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Differences in VO2peak of Surfers When Paddling in Water vs. on a Swimbench Ergometer

Furr, Heather N.1; Warner, Mackenzie E.1; Copeland, Taylor L.1; Robles-Rodríguez, Cristina2; Ponce-González, Jesús G.2; Nessler, Jeff A.1; Newcomer, Sean C.1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 1095–1101
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003072
Original Research

Furr, HN, Warner, ME, Copeland, TL, Robles-Rodríguez, C, Ponce-González, JG, Nessler, JA, and Newcomer, SC. Differences in V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak of surfers when paddling in water vs. on a swimbench ergometer. J Strength Cond Res 33(4): 1095–1101, 2019—The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that surfers would achieve a higher V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak when tested in a swim flume vs. on a swimbench ergometer. Forty-eight surfers (male: 38, female: 10) aged 18–45 years participated in the study. Protocol 1 and 2 both measured heart rate, oxygen consumption (V[Combining Dot Above]O2), and respiratory exchange ratio while subjects performed an incremental paddling test both on a swimbench ergometer and in a swim flume. Protocol 2 additionally measured muscle activity and changes in skin temperature. V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak was significantly higher in the swim flume (33.03 ± 1.04 ml·kg−1·min−1) vs. on the swimbench ergometer (29.86 ± 1.08 ml·kg−1·min−1) (p value < 0.001). There were also significant differences in muscle activation and changes in skin temperature between the flume and ergometer (p-value < 0.05). Surfers significantly increased their V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak in the water suggesting previous reports of V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak likely underestimated surfer's aerobic fitness when measured on a swimbench ergometer. Future research investigating the aerobic fitness of surfers should be conducted while paddling in water or account for the 11% difference in V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak when tested on a swimbench ergometer.

1Department of Kinesiology, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, California; and

2Department of Physical Education, School of Education, University of Cádiz, Puerto Real, Spain

Address correspondence to Sean C. Newcomer,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.