Fitness for Surfing

General Endurance and Muscle Strenghtening

Fitness for surfing

No matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or intermediate surfer planning to go on a surf trip, this Fitness for Surfing article has all you need! The last thing you want is to waste valuable time by not being able to catch waves and fully enjoy your well-deserved holidays. Our useful fitness tips will help you make the most out of your next surf trip.

Physical preparation

When most people think about surfing they imagine the dream glide on perfect waves. It really is so, but there is another side to it: surfing requires significant physical and mental engagement.

Indeed, before standing up and catching your first wave, you will be forced to make it out to the lineup (the imaginary line where the waves break), paddling for a while, passing through waves coming at you and fighting against the rips. The physical effort will vary according to your skill level, however, no matter how experienced you are, it requires a good physical condition.

Surfing involves muscle groups that we hardly use in daily life. If you don’t live near the ocean, being able to surf every day, there are some specific exercises which will help you fully enjoy your surf trip from the first day.





Low intensity but long duration sports will help you to improve your general endurance. Running, cycling or swimming are good options to develop your stamina. These sports are ideal to improve your paddling – a specific and essential technique in surfing.

It’s up to you to find the sport that will allow you to improve your endurance. The best endurance sport for surfing fitness is swimming, preferably freestyle stroke or front crawl. Regular swimming sessions between 30 to 60 minutes long, a few times a week, should prepare you well. 

Then do splits, alternate between fast and slow speeds. For example 1 round of fast crawl, then 1 round of slow crawl, and so on. This exercise is ideal because it simulates a surf session. Slow paddling back to the line-up, and fast paddling to catch the wave. You can also try the crawl in water polo style, keeping your head above the water. This swimming technique is more similar to paddling on a surfboard.

Breath holding

When you are wiped out, no matter whether you want it or not, you will have to spend some time underwater. The bigger the waves you are riding, the better you should be prepared to hold your breath. Training in the swimming pool can be very useful.

Learning to stay relaxed will extend your underwater time; it also helps you to avoid stress, which makes your body use more oxygen than actually required. Freediving and yoga can be very useful activities.

Muscle strengthening

Some surfing techniques require more intense effort from the surfer than others. That is why it is so important to train specific muscles. Different types of manoeuvres and surfing techniques involve different parts of your body – REDSTARSURF has selected some core exercises to improve your fitness for surfing.
You don’t need an expensive membership in a fitness club. At home, at the beach, in a park next to your home, you can improve your surfing fitness easily and basically anywhere.


Muscles involved: chest, triceps, deltoids, calves, and abdominals. Do 3 to 5 sets of 10 repetitions with a rest of 1 minute between sets.

girl doing push ups - part of fitness for surfing


Muscles involved: quadriceps and glutes. Do 3 to 5 sets of 20 repetitions with a rest of 1 minute between sets.

a guy doing squats - part of fitness for surfing


Muscles involved: abdominal, oblique internal / external, psoas-iliac. Do 3 to 5 sets of 25 repetitions with a rest of 30 seconds between the sets.

a girl doing crunches in yoga style - part of fitness for surfing

Russian twist

Muscles involved: oblique abs. Do 3 to 5 sets of 30 repetitions with a rest of 1 minute between sets.

girl doing a twist - part of fitness for surfing

Doing at least some of these exercises in order to improve your level of fitness for surfing, will dramatically increase your chances to score during your upcoming surf trip.

Now you should think about the equipment, you want to take with you. If you never surfed before, don´t worry, our surf school will provide you with everything you need, such as a wetsuit, board, rash vest, sun protection, etc. Even if you forget to bring your swimwear or a pair of flip-flops, no need to worry. Our well-stocked surf shop will provide you with everything you could possibly need.

If you are an experienced surfer and plan to bring your own surfboards with you, consider airline fees for surfboard transportation for your flights, they might be higher than surfboard rental for a week or two (not to mention the risk of damaging your favourite board!)

Our surf shop is located in the main street of the surf town Caleta de Famara and will provide you with surfboards of different types and for all levels, wax, leashes, sunglasses, sun protection and plenty of beach wear of best surf brands like Quiksilver, Roxy, DC and many more.

So don’t waste your time and book your suf holidays at REDSTARSURF right now and enjoy surfing Europe’s best waves!