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Surf Fitness: A Quick Checklist for Getting (and Keeping) in Shape for Surfing

surf fitness routine

Why Surf Fitness is Crucial for Better Surfing?

Riding waves requires more than just skill on the board. Surfing is a physically demanding sport that requires a combination of strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility. To improve your surfing performance and stay injury-free, it’s essential to incorporate surf fitness into your regular routine. In this article, we’ll provide you with some surf fitness tips to help you get in shape for the waves, including strength and endurance training, balance exercises, stretching, and nutrition.

Essential Surf Fitness Tips

There’s no doubt that getting out into the ocean (or a wavepool) to surf is the best way to practice, but it’s not the only thing you should be doing to become a better surfer. In fact, there’s plenty of different ways to boost your surfing ability and the key is to combine them all.

Strength Training

Strength training is an essential component of surf fitness, which should focus on building upper body, core, and leg strength. Exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and planks are great for building strength and endurance in the muscles used during surfing.

Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are important to improve stability on the board, prevent falls, and perform maneuvers effectively. Incorporating yoga, pilates, and balance boards into your program can help to improve balance and coordination.

Endurance Training

Endurance training is essential for building stamina and increasing the amount of time spent in the water. Cardio exercises like running, swimming, and cycling are great for improving endurance and overall fitness.


Stretching is important for preventing muscle soreness and tightness before and after surfing. Incorporating stretching exercises into your routine can help to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.

Hydration and Nutrition

Hydration and nutrition are crucial for surfers to maintain energy levels and keep their bodies fueled during surfing sessions. Drinking enough water and eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for optimal performance.

Paddle Training

Paddle training is an essential part of surf fitness as it mimics the motion of paddling on a surfboard. Rowing machines, prone paddling drills, and swimming laps are great exercises to improve paddle strength and endurance.

Pop-up Practice

Pop-up practice helps surfers to quickly move from a lying position to a standing position on a surfboard. Using a pop-up mat or practicing on land can improve pop-up speed and efficiency.

Surfing-Specific Exercises

Surfing-specific exercises are designed to improve surf fitness and performance. Working with a trainer or using surfing-specific workout programs can help to develop the necessary strength, endurance, and balance needed for surfing.

Create a Surf Fitness Routine That Suits You

Creating a surf fitness routine that suits individual needs and goals is important for optimal performance in the water. It’s essential to listen to the body and consult with a professional if there are any questions or concerns about your program. With the right surf fitness routine, surfers can improve their surfing skills, increase their time in the water, and enjoy the sport to the fullest.

For more information on surf fitness, check out out interview with Surf Strength Coach Cris Mills and check out his website at

Surf Fitness Routine

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