Many novice surfers ask us the question, “What can I do to improve my surfing while outside of the water?”. The answer: a whole lot! The following activities and exercises are great for surfers of all ability levels.
Push-Ups strengthen the arms and shoulders, allowing for stronger paddling and making the pop-up motion easier. For a more complete workout, use an exercise ball. This will help strengthen your core, which in turn will help your balance while standing up on your board.
Yoga, or similar stretching exercises, is great for core strength and mobility. These exercises help mostly with the pop-up motion and with balance while riding waves.
Swimming helps with paddling power and endurance. If you’re able to, swimming in the ocean or body surfing provides the added benefit of increasing your confidence level while out in the water, as well as reading and timing waves and currents.
4. Squats/Squat Jumps
Squats and squat jumps help build muscles in the lower half of your body, particularly your hips, knees, and ankles, all of which are essential to being a successful surfer. The landing portion of squat jumps is particularly important, as they train the same muscles you use when dropping into waves. Hip, knee, and ankle injuries are common in surfing – so don’t skip leg day!
Running and biking are great cardiovascular focused workouts that will help increase your endurance and water time. This is especially important in Santa Barbara – our long right-hand point breaks will literally take your breath away on a good day after a long ride!
6. Meditation/Breathing Exercise
Wipeouts are unavoidable, even for the best surfers. You will find yourself underwater during almost any given session. Meditation and breathing exercises allow you to stay calm while underwater, as well as increasing lung capacity.