by Michelle Michalak May 12, 2017

If you look at Slyde Handboards roster of team riders, it's safe bet that most are either a lifeguard and/or a water polo player as well.

We wanted to dig deeper into the overlap between being a water polo player & handboarding. So, we picked the brain of 3 Slyde team riders who also happen to be talented water polo players.

Makena Magrojust finished her collegiate water polo career playing at Division 1 San Diego State University, and in 2016 was a leading force in helping the team secure the Golden Coast Conference Championships.

Makena Magro SDSU Waterpolo

Jake Keville plays for Clairemont High School 3 months out of the year, and the other 9 months plays for San Diego Shores 18u A team. He's excited to play in junior olympics and is hoping for a CIF championship this year.

Jake Keville San Diego Water Polo

Augie Cunningham has been playing water polo since he was 10 years old.  Now 6 years later he's plays for Costa Mesa High School, and also for the CMAC Water Polo Club in the position of mostly "set" but also "utility"

Augie Cunningham Costa Mesa Water Polo

Does Handboarding help you train for and during the water polo season? If so how?

Makena 

"I find bodysurfing in general a great way to stay in shape for water polo in the off season or even in season during those free weekends. All the swimming that is done after catching a wave and getting into position, helps you condition as if you were swimming up and down a pool during a game. Those quick intervals of any movement and using your legs to help get into the wave really helps build the leg strength required to play water polo, especially when you are using fins. You really have to get your legs going, and the more you kick the quicker you will get to your destination or into the wave, especially if you’re doing an underwater take off. All of the leg work relates to the leg work and training in the pool."

Jake

"If during the season, you are able to possibly muster up any extra energy to hit the surf handboarding in shorebreak is usually the call. With less swimming than a beach break the shory provides fun with limited effort. A handboard is going to build your swim and paddle muscles much like swim tools on the market."

Auggie

"I would say the handboarding helps me stay in shape for polo. However, polo season never really ends. Any chance I have to handboard or bodysurf during polo season I take it,  it's great exercise and super fun."

Do you have any specific handboarding techniques you use for training?

Makena

"I personally do not have specific handboarding techniques that I use for training. For those that want to work on swimming technique, using a handboard is great to better improve your stroke. Using a hardboard can teach you to have long and steady strokes as well as having good stroke technique, because if you do not lift your elbows all the way out of the water the handboard will catch water and that will cause you to have a weaker pull in the water. Using a handboard also helps you have the perfect hand placement when pulling through the water so then when you are in a pool swimming you can focus on having the same technique as if you were swimmingwith a hardboard."

Jake

Water polo and handbording are separate for me, but I incorporate elements (getting over my hips, getting comfortable being held down, endurance, and spins) many things transfer to each other, but I don't use one to train for the other.

Auggie

"I don't really have and special training techniques or anything like that. It's mostly just to get out whenever I can (which can be tough with my busy schedule) and have fun and catch some waves. It's an especially great way for me to unwind and forget my troubles and tough days. Water polo can be a lot and sometimes you need a break and handboarding is a great one, with still having correlation to making you great in the pool."

Why do you feel a handboard is great "tool" for water polo players to use in their spare time?

 Makena

"I think handboarding is a great use of spare time and a fun way to train for those who play water polo. From my personal experience as a Division 1 Water Polo Athlete, I try to bodysurf everyday for at least an hour before or after I do my pool workouts for water polo. Its a great way to stay in shape and I was always in shape and ready to condition when it came for pre-season training."

Jake

"Outside of practice you will be building swim muscles as well as increasing your stamina. Bodysurfing alike enables a person to feel and learn how their body acts and reacts in the wave. Overall, I felt a huge shift in the waves that I was comfortable taking off on. I felt more confident in bigger waves and was surfing longer."

Auggie

"I feel a handboard is a great tool to have for any water athlete. It gets you out in the surf having a great time. It's great exercise and in my opinion the greatest way to spend your free time. Handboarding and bodysurfing transfer well to water polo the more time you spend in the water the better athlete you'll be in both polo and handboarding."

Thank you Makena, Jake, & Auggie for sharing your keen insights!
Be sure to follow these all-stars on Instagram for more exciting moments on the beach & in the pool!
Makena on Instagram HERE
Jake on Instagram HERE
Auggie on Instgram Here
Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.


Join the community

Top