How to: Create your own Fit for Surf Workout Plan

Here you can read why it is so important to train constantly, if you like to be fit for surf. Now i am going to show you, how you can use the knowledge to create your personal “Fit for Surf-Workout Plan“.

Endurance + Strength + Flexibility + Balance = Fit for surf

In a surfspecific training you’ll make movements and exercises, which can help you to catch more waves and ride them longer. A well-balanced workout plan is the key to success. The relevant physical basics you need for surfing has to be trained in special workout units.


Surfing involves nearly all the muscles in your body. While you are paddling out with your surfboard, it takes a lot of energy, especially if you ‘re doing it several times. For catching the wave you need strength and endurance – as well for the take-off and even riding the wave. Regular strength training helps you to paddle faster, further and harder and gives you the ability to control your body better on the board. The major muscle groups are: shoulder, triceps, biceps, back and your core. In addition, a good inter- and intramuscular coordination, and strong muscles in your lower body are important.


Surfing is paddling! Approximately about 80% of your session is just paddling. So if you do not want to be completely out of breath when you arrive the lineup, you have to train endurance. Basically, all endurance sports are good for that. Whether running, biking or the cross trainer – the main thing is that your cardiovascular system is stressed. For surfing swimming is ideal as endurance sport. Crawl style swimming trains the muscle groups you need while surfing as well. Even better, of course: You have a lake nearby and you can paddle with your surfboard.

Flexibility & Balancetraining

Flexibility is one of the most important elements in fitness, but it is often neglected or left out. If your muscles are not flexible enough your movements are limited. Balance and coordination are essential skills for surfing. They are the body’s ability to make controlled and purposeful movements in any position or action in a stabilized, upright posture – which is essential for surfing. With balance exercises you train not only your balance – it also affects on posture, improves coordination and relaxes tense muscles. The inter- and neuromuscular coordination will be improved – that means the muscles interact more effectively with each other and with the nervous system. Both, balance and flexibility, you can train in a good way with yoga. ( There will be another blog post soon). For Balancetraining I also use an Indoboard or I go longboarding.

Put it all together: Create your Fit for surf – Workoutplan

Your workout has to suite your personal goals and aspirations. Make sure that your goals are realistic and fit into your schedule. Since I just surf in my vacations, it is my goal to start again, where I stopped the last time surfing. Here we go:

  • Initially plan for 4 to 6 weeks with a specific focus (endurance, strength, balance or flexibility).
  • Every week should have contain at least one unit of endurance and strength training.
  • Flexibility and balance you can train every day – but at least once per week.
  • For your focus put one to two units per week in addition.
  • Mix the units! Do not train the same two days in a row.
  • Arrange restdays, so that your body can regenerate.
  • Stay flexible! You feel a little bit weak or tired today? Maybe better a relaxing yoga session, instead of strenuous strength training .
  • Listen to your body! Start slowly and increase. If something hurts, stop doing it.
  • After 4-6 weeks it is time for a new plan. This avoids boredom.

Here is a template that helps you to create your fit for surf – training plan (PDF-Reader required) and this is how my training plan looks like. In the next posts I will introduce you some exercises and show you complete workouts.


A special relationship: Your Surfboard and you

A new board is always something special. As I bought my last one I was really excited and euphoric. I barely couldn’t wait to get into the water. Not sooner said than done! With the light weight it was pretty easy to carry to the beach and the paddling was really nice and easy. In the line up happened what had to happen … I did not catch any good wave. Either I was too far back (wave gone) or too far in the front (Nosedive … YEAH). If I managed a take off I felt off the board two seconds later.

To the question: “And? How is surfing with your new board???” I could only reply: “Yes, … different …” . Sure, you need to get used to your new equipment, each board is and behaves differently.

After the session I talked to a surfguide about new boards and he gave me the following advice: “You have to sleep with your board. Take your board to bed with you tonight” – Uh, pardon, …what? He told me that he took his new board with him to bed. “A new board is like a new girlfriend, you need to get to know each other and build a relationship“, he told me.

wer sein board liebt, der wachst

me and my board

Since I slept just being in a bunk bed of 90 cm width, I renounced to do so. Meanwhile, my board and me became good friends although I didn’t take it to bed with me.

Over to you: what are you doing with your new board , unless waxing and surfing it ? What rituals do you usually de to build and deepen the relationship with your Board?


Fit for Surf: Dry-Land-Training for better surfing

Surfing is one of the best things in the world but it is really exhausting, isn’t it? It looks so easy… Paddle out, wait for the right wave and then …ride it smoothly. But to be honest: Surfing is hard work and it involves your whole body. It requires not only a good general fitness, but also strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. In addition, surfers should have a well-developed sense of balance and have good coordination skills .

Fit for Surf: Pro-surfers show you how

Professional surfers show how: Even if they have the possibility to surf the best waves all over the world anytime they want, they’re still working out and add a comprehensive dry-land training ashore. Hence you should not workout just when there is no surfable wave on your doorstep  is self-explanatory. To exercise regularly is easier said to be done. The list of excuses is long and your weaker-self is tough. So my training plan must fulfill specific requirements .

Requirement 1: variance and variety

The ideal workout contains it all – units for strength, endurance , flexibility and balance. Strength and endurance training will build up your muscles. A good flexibility prevents injuries and keeps growing up your range of motion. With balance training you will not just train your balance. It also benefits your posture and improves your cordination. These basic physical skills are relevant for surfing . If you serving all of them with appropriate training , not only your surfing skills will increase, but also the training schedule varied and you’re not bored so quickly.

Requirement 2: Quick but spicy

Not everyone has the time to go swimming or to the gym for three or four times a week.  A good workout needs to be easy integrated into daily routine and for me that means , it should not take too long. ” I don’t have time” is most common excuse for not working out. But you will have 20 or 30 minutes, haven’t you? That’s why I rely on short but intensive units. HIIT is the magic word. (What the benefits of this training are? I’ll explain to you in another post)

Requirement 3: Simple and  (almost) without Equipment

I do not want to go to the gym to workout. I appreciate not to buy any expensive equipment and then leave it in the corner. Using your own bodyweight (Functional Training or Freeletics ) and ” small ” equipment, such as a jump ropes or resistance bands, can lead to an effective and uncomplicated workout. The advantage of this: your muscles are not trained isolated, as in classical training. On a surfboard you don’t need only the biceps, then triceps and after that your trapezius muscles – all work effectively and functional together! In this training you workout many muscles of the same functional group simultaneously and in interaction.

Dry-land-Training will sustainably improve your surfing

In summary, a surf-specific workout needs to be practical, simple and effective. It must help you to surf better. If the workout-plan hits the above-mentioned requirements, I’ll stay motivated – not only much easier – in the long term, but will also be fit for surf!

How you can put it all together and customize your goals and needs, I am going to show you how you will make your own “Fit for surf” training plan.

no excuses

go out and have fun