Getting fit to surf

When you are surfing in Bude Cornwall or learning to surf its a great advantage to be fit!

Surf Training and Preparation

Surfing has certainly become one of the most popular and enjoyed sports that there is!
It requires the surfer to possess a variety of physical elements, allowing them to first paddle out the back, catch a wave, stay balanced on the board and furthermore to create turns and manoeuvres. Some surfers not only want to have fun but desire to achieve and progress in their surfing ability. This can only be achieved through regularly undertaking quality surf training and exercise, by maintaining a good level of surf fitness you are a long way towards keeping the body injury free!
Not only is it necessary to prepare your body for a surf session, it is also a good idea to prepare the mind. So a full body warm up is paramount, without one you may cause yourself needless injury. A good warm up should gradually prepare the body for the activities ahead by slowly increasing ones heart rate and circulation thus loosening the joints and increasing the blood flow to the muscles. This also allows the individual time to feel ready mentally before activities commence.

picture of a girl doing a warm up

Surfing Warm Up-

The warm up should involve mobility drills and movements that replicate some of the movements within surfing.

Benefits are-

  • Increased mobility and flexibility of the body and joints
  • Reduced muscle stiffness
  • Increased heart rate, improved blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles
  • Activation of the nervous system
  • Respiratory system stimulation
  • Muscle contraction speed is increased, allowing for faster, reactive movements

Warm up movements for surf training-

  • Breathing squat
  • Single leg upper body rotation
  • T rotation push ups
  • Warrior lunge
  • Butt drops
  • Bent shoulder circles
  • Standing knee hugs

Surf training workout-

picture ofkettle bells

Completing just a few quality training hours a week can benefit your stamina, strength, speed and performance for your time in the sea also helping to avoid injury. Surfing is a very dynamic activity and requires full body movement in three dimensional space. Training therefor must enable your body to be strong and efficient in motion, not in isolation.

See below for some ideas to promote full body movements-

  • Kettle swings
  • Back squats or front squats
  • Dead lifts
  • Single leg dead lifts
  • Lunges and multi-directional lunges
  • Plyometric hops
  • Single arm cable pushes and pulls
  • Overhead presses and single arm overhead presses
  • Medicine ball chops
  • Push up variations
  • Pull ups/chin ups

Surf Core Training

Our core muscles are the foundation of our bodies movements. Core stability exercises are an essential element in our overall fitness training.

There are numerous exercises that can build core strength-

  • Front plank
  • Indo press up
  • Cable push and pulls
  • Swim Training

picture of a swimmer

Known for targeting all the necessary muscle groups, swimming is also a fantastic aerobic exercise. Once fully warmed up you can push yourself by using several swimming methods. These will prepare you for challenging situations for example, getting out of strong rips, managing sudden weather changes, or withstanding wipeouts and hold downs.


Our diet plays an important role in maintaining surf fitness and enabling our body to remain injury free. A well balanced, nutritious diet allows our body to conserve energy levels and keep fuelled for the next extended surf session.

picture of good food

Eat real whole foods, fruit, vegetables, quality fats and proteins. Eliminate processed food and unnecessary sugars from your diet.
Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.
Eat well balanced meals consisting of proteins, carbohydrates and good fats.
Avoid too much alcohol

With a combination of surf training workouts and a healthy well balanced diet you can prepare your body and mind for the high demands of surfing. Keeping you fit and able to withstand injury so you can continue to enjoy surfing to the max for many years to come!