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Physical fitness is crucial for good surfing. How do you get in shape and get prepared for the surfing season? How do you keep in shape to be ready when the next great swell arrives? What are the components for you to be physically fit? In this article, I will lay out a plan which will be acceptable for the majority of the surfers. Physical fitness should be integrated in your surfer’s lifestyle.

For the majority of surfers, your surfing is limited to weekends and for many of you, the surfing season, which is normally spring, summer, and the fall time of the year. A number of you who are profoundly busy with work and raising a young family will only surf whenever you’re on vacation or at most once per week or every other week. Lots of you live a long way from the surf spots, making it rather difficult for you to get in the water.

As soon as you have the proper surfboard type and surfing accessories, you need to be in good shape so that when you get in the water you have sufficient energy to paddle out to the break and find a fantastic wave count. If you’re exhausted from the initial paddle out and are not able to keep paddling out through the surf after each wave, you are going to have a terrible session.

How do you prepare for surfing if you are a weekend or vacation surfer? You remain in the gym with a fantastic workout regimen, you do aerobic exercise and you learn how to eat properly.

What is a fantastic workout for surfing? I believe that every muscle group ought to be worked out every week. If you can spend an hour at the gym 5 days a week, you can do a different muscle group every day. If you can make it only 3 days a week, you will have to double up on the muscle groups during each workout.

Some of you can only go to the gym a couple of days a week. What should you do? Well, you are going to have to supplement your workouts in the gym with exercises and or workouts at home or in your office. The main thing is to”just do it” as Nike says.

I would suggest that when you initially begin working out with weights that you hire a professional trainer if you can afford to do so. If you cannot afford a trainer, workout with a friend who’s familiar with weight training or get online and research workouts for the various muscle groups. One very important thing to remember is to start out with very light weights and do a lot of repetitions. You’re not doing this to be a body builder. You’re exercising to get and keep all parts of your body in good physical condition. You need to build muscle tone and not muscle mass.

Working out at home or in your workplace can be very productive also. You are able to do pushups, abdominal exercises, leg squats and all kinds of exercises with bungees. It is also possible to practice pop-ups where you lay flat on your stomach and with your arms you pop-up to your feet and take a surfers position in one motion. It is quite important for you to get your shoulders, back, legs and core muscles in great shape. In addition, you also need to take fast walks or even running throughout your work breaks, that is, if there’s a shower facility accessible. You will need to grow your wind by doing cardiovascular exercising since paddling your surfboard requires lung capacity and endurance.

Eating correctly is also another crucial to great physical conditioning, very good health and good surfing. Not eating properly will result in being overweight or being too skinny and underweight and weak. If you do not eat properly, your body will not be strong and you will not have the endurance necessary for surfing.

Here is a sample menu of daily proper eating:

General MENU Suggestion: (See special note below)

Meal #1. 1/3 Cup Oatmeal w/small banana (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), taken of honey, and soy milk, 4 egg whites grilled in olive oil (first 4 months) (1 egg yoke after), 1 pineapple spear (mango, papaya, grapes)

#2. 1 cup brown rice, 1 tomato, two stalks celery (or green beans, spinach or broccoli), 1 bbq’d skinless chicken thigh with fat trimmed off or meat substitute, sliced mango or pineapple if available.

#3. 1 bbq’d skinless chicken thigh, meat, or fish, 1/2 boiled yam/potato/brown rice, green beans, spinach or broccoli, tomato

Afternoon snack: celery stalks/apple with peanut butter or walnuts/almonds and dried cranberries

#5. Salad with tomatoes, scallions, chopped celery, hard boiled egg, 2 table spoons cottage cheese, 1 skinless chicken thigh. (or alternatively, a bowl of broccoli, tomatoes,onions, avocado, sliced chicken with balsamic vinegar dressing, walnuts/almonds and dried cranberries) Mix it up!

#6. 1/2 cup cottage cheese with blueberries, blackberries, or tomato and celery, scallions, broccoli (all optional)

You may substitute wild ocean fish (also, Apopka Wildlife Removal or salmon) for chicken. You could also eat lean meat about once weekly.

Drink 8 ounces. Glass of room temperature water with every meal, except at night… drink water daily between meals! You may substitute green tea.

Special Note: Gals, smaller kids, and Baby Boomers might want to cut these portions to smaller quantities.


This sounds dull, but once you get acclimated you will enjoy the food and wonder how you could have abused yourself by eating the”normal” way. Once in a while it is OK to have a hamburger and French fries or you favorite dessert, but keep it to a minimum.

Take this menu as a recommendation rather than gospel. I give this to you from personal experience and in the advice of my personal trainer who’s trained and very knowledgeable about nutrition. I changed my eating habits four decades ago and adopted the menu that I laid before you. Over a period of time, I lost 30 lbs and my waist size dropped 4 inches. I’ve been able to maintain my weight and my surfing and daily life has improved considerably.

I feel that eating is actually more important than physical training, but both go together. If you look around you, you will notice most the populace abusing their bodies by over eating. It is extremely hard on one’s body to be carrying around extra baggage in the shape of weight. It is hard on your joints and makes physical activity like surfing really difficult.

Get in shape, stay fit and enjoy your surfing sessions. Enjoy how you look and feel. Carry physical training and proper eating over to your everyday life style and you’ll be surfing waves with more precision and you’ll definitely be Surfing Life, feeling much better physically and emotionally.

Oak Street Surf was founded by Chuck Herpick, a Stanford graduate and former Naval Aviator, an accomplished surfer who has spent his lifetime in or near the sea surfing the majority of the California and Hawaii breaks over the years.

Chuck has been a friend and associate with legendary surfer Tom Morey who invented the Morey Boogie Board. Together, he and Tom have designed and made many different sorts of soft and hard surfboards and other surfing products.

Oak Street Surf, is an online surf shop representing the most recent surfboard products. You can get a fantastic review of all the line surfboard types and layouts such as bodyboards, skimboards, SUPs and Custom longboards and shortboards.

Visit Oak Street Surf to discuss in detail the many options for you to ensure that you select the proper surfboard type and layout that will bring you browsing fun and success.

Chuck believes that surfing, whether it’s bodysurfing, boogie boarding, board surfing, skimboarding or riding a Standup Paddleboard (SUP) will change your life forever. You will be able to use the love you will obtain from surfing to everything you do and will learn how to Surf Life!