Training

You will find on this page:
1.  Training for Endurance Riding
2.  Injuries w/ Endurance Racing 
3.  Endurance Riding & Nutrition 

**Make sure you read the "Catalina Isle Ride" Page on this site in addition to this page.  There are multiple applicable items on that page that will provide insight regarding riding style and lessons learned riding PWC in the ocean.

This website is informational only. This site is intended for the review by adults only.  No representation is made or warranty given as to its content. User assumes all risk of use. PWCOffshore.com, its owners and its suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Warning - although PWC riding is great fun, riding personal watercraft (PWC) in the ocean is not for the beginner and is for adults only.  Offshore PWC riding can be extremely dangerous resulting in serious injury or death.  The information on this site is for adults and strictly the opinion of the writers on this site.  We are only PWC enthusiasts - please do your own research and make your own judgments regarding what products you purchase and how & where you ride your watercraft (PWC).  We are not certified safety expert, mechanics nor are we certified mariners or certified maritime navigators.  Do not take anything you read on this site as guidance from a "professional."  By reading this site, you agree to take whatever information or input you receive on this site at your own risk.  If you are inexperienced or a beginner we recommend against riding in the open ocean.  We encourage you to take a boating safety course and consult with the Coast Guard regarding PWC, boating, rider safety and maritime navigation before you consider riding PWC offshore, in the ocean.  For more boating safety information, go to the Coast Guard's website at http://www.uscg.mil/  for more information.  Have fun and be safe and never ride in the ocean unless you know what you are doing.     

Gerner:  "Way too often I see people dumping 1000's of dollars into a ski and talking about and spending countless hours researching all the modifications that will make their ski faster, yet neglecting the other half of the equation - true athlete class physical fitness.  Most riders don't have the strength to hold on to their contemporary craft in stock form when the seas are up and rough water presents itself.  "Get off your couch and get away from your keyboard"               

Training:

Consult with your doctor before starting any training regime.
1. There is a reason many endurance racers are triathletes, Iron Men or Marathon runners. This sport requires stamina, strength a lot of will power and a high tolerance for pain. We all feel those burning quads during and after full throttle runs for 60 minutes.
2. Cardio, cardio, core strength  and more cardio. Biking and running are great for this sport, but between the two, we recommend biking. Biking is easier on the joints and there is a deeper cycle in the leg movements that is consistent with endurance riding.

 
3. The best way to train is to ride PWC and ride hard, the more the better. The only problem is time and money; we all work and the money associated with fuel and dock fees makes riding every day prohibitive.  Especially if you own the ULTRA. All of those ponies are thirsty and require a lot of fuel.
4. So how do you train? We have found that the closest land related sport to PWC offshore and endurance riding is mountain bike riding, specifically climbing.  Riding endurance is a complete body workout and difficult to match but mountain bike riding, especially climbing is a great training regime for race preparation & training. There are consistent muscle groups used in mountain bike riding and endurance riding. The glutes and quads get a workout as they act as shock absorbers for the constant pounding taken on the craft.  


5.  Do you own a sport quad (ATV)?  If so, go out and ride hard and long and off the seat (and safe) and you will get a good quad and forearm burn.  
(Below - member of PWCOFFSHORE (Gerner) cross training in the desert on the Yamaha Raptor 700)
 
6. Augment the mountain bike riding (Click here for a video example)  or standard biking with good old standard deep knee bends, and many of them (yes, go all the way down and all the way up, many times - trust me you will feel it and it will help).
7. Hit the gym and do shoulders, it takes a lot to hold on to contemporary PWC, especially the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X with 300 horsepower.
8. Working your traps (back) is key to hanging on to your craft as well. Traps can be strengthened through pull ups and bent over dumbbell rows.
9.  Find a pull-up bar and do dead-hangs, it will strengthen your hands - this is critical to avoid forearm and hand burn during the race. 
10. Leg extensions and kav extensions are also recommended. Again, hit the gym.
11. Do what you can to strengthen your lower back in the gym! (as mentioned earlier, consider wearing a large width weight belt while riding endurance).   Strong abdominal muscles can play a role in supporting your back so do abs!
12.  Don't fool yourself, an athlete is an athlete  and the better shape you are in will result in a higher probability of success in rough water.  High muscle mass and lean, low body fat is the name of the game.     

Injuries:
Disclaimer:  Safety equipment including neck braces and helmets are not guaranteed to prevent injury.  These practices are not guaranteed to prevent injury.  Ride at your own risk.  Consult with the US Coast Guard and  certified safety professionals prior to selecting and using specific safety gear. 
1. Endurance riding involves continuous full throttle speeds in big ocean water which results in big air and a potentially violent ride . The most common injury we see are broken ankles. How do you avoid this? It's hard to do so, when you get air your feet come out of the tray, when the craft comes down and hits the water gravity sucks you back into the tray quickly and potentially violently. If your ankle is out of line, you could have issues. Consider the Hydro-Turf Lifter Wedges to keep your feet more tacked in (remember to get the glue also, also remember that it may be counter productive if your double them up / two sets that is-you will be more locked in but could sustain injuries due to being TOO locked in).
2. Face/teeth:  Wear a helmet. Offshore endurance riding involves big waves and big speed (68-75 mph) which equates out to big air and a potentially violent ride. You will have face plants into your handlebars, if you're not wearing a helmet you could lose some teeth. A full face helmet can play a role in mitigating this risk. I have known riders who also wear a mouthpiece.
3.  Neck Injuries:  Falling of a PWC at en 50, 60 or 70 mph causes quite a jolt to the body and if you land the wrong way, potential whip lash or more.  A neck collar appears to be growing in popularity for the offshore rider. 
4.  5/26/2007 - one of our ULTRA 250 riders hit a swell at 63 mph off the coast of Catalina resulting in the craft bucking back and his body propelling forward and his neck, specifically his atoms apple crashing into the handlebars.  Result was a minor neck injury.  That rider has now transitioned to wearing a neck brace with wrap around protection.          

Endurance Riding and Nutrition, the "Three B's" Body, Brian and Boat:
Your PWC must be in superb shape, and so should you.  Consult with your doctor prior to making any changes to your diet or engaging in a training regime.

1. The PWC offshore endurance scene usually has the hardest core riders.   It takes stamina and your must prepare, you must train to differentiate yourself. 
2. Low body fat and high muscle mass is the name of the game. 
3. Hit the gym and do so often, use good form, work the core, focus on legs, back and hands.   
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (drink lots of water!). 
5. There are multiple ways of getting there. The bottom line is lots of training and a healthy diet. Again, consult with your doctor regarding diet. For us it is all about lean meats, fruits, grains and vegetables. Watch out for the fatty foods, heavy pastas, creams and do yourself a favor - no fast food. 
6. You need your cardio.  Therefore if you smoke, we highly recommend you quit.  Smoking and anything requiring endurance do not mix.  Do not smoke.  Note - I do not know one competitive offshore racer that smokes.