Beginner surfer riding a wave

Surfing is a high energy activity. This means in order to be successful at it, you’ve got to be of a reasonable level of fitness. Of course, the best way to remain fit for surfing is to do just that… surf, but what if it is not possible?

If you don’t live near surfable waves, keeping in shape can be pretty difficult: this is certainly the case for many guests who stay at our beginner surf camps around the world. Having a chance to attend daily surf lessons at the camp you’ll build a surf fitness with every single session and when you leave you’ll feel stronger, more flexible, and much more confident than when you arrived. The problem is that once you return home and stop surfing consistently any gains will gradually begin to disappear. So that when you do head back to surf again, you have to basically start your training from scratch.

With this tips, we’ll show you some ways to stay in shape when you’re not surfing, ensuring that when you arrive at a Rapture surf camp and hit the waves once again, you can build upon your past learn to surf sessions and further improve your on-wave skills. Staying active especially is important for your physical and mental health, so make sure you get some exercise in your daily routine.

We’ll propose you in this post some activities you can do on your own. Feel free to let us know if you have any tips to keep yourself active and keep your body tonic and ready for your next surf trip.

1. Pick up a skateboard

Girl holding a skateboard above her head
Become a sidewalk surfer and maintain your fitness with a skateboard

Old wisdom will tell you that the only thing that helps you get better at surfing is to surf more. While that’s true in many respects, a skateboard is a fantastic substitute for a surfboard if you’re deprived of waves.

By picking up a skateboard when you’re not at one of our surf camps for beginners, you can still get a feel for what it’s like to be planted on a board. Sure, the sensations and the environment will be totally different. And we prefer saltwater to concrete every day of the week. The movements you perform on a skateboard, however, can be adapted. So that they somewhat imitate those you would perform on a surfboard.

Bending at the knees, keeping a straight back and dropping your back knee when you arc through turns are just some examples of things you can practice while skateboarding. As can crouching down low whilst maintaining your balance… if you want a taste for what it’s like to pull into a barrel. 

Carve boards such as Sector 9s are the best types of skateboards to use for that authentic surfing feeling. Given that to generate speed on them you’ll need to pump your legs and work the board in the same way you would when going down the line on a surfboard.

2. Workout at home

Man surfing a wave in Costa Rica
Want to surf like this? Then consider adding a workout to your daily routine

Working out when you don’t have access to surfable waves is a fantastic way to maintain surf fitness. We’re not advocating you start power squatting on the regular and throwing down protein shakes like they’re going out of fashion. We just mean a little bit of resistant band and bodyweight training to ensure you don’t lose your paddling endurance.

Push-ups, squats, and star jumps are just some of the more popular exercises you can do with just a mat and no equipment. Then there are shoulder extensions with a band wrapped around a tree or a pole, planks to help with your core and burpees to better your pop-up technique.

You can also group these exercises together and create your own custom circuit. Changing it up and making it more difficult as you adapt in order to facilitate physical progression. With a little luck and a lot of effort, you’ll be at peak fitness when you arrive at one of our beginner surf camps. Ready to take on the swell and show your instructors what you’re made of.

3. Swim some laps

Guy swimming in pristine water
Swimming can get a little bit dull, but it’s also the best thing for maintaining paddle endurance

When you can’t surf but you have access to a pool or lake, why not swim some laps? There’s really nothing better for you when it comes to maintaining surf fitness. With strokes such as freestyle emulating the type of stroke you perform when paddling, while others are great for building lung capacity and general athleticism.

To get started, schedule one or two sessions per week. Begin with a few warm-up laps to get acquainted with the pool and ensure your technique is spot on. Then launch into 30 minutes of swimming freestyle, taking breaks as needed. As you improve, you’ll should up your minutes and complete laps without breaks in between.

Of course, swimming alone for long periods at a time can be a bit dull. Not only that but without someone pushing you, you might be inclined to drop off in pace and effort. If you’re learning to surf with a friend and intend on visiting our surf camps for beginners with them, persuade them to join you for a weekly swimming session. They’ll no doubt thank you for it when the surf starts pumping and they’re able to catch multiple good rides in one session.

4. Stretch out your body with some yoga

Yoga Surfcamp Portugal
When in doubt, stretch it out at one of our surf camps for beginners

Being flexible in your muscles and your joints make learning to surf infinitely easier. You’ll be able to stand up quicker, rebound from any wipeouts you may have, and minimize the risk of injuring yourself. We, therefore, recommending undertaking yoga sessions before, during, and long after your stay at one of our surf camps for beginners.

We offer yoga sessions at our camps as it’s probably the easiest surf-specific training you can do. Next time you join us simply enroll in a class or two when you arrive and get a feel for some of the basic movements. You don’t have to leave our premises and it’s a great way to loosen up after a long day in the water.

By implementing yoga into your surf fitness routine, you’ll also find that you can surf longer and experience less discomfort after a solid session. Maintaining flexibility is especially important as you get older, so if you want to travel the world and surf for as long as possible, yoga will be your secret weapon.

5. Go for a run

Man running down beach at sunrise
After some training back home you’ll be ready to sprint down the beach to catch the first wave of the day

Like swimming, running isn’t for everyone. If we can pluck at one major advantage to cutting some laps around a sporting field or through your city though, it would be that you only need a pair of running shoes in order to do it. This means you can run practically anywhere with very little forward planning. Just pick a route and go.

Another benefit to running is that it activates your leg muscles and your lungs. Two parts of your body that play a big role in surfing. If you can manage a decent pace, running will also help in weight loss, while some studies showing that running early in the morning can also improve your mental clarity.

The only thing we suggest when it comes to running is that you don’t go too hard at the beginning. Try for a relatively small distance, say between 1 – 2 kilometers, to begin with. Then work your way up from there. This way you mitigate the risk of straining something. We’d hate to see you miss out on staying at one of our surf camps for beginners after all.

6. Try paddleboarding on a lake or river

Two people paddleboarding on a lake
Paddleboarding is great training for people who intend to stay at our surf camps for beginners

Paddleboarding on an inland body of water such as a lake or river is awesome practice for surfers out of their element. Every stroke you take on a paddleboard builds core strength, not to mention the fact it’s a great activity for keeping your balance game tip-top. Paddleboarding can also be done with friends or by yourself and these days you can find them for sale at reasonable prices if you don’t already own one.

In addition, paddleboarding is accessible to everyone regardless of athletic ability. As long as you have a paddleboard suited to your skill level, you can jump on and start using it. You don’t have to go hard on a paddleboard either to feel the benefits of it. Simply standing on an unstable platform engages your stabilizer muscles, which are crucial for sitting on your surfboard and maintaining down the line momentum.

7. Lay off the beers

Toña, one of the most popular Nicaraguan beer
There are plenty of these waiting for you at our surf camp for beginners in Nicaragua

This one is going to trigger a lot of people, but honestly, taking a break from drinking offers incredible health benefits that will pay off in a big way once you get back in the water. Plus, if you’re not going out, buying rounds, and otherwise boozing your money away, you’ll be able to put that cash towards booking a beginner surf camp with Rapture.

At the end of the day, we make sure that all of our surf camps have fully stocked fridges anyway. This means you can look forward to rewarding yourself with some post-surf libations once you arrive. Let’s not beat around the bush though… abstaining from drinking does take a whole lot of commitment. So if you think it’s an unnecessary sacrifice, try at the very least to implement a few of the things we’ve put on this list.

Doing something is preferable to do doing nothing at all anyway and there’s no better motivation for looking after yourself than knowing it’ll help you shred better and for much, much longer.

Man running at sunrise
Feling fit, fresh and ready to surf again? #STAYHEALTY

Eat well, stay well, stay fit, and stay positive during these times.

Suggest us some ways to stay healthy during lockdown!