If you’re interested in both improving your surfing and getting the most enjoyment out of your time in the water, staying fit is key.
Fitness for surfing really boils down to how you’re spending your time and what you do for your body when you’re out of the water.
That said, if you’ve got the option to surf versus going to the gym, I’d pick the surf.
For the times when you can’t surf or if you’re looking to actively improve your fitness level and strength for surfing, here are some useful tips:
- Eat healthy and drink enough water – this is a good idea for your health in general, but maintaining healthy diet and staying well hydrated is extremely important for strength building, recovery, and performance for any athlete.
- Exercise with functional movements – this can include weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, cardiovascular exercise, and swimming laps. Focus on your core, major muscles groups, and compound movements.
- Do other things in the ocean – Body surf, paddle board, kayak, swim – maximizing your time in the water will help you develop a better sense for waves and ocean conditions.
- Do yoga and stretch – staying limber and flexible is key to recovery, strength, balance, and injury prevention.
- Warm up, warm down, and get enough rest.
- Skateboard – While the skills don’t always transfer 1-to-1, skateboarding can definitely be beneficial for your surfing.
- Watch other surfers – watching surf movies and surf videos of good surfers can help you learn how to improve, make adjustments, and refine your own surfing style.