Consult with your doctor prior to starting any physical training regime - we are not nutritionist and have no medical or nutrition training.
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"
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.
6. Augment the mountain bike riding 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 calf 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.
"NO SURRENDER" NEVER.........
4. Training (Consult with your doctor prior to starting any training regime, we are not doctors nor do we have any training in nutrition consult with a nutritionist prior to taking any Supplements or changing your diet):
1. The primary areas of your body you need to train are your legs, glutes, lower back,, lats, forearms and hands. Sounds like your entire body, the priority is your legs, lats and hands.
2. Buy a mountain bike and hit the trails, go long and hard. Work up to at least fifty miles prior to a race. What is climbing on a mountain bike? Click here for a video
3. Hit the gym and work hard, minimum four days a week.
4. Legs: Squats, extensions, deep knee bends, cav extensions and multipe good old deep knee bends, yes deep knee bends - they work. Go all the way down, and all the way up. Hold the position at 90 degrees after 100. Hang from a pullup bar as long as you can, it will assist with your grip.
5. Lats: Pull downs, bent over rows, pull ups. HANG from the pull-up bar for as long as you can as a final burn.
7. Hydrate! Drink water! This is critical. Drink plenty of water and consider wearing a waterpack when your're riding or training.
8. Nutrition: What we do - if you smoke, quit. If you drink alcohol heavy, quit. If you drink in moderation, don't drink for 48 hours prior to the endurance race. If you eat fast food, quit. Consider lean meats, lots of fruit and vegetables, complex carbs such as brown rice. Use common sense. Consult with a nutritionist and have them address your diet and possible supplements prior to making any changes to your diet.
9. Supplements one of our racer takes (We are not nutritionists, consult with your doctor prior to taking any supplements): Creatine, Protein Powder with Glutamine, MultiVitamin, B-Vitamins, Alpha Leupaic Acid (Anti-oxidant). Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM for the joints and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
10. CLICK HERE for nutrition information for endurance athletes.
Training for your throttle finger and hands/forearms: Below is a picture of a hand strengthening device that you can purchase at most Sportsmart Stores:
Picture below is of the hand and finger strengthening device - a great buy
Below is another type of hand strengthening device that also works more aggressively on your forearms:
"Cut and Turns"
Safety - Always ensure you check your shoulder and the proximity of other racers prior to making a turn described here / do this at your own risk. When the ocean is flat and the ability for you to get a good day of training in the ocean is in question due to the smooth conditions, we have been engaging in “cut and turns.” Cut and turns are when the rider has his backside up off of his / her seat and your legs at a 90 degree angle (racer’s body position), check the shoulder that you are about to turn into for other craft or objects, then lean into the turn and take a turn to that direction then check your other shoulder and take another turn to the opposite direction while at throttle. Do this multiple times back and forth. The G’s you pull while doing this maneuver will give you a workout, especially your legs. Slowly work up the throttle as your skills improve and use your judgment regarding what speed you take when you take these turns. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SHOULDER AND LOOK FOR OTHER CRAFT OR OBJECTS PRIOR TO MAKING A TURN - SAFETY FIRST.
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 counterproductive 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 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. One of our ULTRA 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 you 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.
Mountain Bike Training
Disclaimer: We are not professional mechanics, feel free to implement the following recommendations at your own risk.
Riders Quick Guide to Salt Water PWC Maintenance
Offshore Riding & Salt Water PWC Maintenance:
Our riding requires a completely different approach for maintenance vs. riding in fresh water. It involves significantly more time, effort and discipline to ensure this maintenance happens after every salt water ride. Allocate an additional hour after the ride to tend to your craft. You MUST attend to your craft after every salt water ride. Don't believe the hype that if you ride in the ocean you will destroy your craft. The only way you will hurt the craft is if you don't maintain it properly. The message is, just do the post ride maintenance and you'll be fine.
After each ride:
1. You MUST have an engine flush kit
2. You MUST flush the engine with water after every ride.
3. The use of Salt Away is recommended for flushing (they are not a sponsor).
We recommend you use Salt Away (no alternative) after every ride as part of the fresh water flush (flush kit adapter required).
If you have a RIVA intercoller, it is critical that you run one cycle of salt away through your craft. After flushing is complete, place a fresh dose of Salt Away into your flush adapter and run it through again. Stop the flushing, then stop the craft. Attempt to keep salt away fluid as the last fluid that was in the intercooler and fighting corrosion as the craft sits until your next ride.
If you are running craft with other intercoolers, still flush with salt away. *Remember to still burp the throttle (quick revs) to ensure you get as much of the water / fluid out of the craft as possible after the flush. This is especially important with the Kawasaki ULTRA platform - get as much water as possible out of the system after flushing.
Salt Away claims to leave a coat of anti-corrosive film on the inside of your engine and intercooler.
There has been an ongoing debate over the use of Salt Away vs not using Salt Away that has gone on for years. Over the past fifteen years, we have had multiple conversations with technicians (one of which has over 34 years of experience), they say use Salt Away. Just be safe, spend the 20.00 and be over it. I've been riding in the ocean for 20 years, I never flush with anything but Salt Away. Most of the experienced offshore riders we know flush with salt away. Run out of salt away? Consider Dawn Soap
After the flushing process is complete, burp the throttle to exit as much water as possible out of the water box i.e. "clear" the water box. If the craft will sit for a long time, take extra special effort to clear as much water out of the system as possible.
Again, if you are running the Kawasaki ULTRA platform, it is very critical that you take special effort to clear the water box with throttle burps prior to stowing the craft, even if it is just being stowed for a week. Some back their craft to the ramp so the craft is at an angle (nose up) and then do a final clear of the box.
Some use Dawn Soap to flush and clean the inside of the engine compartment. Dawn Soap does a fine job of removing oil residue.
If you use Dawn soap for the actual engine flush, it is recommended that you also run a coat of Salt Away flush after flushing with Dawn Soap to keep the anti-corrosive properties on / in your craft.
For the Kawasaki ULTRA, remember to get as much fluid out of the craft as possible by burping the throttle subsequent to flushing the craft.
Burping the throttle is defined as gently revving the engine a few times after the water hose has been turned off resulting in pressure that pushes water out of the craft / out of the water box / out of the system. Many back their craft onto the ramp so the craft is at an angle, then burp the craft (not required but a "nice to do").
If for whatever reason you don't have an additive to mix with the water like Dawn soap or Salt Away, make sure you thoroughly flush the craft with fresh water. You MUST flush the craft after each ride.
3. How to flush: Read your owner's manual regarding flushing procedures. We flush in the following manner: Connect the flush kit to your craft while the craft is off, turn your craft on, then quickly turn the water on, run your craft for approximately five to seven minutes with the water/flush running through it, then turn the water off, then the turn the engine off. Never allow your craft to be off while the water is running through your craft. Also, to avoid overheating, never allow your craft to run for extended periods of time without the water/flush running through the craft.
4. Spray your craft down with water and soap, ensure you get full coverage over your craft and trailer (we use salt away here also).
5. Sponge down your craft with soap and water, rinse clean.
6. Remove your drain plugs.
7. Cover your aftermarket air intakes and filters with a plastic zip tie bag - spray down the entire engine compartment with water and salt away. Ensure your water spray stays clear of the engine's air intakes. Never wash down your engine compartment while the engine is running.
8. If your craft has a belt (Kawasaki ULTRA), do your best to keep oils and bilge off of your belt.
8. Shammy or micro fibre your craft dry to avoid water spots (especially if you own a black craft). Ensure you use a Micro fibre or Shammy cloth to dry the craft.
9. With your drain plugs removed, drive your truck to an incline (back to the ramp) and allow the craft's engine compartment to drain out all of the water. Also do a final clearing (throttle burp) of your waterbox .
10. Stow your craft with the seats off (if garaged) or with a wedge under the seat to allow the water to evaporate.
11. Keep a coat of carnuba wax on your craft to avoid water pitting on your craft. Consider trying S100 Paste Wax. It is expensive but we like it. Remember to apply from side to side vs a circular motion. The circular motion can result in the small hairline scratches to be more visible. Use a micro fibre application and use only a clean micro fibre towel to remove the wax. Scroll down for more options including our preferred Sealant
12. We place a light coat (very light coat) of Amsoil Fogging Oil anti-corrosive spray on our engine. Avoid air intakes, wiring and belts. LIGHT Coat.
13. Place a light coat of Fluid Film anti-corrosive spray lubrication on all moving parts on the outside of the craft (around the pump, reverse etc). As a general rule, we recommend Amsoil fogging oil on / in the engine compartment (avoid belts and hoses!) / on the engine and Fluid Film on parts outside of the engine compartment.
** If you ride a Kawasaki ULTRA 250/260/300/310R we encourage you to lightly fog the supercharger after every ride with fogging oil. Fogging will also lubricate other critical engine components. If you are running the Kawasaki 300/310 supercharged platform, use the port forward under the glove box on the left side of the craft.
14. Grease your trailer frequently.
15. If you have a regular painted trailer, keep a coat of carnuba wax on the trailer and ensure you always soap and rinse down your trailer after every ride.
16. Rinse your wet suit, boots, gloves and life-jacket with fresh water soap. Allow it to dry in an open area. As a general rule, if ANY of your gear has been in contact with the salt water, it needs to be rinsed with fresh water.
17. Consider stowing your seats in the back of your truck for your drive home. This should enable the engine compartment to dry more quickly during the drive home or to your storage ground. Note Salt water will eat your gear if you let it. Be vigilant about maintenance.
18. Place di-electical grease on your battery connections and electrical cables / connections.
19. We keep a fresh coat of carnuba wax on our hulls.
20. After your engine is dry, spray a light coat (very very light coat) of Fogging Oil over your engine (avoid belts)
21. Put a light coat of Fluid Film on your pump / reverse bucket area on the outside of your craft. Turn your steering back and forth and move your reverse level up and down, this will get the Fluid Film into the system.
22. Store your craft with a full tank of fuel to avoid water/condensation into your fuel tank.
23. Should you anticipate not running our craft for an extended period of time, place fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL into your gas tank. Do so in accordance with the directions. If your craft sits for a very long period of time, we suggest removing all of the fuel and replacing with fresh fuel.
24. Consider a trickle charger for your battery while your craft is stowed.
25. Before you walk away from the garage, break out your shop-vac and remove all remaining water in the bilge area so your bilge area in your hull is clear of all water.
26. If your craft is garage kept, stow the craft with seats removed and the front hood cover open to allow for proper ventilation.
1. Do so in accordance with your owner's manual.
2. Endurance riding involves long durations of full throttle RPM's resulting in significant heat and stress on the craft's engine.
3. We change our oil every 8 - 12 hours which is frequently. Use your judgment based on your riding style. New oil is cheap insurance. Also keep in mind that we ride very hard. Duration of oil changes is directly related to how hard you ride and where you ride.
4. We are currently running synthetic oil on a broken in engine.
5. We are transitioning some of our craft to full synthetic oil with anti-corrosive properties to combat the moisture and salt water found in ocean riding.
6. Change your oil often and use quality oil (we use synthetics). If you are running oil for long durations between oil changes, use an oil with anti-corrosive properties in the oil. Many ask us what kind of oil to run, the key is to run QUALITY synthetic oil and keep it clean. The key term here is CLEAN quality synthetic oil. There are many good synthetics out there.
7. Buy an oil extractor to allow for frequent, less expensive oil changes.
8. Flon'go Fuel Siphon - an inexpensive method of extracting old fuel from your craft. Or for racers, if your setup requires race fuel and there is 91 octane in the tank, here is an inexpensive option. The pump-handle is not industrial, plastic etc., but for less than $40.00 dollars US this is a good option available on Amazon.