Surfing regularly can help you increase your strength, flexibility and endurance. Paddling is a great way to strengthen your back and arms while surfing will develop core strength and help improve your balance.
But it doesn’t end there, surfing’s good for you in lots of other ways as well.
From the positive mental health implications to getting involved in the thriving community surrounding the sport, surfing can be a real force for good in people’s lives.
Why is surfing good for you? Let’s take a deeper look at all of the ways surfing can improve your life.
Surfing builds fast-twitch muscle
Fast-twitch muscle fibres are the strongest, most powerful type of muscle you can build and they’re used for short bursts of movement.
These muscles respond quickly to neural impulses sent from your brain and produce quick but forceful contractions.
Surfing at any level requires lots of strength and power. Every time you surf a wave you’re engaging your glutes and quadriceps while forcing yourself to maintain an upright position.
This makes surfing one of the best workouts for building fast-twitch muscle fibres. Better yet fast twitch muscle fibres are an asset in most other sports and activities and can help prevent injuries while surfing like ACL or Meniscus tears.
Paddling strengthens your back, core and arms
Surfing is a great way to build up your back and arm strength. When you paddle on your surfboard your arms are not just moving through the water, they’re also pulling on it.
This resistance is great strength training and you’ll quickly find your arms and shoulders toning up.
Next is your back. Your back helps support your body as you paddle through the water and when you’re catching waves
So if you have strong back muscles (and strong arm muscles), your stroke will be more efficient and effective as you slowly get stronger.
It’s important to remember that all of this doesn’t come without a bit of sacrifice, both in hard work and in the aches and pains you can get after a long day of surfing.
Head over to our short read on what does surfing do to your body for a closer look at the physical impacts of surfing regularly on your body.
Improve your cardiovascular health
Surfing is one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to improve your heart health. It helps you maintain a healthy weight and can reduce your risk of developing unpleasant chronic diseases like diabetes.
Paddling out and catching/surfing waves all help improve blood flow throughout your body by increasing oxygen levels in your muscles and reducing your blood pressure. This is especially important if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease.
Increasing blood flow through the arteries and veins also increases the strength of your heart muscle so that it can pump more efficiently, turning you into the Duracell bunny of paddlers!
You can relieve stress
The ocean is a powerful place. It’s full of beauty, wonder, and mystery. But most importantly, it’s full of salt water and that makes it a great place to wash away the stress of the day.
Surfing provides an opportunity to connect with nature. Being close to the water allows you to feel connected to something bigger than yourself and reminds us that we always have a happy place to escape to.
A study by the Devon Partnership NHS Trust found that there is developing evidence to suggest that open cold water swimming could have an impact on depression and anxiety, with surfers benefiting as well.
Surfing burns calories (fast!)
Surfing is an aerobic activity, which means it puts your heart and lungs through their paces. It also has an element of weight training, since you’re constantly using your core muscles to balance on your board.
Combine these, and you’ll quickly be building up a calorie deficit and a mighty appetite.
Plus, if you’re a cold water surfer you’ll be burning calories just by being in the water, the body needs to use energy just to stay warm and energy means more calories.
*Helpful reading – How many calories do you burn surfing?
You can make new friends and get involved in your local surfing community
Surfing has a nearly tribal following with local surfing communities typically being closely knitted groups of surfers from all walks of life.
If you’re lucky enough to live at a surfing hub you’ll have the opportunity to join your local surf club. You can take part in local events, meet other surfers and enter club surf competitions.
If you want to get better at surfing then local comps and a bit of healthy competition can be the push you need to up your level.
Even if you don’t have a local surf club just making friends with other surfers is a great way to meet other people who share your passion.
Surfing has a hard but satisfying learning curve
Having goals and achieving them is an amazing feeling in any part of your life.
Goals in surfing might be landing your first air or just riding along the face of the wave.
Whatever it is having something to work towards and succeed at is great for anyone. Trying new surf tricks is the perfect way to keep your surfing fresh and challenging.
Try watching surf edits and movies to inspire you for the next time you hit the water.
So why is surfing good for you?
It can help you in so many ways, from building up your strength to helping you make new lifelong friends.
If you’re considering taking up surfing and you’re still not sure head over to our guide on the health benefits of surfing for more convincing on why you should take up this awesome sport.