Surfing is an amazing sport that requires strength, endurance, balance, and proper technique. While surfing may look effortless, it actually demands a lot physically from your body. Getting surf fit can help you catch more waves, surf for longer periods, and prevent injury. With some dedication and the right training, you can get surf fit fast.
Baseline Fitness Levels
Before you start any surf fitness program, take stock of your current fitness level. Surfing works the whole body, so you’ll want to assess overall athleticism, not just surf-specific strengths.
Here are some baseline fitness benchmarks to aim for:
- Cardiovascular endurance: Able to swim, run, or bike continuously for 30 minutes
- Core strength: Hold a plank for 60 seconds
- Upper body strength: Perform 10 pushups
- Lower body strength: Perform 15 bodyweight squats
- Balance and agility: Stand on one leg for 30 seconds
If you fall short on any of these fitness standards, don’t worry! Use these benchmarks to set goals and track progress as you get surf fit.
Develop Your Cardio Base
Cardiovascular endurance is essential for surfing. Paddling out through waves and popping up to standing takes sustained effort. Build up your aerobic base with swimming, running, biking, or rowing. Aim for 30-60 minutes of moderate cardio 3-5 days per week. Going for brisk walks, playing sports, or doing cardio intervals are other good options.
Working your cardio will increase lung capacity, boost endurance, and help you withstand wipeouts. It also burns calories, keeping you lean and mean in the water.
Strengthen Your Surf Muscles
In addition to cardio, you need to work all the muscles involved in surfing. These include the chest, back, shoulders, arms, core, and legs. Hit these areas 2-3 days a week with moves like:
- Pushups: Works chest and arms for paddling
- Pullups: Develops back to paddle and pop up
- Shoulder press: Strengthens shoulders to bear weight
- Planks: Tones core essential for balance
- Squats and lunges: Develops powerful legs for speed and control
Use your own bodyweight, bands, free weights, or machines for resistance training. Mix up rep ranges from high reps to low reps and heavy weight to build muscular endurance and power.
Improve Balance and Agility
Surfing demands exceptional balance, coordination, and agility. Waves shift constantly, so you need to adapt your body position in a split second. Work on balance with these exercises:
- Standing on one leg: Hold for 30-60 seconds, working up to longer times
- Wobble board: Distributes weight unevenly to challenge balance
- Yoga poses: Tree pose, warrior III, and crow pose are great options
- Agility drills: Ladder, cone, or box drills to improve coordination
Aim to incorporate balance daily and do agility drills 1-2 times per week. Staying centered and nimble will help your surfing immensely.
Take to the Water
Getting ample time surfing is crucial when training to get surf fit. Log plenty of sessions working on proper paddling technique, popping up, wave riding, and duck diving. No amount of gym time can replace actually riding waves.
When starting out, surf small, easy waves in more forgiving conditions. This allows you to work on fundamentals without getting pummeled. Paddle out often, catch as many waves as possible, and stay out for extended surfs to build fitness.
Tailor Nutrition for Surfing
Fueling properly goes hand in hand with physical training for surfing. Stick to whole, minimally processed foods like veggies, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Some dietary tips:
- Eat before surfing: Fill up on protein and carbs for energy with eggs, oatmeal, bananas or pre-surfing snacks.
- Refuel after: Chocolate milk, yogurt, and turkey sandwiches all provide protein and carbs to replenish glycogen stores.
- Avoid heavy meals: Large meals right before surfing can cause cramps.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration saps energy and mental focus.
Good nutrition contributes to energy, endurance, injury resistance, and recovery needed for surf fitness.
Stick to the Surf Fitness Program
Getting surf fit doesn’t happen overnight. It requires 4-8 weeks of dedicated training to see significant improvements in the water. Stick to a consistent program combining cardio, strength training, balance, and surf sessions as outlined above.
Track progress by setting goals like paddling out to the lineup quicker, riding more waves in a session, or holding tough poses longer. Consistency and perseverance are key – fitness gains will come!
Getting surf fit will let you progress faster, surf better waves, and stay healthy. Follow these tips to improve your fitness for surfing quickly and safely. The ocean awaits!
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Surf Fit Fast
Getting surf fit allows you to catch more waves and maximize your time in the water. If you want to improve your surfing skills and endurance, getting physically prepared is crucial. Here are some common questions about training to get surf fit fast:
How long does it take to get surf fit?
With consistent training 4-5 days per week, most people can get notably surf fit within 4-8 weeks. You’ll see improvements in balance, endurance, strength, and agility in about a month if you stick to a program. Maximizing surf fitness may take up to 8 weeks or longer.
What exercises should I do at the gym for surfing?
Full-body strength training, cardio, and balance exercises will best prepare you physically for surfing. Prioritize moves like pushups, pullups, shoulder presses, planks, squats, bike or rowing cardio, agility drills, and single-leg balances.
How often should I strength train for surfing?
Aim for full-body strength workouts 2-3 days per week. Be sure to take rest days for muscles to recover and rebuild bigger and stronger. Don’t strength train the same muscles days in a row.
Should I train on land or just surf more to get fit?
The best training combines gym sessions and surf sessions. You need to build strength, endurance and balance on land while also logging time catching waves and working on technique. Land and water training go hand in hand.
What should I eat before surfing for energy?
Fuel up with carbohydrates, protein, and fluids 1-2 hours before surfing. Good pre-surfing meals include oatmeal with fruit, eggs on toast, banana with nut butter, or yogurt with granola. Stay hydrated too.
How can I workout if I don’t live near the beach?
No worries – you can get very surf fit even away from the ocean! Swimming, erging, biking, and running build great cardio endurance for surfing. Strength train with free weights, resistance bands, or your bodyweight. Yoga improves flexibility and balance.
Should I surf every day to get in better shape?
It’s best to avoid surfing daily, especially as a beginner. Take rest days to prevent repetitive strain on muscles and to allow recovery time. Surf fit training should strike a balance between exercise intensity and ample rest.
Getting surf fit allows you to progress faster in the sport and stay injury-free. Follow a comprehensive training plan that builds strength, endurance and balance to see major improvements in your surfing fitness and performance.