There are a lot of reasons why you probably don’t surf as much as you’d like to. Maybe you don’t live around waves that break constantly. Maybe you work long hours and can’t make it into the water until the weekends. Whatever the reason, if you can’t paddle out consistently, it can be a challenge to stay in good surfing shape. So how to get and stay in surfing shape when you’re not surfing?
Surfing engages a lot of upper body for paddling and popping up. Core muscles engage for maneuvers and balance. Quads and glutes go to work for crouching low. These are the important muscle groups to target. Here are five great ways to be ready for when swell when it arrives.
1. Swimming laps
I know, I know. It can be pretty boring to follow a black line back and forth, and back and forth, but the best and number one way to stay surfing fit is to swim. Surfing requires a lot of paddling, controlled and sometimes held breathing, and upper body strength. Swimming conditions you to move efficiently in the water and targets the same muscles for paddling.
2. Beach conditioning
Beach conditioning is essentially calisthenics and putting your muscles against gravity rather than water. It’s also a great opportunity to target the core. Crunches, 8-point push ups, or pull ups should be included in the workout.
Skateboarding is an outstanding cross training activity and/or filler for surfing. After all, skateboarding was born from surfing and came to fruition as an after surf activity. It’s a great way to work on balance and maneuvers. Get yourself a Sector 9 with gullwing trucks or a surf-skate Carver or scour the market and start skating.
Enough has been written to extoll the virtues of yoga. Flexibility, strength, etc. Just do it.
5. Weight training
Yes, at times even more boring than swimming, weight training can be invaluable for increasing strength, toning up muscle groups, and keeping osteoporosis at bay. Weight training for surfing, of course, doesn’t mean bicep curls and bench presses. It doesn’t mean you’re training solely to make your muscles bigger, it means you’re training to make the muscles important for surfing more efficient. Not only that, but if you’re on the correct program, you’ll be less likely to get hurt, have a much faster recovery time, and be able to surf longer.
Pick your poison and get cracking so you’ll be ready when the surf’s up.