Enzo Boccia


BUOY TURNS! Without question an important part of SUP racing and probably the most practiced, but you've got to get there first. Literally! What happens between the start and the first buoy determines where you place and more often than not if you win. Below is some ammo for your Stand Up Paddle Race arsenal.

       Every race starts with a finely tuned engine.

  • Relative body strength is important for speed, agility, flexibility, mobility, power and explosiveness. Bodyweight exercises such as box jumps and burpees simulate mounting the board and should form the foundation of your interval training followed by low rep, heavy, free weight unilateral and compound lifts such as squat, deadlift and bench. Limit the use of barbells as much as possible and use dumbells to maintain good shoulder mechanics. This will strengthen not only your muscles but also connecting tissue and increase bone density greatly minimising risk of injury and muscular imbalance ( If you spend a lot of time paddling limit the volume of your overhead pressing exercises to avoid over training the shoulder). The classic powerlifting 5 set, 5rep, @80% of 1 rep max 2 days a week works well. Have someone check your form with only a bar to see if you have full mobility. If not, practice with only the bar until you can achieve perfect form and maintain it under load. Train your muscles not your ego. Rep speed is another key factor commonly overlooked. A study on 'Velocity specificity of weight training for kayak sprint performance' found slow weight training is likely to be more effective than explosive training for improving the acceleration phase of sprinting, when force is high throughout the length of the stroke. Explosive weight training may be more effective in speed maintenance when forces are developed rapidly over a short period at the start of the stroke. Remember, correct form is essential especially at speed.


  • VO2max. 

An increase in your VO2max through aerobic activity will greatly increase the amount of oxygen your body can not only hold in your lungs but shuttle to where it's needed efficiently between breaths. This should form the bulk of your program. To increase your aerobic threshold any activity should put your heart rate at between 75-85% of your max heart rate for 20-60 min.

  • Dynamic stretching and flexibility drills

Don't do static stretching before a race. It's not the same as warming up and could do damage. Imagine your tendons as cold toffee ... it doesn't stretch well. Warm toffee however can stretch without breaking. Dynamic stretching is what you should focus on. Moving a joint at controlled speed through its complete range of motion improves flexibility, balance and coordination. Flexibility warm up exercises that mimic the movements of racing should be used to prime the body prior to a race. ( Such as shoulder dislocators using a paddle with wrist weights attached,windmills, leg kicks, lunge walks and scorpion push ups ).

  • FUEL

Proper nutrition, hydration and sleep timing are essential for optimal performance. If your thinking about it on race day it might be too late. Top up your muscle glycogen stores a few days prior to race day by increasing your carb intake and getting plenty of rest.


Caffeine is widely used in sport drinks for its ability to improve athletic performance but overuse can have the opposite effect so time it wisely. If you're on a paleo or ketogenic diet take a look at our 'How to become a bullet proof stand up paddler' article.


Make sure the bottom of your board is super clean. This will improve your glide and feet per stroke. Don't use a wax based polish, it might look sparkly but may actually cause drag. Polymer coatings may work but some are speed dependent.
Choose the right fin for the location.
Open ocean, flat water, shallow with weed debris? Fin size and shape are the board's fine tuning so choose wisely. Bigger fins give more stability and track well but turn slower. Smaller fins are faster but don't track as well. Your ability to use your paddle to go straight will also determine what type of fin to use.


If it's a sprint race you could benefit from a shorter paddle to increase cadence and reduce wind drag due to body posture. A longer paddle suits slower cadence, open ocean and longer races.


If the first time you see your location is on race day you're at a disadvantage. It may not always be possible due to location or distance to visit prior to a race so pay attention to the small things to gain advantage. Look for wind shadows and darker water which could indicate gusts and a change of wind direction. If it's a B.O.P. style beach start, how steep does the sand slope under the water line and will it still be there when you return? Jumping off a board and expecting 1ft when it's 3ft can knock you on your ass. Time your white-water punch through. Situational awareness - where have the local riders positioned themselves ? Where are the places to draft?

  • HEADS UP. 

Learning any board sport you're always told to look where you want to go because that's where you'll end up. This is just as important in your minds eye. Visualisation techniques are an established part of sport science for a reason. Visualising your course, paddle technique and strategy will prepare the brain for what you expect to happen.


Pay attention to your breathing. Your body will sense shallow breathing or mouth breathing as a stress response and as you will be full of adrenaline you want to keep your heart rate in the sweet spot. Pick a breathing drill that suits you and practice it.

Most of all take in the atmosphere and enjoy the stoke and always wear a leash.


Grier T1, Canham-Chervak M, Anderson MK, Bushman TT, Jones BH.
1US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
Liow DK1, Hopkins WG.
1Sport, Fitness and Recreation Department, Wellington Institute of Technology, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University.

February 11, 2016 — Enzo Boccia
Tags: #OSblog
The stand up paddler's survival guide to surfing etiquette

The stand up paddler's survival guide to surfing etiquette

Why are you in the line-up?

It's a question worth asking yourself. The beauty of SUP surfing is the ability to catch any rideable wave and rideable waves aren't exclusive to a line-up. A small paddle down the beach could find you catching waves all by yourself. Sometimes however due to the location, or weather, your local line-up may be your preferred option. In this instance it's important to remember there is a code of conduct and a few simple rules for your safety and those around you.

  • Be respectful. Like it or not we're the new kids on the block. Some surfers will look at us with intrigue - others disdain. Be an ambassador. 
  • Don't prowl. It's hard to keep position when the wind picks up but don't use the line up as a catwalk. Sit down once in position and you'll drift less. 
  • Don't snake surfers."Snaking” is when a surfer paddles around another surfer in order to position him/herself to get the right of way for a wave. Extremely frowned upon. Wait your turn.
  • Share waves. Don't be a wave hog.
  • When in doubt, give other surfers the right-of-way.
  • The surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way.
  • If two surfers are on either side of the peak, they each have the right of way to take off on their side.
  • No dropping in. This means that someone with the right of way is either about to take off on a wave or is already riding it and you have taken off on the same wave in front of him or her. Don't do it. It's dangerous and ruins the wave for both of you.
  • Don't paddle through the line-up; use the channel. Always paddle through the white water behind those up and riding, never in front, or you might get run over. 
  • Avoid taking your SUP to crowded line-ups unless you're extremely proficient and it's SUP friendly. 
  • Always wear a leash. You not only put yourself at risk but those around you if you don't.
  • Make sure you have the right leash. SUP boards are bigger and heavier than their Surfboard cousins and some Surfboard leashes may be too thin to cope with the added strain over time so use a SUP specific leash.
  • Only use coiled leashes in flat/open water or the smallest of waves or you risk having your board catapult back at you.
  • Hold on to your paddle at all times, especially in the impact zone. Sometimes this won't be possible so always make sure you are well away from other surfers. 

Know your ability and surf accordingly but most of all have fun.

January 29, 2016 — Enzo Boccia
How to become a bulletproof stand up paddler

How to become a bulletproof stand up paddler

Have you ever heard of a hot sports drink that improves energy and brain function? 

The drink In question is called bulletproof coffee and is used by life hackers and athletes worldwide to improve brain function, increase energy and assist in weight loss. The drink was inspired by the buttery yak tea drinking Sherpas of Tibet (renowned for their physical ability to climb mountains on not much more than their favourite brew) and modernised into what it is today by Dave Asprey of Health Guru Paul Chek is also known to put butter in his coffee. Matthew Solan from 'muscle and performance' writes
' Paul Chek has advocated buttered coffee for 10-plus years and has often shared it with his top clients, such as pro surfer Laird Hamilton and motocross racer Jimmy Button'.
The idea of a drink that boosts energy and mental alertness without killing your zen or disturbing your flow with a sugar rush or caffeine buzz is very appealing not only to your average soul surfer or SUP racer but anyone who spends considerable time on the water.

What's in it ?

MCT oil.
Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) is a fatty acid that has the ability to boost metabolism and extend the duration of intense exercise and naturally occurs in food along with long chain triglycerides (LCT) but unlike LCT goes directly to the liver for fuel and acts in a similar manner to carbohydrates. Virgin coconut oil contains 60% MCT and is a commonly used alternative to the MCT oil supplement. A word of caution if you decide to use MCT oil rather than coconut. Start with a small dose and gradually build up as tolerances vary and too much can have a laxative effect. Not good for your wetsuit.

Organic Coffee

The performance enhancing qualities of caffeine in sport are well documented and are used throughout the world in energy drinks for obvious reasons.
The best quality freshly ground organic coffee should be used to avoid toxins and pesticides that could hinder the efficacy.

Organic grass fed butter.

Grass fed butter is full of antioxidants, good cholesterol, vitamin K2 and linoleic acid an essential fatty acid necessary for good health.

The three ingredients combined form a drink that will give you a steady stream of energy and improve mental alertness but unlike most sports drinks doesn't contain any sugar so you don't get the sugar crash or the potential adrenal fatigue associated with mixing high doses of caffeine with sugar. The butter in bullet proof prolongs the effect of caffeine and reduces the blood sugar peaks and troughs common with simple carbohydrates, making it ideal for the stand up paddler who plans to spend some time on the water and may not have the opportunity to refuel.

How to make Bulletproof coffee.

There are many variants available but we've found the basic one the best.

1 cup of good quality organic coffee made in an espresso maker or cafetière.
1-2 tablespoons of organic grass fed butter.
1 tablespoon of MCT oil or organic coconut oil.
1/4 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon ( full of antioxidants and anti inflammatory )

• Blitz in a blender or shaker to form a creamy frothy drink.

It is widely accepted that saturated fat is no longer the enemy and in fact vital for proper health but a word of caution. If you have bullet proof coffee do not consume it with carbohydrates especially simple carbs. The insulin spike will send those calories straight to storage rather than being utilised for energy. Mixing simple carbs and saturated fat is the quickest way to obesity and poor health. If you do well on a high carb diet and want to try bulletproof it would be better to have your carbs later in the day. However if you're on a ketogenic , paleo or carb back loading diet you should see some great results using bulletproof.

January 18, 2016 — Enzo Boccia