The best surfing advice you’ve ever been given: Get fit and strong out of the water

So we know if we had our way, we’d all go surfing every day and then we’d all be awesome. But, most of us don’t get to go surfing every day, in fact some people only get to go surfing a couple of times a year. And even if you do get to go more often, I bet it’s not every day… if it was, you probably wouldn’t be reading this because you’d be off hunting for gnarly, double overhead barrels and all that jazz. So if like most of us, you only get a few precious weeks in the sea every year, how do you make the absolute most of your time in the water?

By getting, and staying, surf fit out of the water.

If you don’t get to surf very often, do you find that your first few times back in the water you feel like you’ve forgotten how to surf? You mis-time things, you can’t catch waves, you make silly mistakes? Don’t worry, you haven’t forgotten everything you know, you’re just not as fit as you are when you surf all the time.

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Yep, I know that feeling

Now I kind of knew that this was something I should be doing, yet it wasn’t until about this time last year that I realised I really had to sort it out…

For years, every time I’d taken a surf trip I’d be rubbish for at least the first week. I couldn’t catch anything, and even if I did, I couldn’t pop up properly. I was having a particularly shocking winter at home where every time I got in I felt like I was paddling through syrup. Then one day I had one of those moments of clarity out in the sea where it’s like you just discovered the secret to the meaning of life, and I realised I obviously couldn’t be ‘surf fit’ if I was only surfing once a month! I swear I actually heard a massive penny drop straight from the sky.

Now I should probably mention, I’m not one for the gym, and the idea of hours on exercise machines indoors is pretty horrific, but I found the the trick to staying surf fit is making it so simple that you don’t have any excuse not to, and then making it a habit so you don’t even think about doing it.

If you do the right exercises regularly, and focus on building your strength and stamina, I promise you it will make a massive difference to the next time you get in the water.

Hat tip to Keith from Freeriders for this tip. I was having a good old moan about how rubbish I was surfing, how I couldn’t catch anything, I didn’t have the strength or the stamina etc etc, and Spike just looks at me and says (and imagine this in a full on Cornish accent) “well you gotta keep fit out of the water haven’t ya, or you won’t catch anything you daft mare!” Absolute legend… if you’re ever in Falmouth you should definitely pop into see him, or visit his website, he sells lots of lovely surfing stuff!


Want to get surf fit but don’t know how? Overwhelmed by what to do to get the best results? Don’t worry, we’ve got a simple plan to help you get surf fit in no time.

Photocredit: and Mike Baird

Author: Amy Lambert

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