Surfing isn’t the only thing that will make you better at surfing. Sure, it’s often the best, but there are plenty of ways to train and build your body that will maximize your time in the water. Being a better all around athlete can only help and boxing, of all things, is a pretty solid addition to your non surf repertoire. Here are ten ways boxing will step up your game.
1. Boxing is technical.
Have you stopped to wonder how beautiful progressive surfing looks in slow motion? It’s the reason most video clips include portions where the reel is slowed, allowing you to marvel at the brilliant nuances of the way the surfer’s arms act as harmonic wings, guiding the body in rhythm with an aquatic canvas. Like progressive surfing, boxing is highly technical and filled with complementary moves that require the physical practice and mental discipline to execute a desired technique.
2. You’ll develop lightning quick reflexes.
Mick Fanning is nicknamed “White Lightning” because he strikes his target with nimble, electric precision. In boxing, while it’s important to throw a proper accelerated punch, it’s equally crucial to get the hell out of the way of your opponent’s fists of fury. Technical surfers, like boxers, must weave, duck, slide, and make physical decisions in degrees of nano-seconds.
3. Getting punched in the face is humbling.
All surfers wipeout. Depending on your risk level you can get seriously injured or even die. There is a balance between knowing that you must have the confidence to face danger, yet be aware that the wave or your opponent can really ruin your day. Boxing reminds us that we are not immortal and there are elements out there that are much larger and more powerful than us.
4. It melts away stress.
Surfing is and always should be a great stress relief. But let’s face it, you can’t always surf. Traffic is only getting worse and chances are you’re going to be in a situation that’s going to piss you off. If yoga is not your speed, try punching a bag for thirty minutes. I guarantee you’ll forget, at least for that day, how annoying your boss is.
5. It burns a ridiculous amount of calories.
It’s nearly impossible to find obese professional surfers. At the technical level today, surfing requires a tremendous output of physical energy, and so does boxing. But if you’re like me you can’t surf everyday. In the meantime you can box and stay extremely fit for the next time you paddle out. In my gym it’s common to see athletes burn anywhere between 500 and over 1000 calories per hour.
6. It’s cost effective and portable.
A decent starter, free-standing punching bag will price at around $100. If you’re on the road you can get a complete workout in by shadow boxing with an inexpensive pair of 3 pound weights, a jump rope, and going for a brisk jog like Rocky.
7. Boxing makes you stronger.
Aside from burning ludicrous amounts of calories, boxing will make you really strong and you’ll definitely notice the difference when your buddies are struggling to keep up with you against a strong current. Boxing has shown to increase bone density, endurance, core stability and overall cardiovascular fitness.
8. You will grow a pair.
The more you dedicate to boxing, the more confident you’ll feel both on land and in the water.
9. You’ll learn self defense skills.
Yes, you actually learn how to fight or fight better. Before you run off and join the Cobra Kai keep in mind the sage teaching of Sun Tzu: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
10. It looks cool.
Like watching a talented surfer draw lines on a wave, boxing is similar, albeit viciously rhythmic, in nature. Referring back to the humility concept, it can be intimidating and inspiring at once, and even exhilarating to watch a talented boxer do their thing in the ring.