Surfing is an activity that blends swimming, balance training, and jumping rope all into one. On top of all of these fitness benefits, it is also a roller coaster of a ride through the ocean.
The motion of paddling allows you to increase your aerobic and cardio fitness endurance. Paddling also builds strength and muscle in the upper back and arms.
Springing to your feet and holding your line on the board strengthens the thighs and calves in your legs and lower back. Turning and twisting your surfboard to catch waves stretches and strengthens the back.
Catching and riding a wave greatly improves balance and gross motor skills and builds long lean muscle that helps resist future injury. Lastly, surfing brings together the mind and body and nature.
Saltwater can also clean the sinuses, and sunshine helps the body create vitamin D. Surfing is without a doubt a healthy habit both for fitness and allergy reasons.
Surfing is a sport that has one flaw, which is you cannot just go surfing whenever you want.
Everything for surfers depends on the ultra-fickle personality of mother mature. The beach, the bottom, the reef, the wind, the swell, the tide, the sharks, and many other factors all determine whether you can hit the waves or not.
In fact, some locations even bottom out at total flatness for months at a time. This makes it difficult for avid surfers to do what they love to do the most.
If your beach experiences a long stretch of flatness, or you don’t have the luxury of living near the beach, there are several other activities that you can pass the time with. There are several easy and fun ways to keep your surf juices flowing and your muscles lubed and limber for future shredding.
If you want to get physically fit for surfing, try a few alternate activities that will keep you in shape and ready to hit the waves in no time. Skateboarding is a great way to keep your balance keen and your surf muscles loose.
You can also try out the T-board, which is designed for downhill carving and rail-to-rail turns and really recreates the surf experience. This intriguing invention creates no downhill speed wobbles and requires all the technique and balance needed to surf well.
High reps and medium weights, three to four times a week mixed with a stretching regimen will ensure you are strong enough for even the heaviest session. Pay special attention to your core, including the stomach and back muscles.
You can also watch a high performance surf video while you work out to charge your spirit while expending some of that built up frustration from staring at a flat ocean. Plus, videos remind you why you are beating yourself up in the gym.
Most importantly, get into the pool and do some laps. Five or six laps every other day in a pool will keep you ready to paddle out in the ocean and swim back to the surface after you wipe out.
Beyond skateboarding, there are infinite creative ways to get a hold of some surf stoke. For one, you can go wakeboarding as you are pulled by a boat.
This lets you ride some man-made waves and do some awesome moves on these smaller-scale waves. Mountain biking is also one of the best off season sports for surfers in that it requires cardio-vascular excellence, supreme leg strength, and optimum balance.
Mountain biking is also a lot of fun to do by yourself or with friends. Any endurance biking is great for healing and preventing knee injuries and will put you in the right place come that first swell of the season.
While all of these different activities may help keep you in shape for surfing, nothing but the real thing will prepare you better. If you want to be surfer, you have to go out there and hit the waves with a board.
Riding on actual waves will help you learn how to balance of the water and hold your body in the appropriate positions for the best ride. The best advice is to practice, practice, practice.
Jack R. Landry has been writing about the exercise and health industry for years. He recommends using exercise equipment to stay healthy and fit.
Jack R. Landry
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