The best exercise to remain paddle fit during flat spells is of course paddling on a surfboard. You could paddle to the nearest harbour, village or point or you could see how far you dare to paddle off the coast. Some people even take their surfboard to the local pool, nearest lake or river.
If you are serious about staying paddle fit, grab your longest board and paddle two or three times a week for an hour. Guaranteed you will feel the difference next time you go for a surf.
The second best option would be to go swimming. The reason is that the front crawl closely resembles paddling. This is called sports specific training. You want to recreate the exact motor pattern, sequence of muscle contractions, that you are trying to improve. The more you paddle , the more this motor pattern is reinforced.
Your brain and muscles get highly efficient in working together and this will improve your paddle efficiency, power and speed.
Next time you go for a swim try the front crawl, but with your head above the water, looking forward. This way your movements resemble the most to paddling on a surfboard.
Of course swimming is slightly different than paddling so the sequence is not exactly the same, but it is much better than doing bench presses or push ups in the gym. However have a look at the video below to get some ideas on how you can improve your paddling fitness in the gym.
Featured image by N.Rupert