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Q&A

Fitness for surfing?

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What exercises can I do at home to get fit for surfing? I would like to improve my fitness so that when I travel to a surf break I'll be able to enjoy myself rather than just being exhausted.

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5 answers

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For surfing, you will first need to know how to swim very well. If you do know how to swim, or if you practice it daily, then you are are quite fit to go surfing.

If you are planning to go surfing without regular swimming practice, then first start practicing swimming and then thinking of surfing.
For surfing, you need to have a strong physique. By strong, I mean to say physically strong not a body of muscles. The exercise that you need to be strong are:

  1. Running - 30 mins daily(non-stop)

  2. Skipping - 15 Mins

  3. Push ups - 40

  4. Crunches - 50

  5. Sit-ups - 100

  6. Squats - 75

  7. Lunges - 50

  8. Abdomen exercises

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Having been a keen surfer since the late eighties, I can give you a reasonable list of the essentials:

  • Press ups
  • Pull ups
  • Sit ups
  • Burpees
  • Swimming

That's it. Seriously. All you really need to focus on is upper body strength and cardiovascular fitness, and you can do all of these without buying equipment.

Technique can help a lot as well - when you arrive at the beach watch the water for a while. Learn where the breaks are, and where the rip will help you paddle out (If you use the rip correctly you don't really need to use any energy to get out to beyond the break)

Oh, and of course the best exercise for surfing is surfing...

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Do you live near the beach? If so the best exercise for surfing is surfing. As an avid surfer for 25+ years, this has been the case for me. Outside of that, swimming, paddling, and rowing are good alternatives. In terms of the goal of "not getting exhausted", focus on cardio. I rowed crew for a couple years in college. During that time, I was in my best 'surfing' shape, able to out paddle everyone (and faster paddling means more waves).

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I would recommend Yoga. Yoga when done to the extreme is very exhausting, good for balance, and stability muscles.

As trying to define yoga routines would be way to long of an answer, I would recommend checking out youtube for some tips. They even have surf specific yoga there.

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Without knowing your level of physical fitness, I would say that the following points would be important to be able to enjoy surfing:

  • Balance, critical for enjoyment of any "ride the thing" sport.
  • Static legs, beef up those thighs to be able to brave the highest of waves.
  • Stamina, run, cycle or swim to add to your current stamina (more stamina => longer sessions).

Be sure to warm up before and wind down after exercise, also stretch to keep yourself limber.

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