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Surf Fitness Tips with Ocean Core Fitness – #1

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Surf Fitness Tips with Ocean Core Fitness – #1

We’ve teamed up with surf-fitness specialist Ross James of Ocean Core Fitness to bring you a weekly surf fitness blog ever dreary Monday morning with the aim of inspiring all surfers to maintain surf fitness, whether landlocked or regular beach dwellers. Here’s the first, basic bits of advice from Ross:

OCF Surf

“Right, let’s get it straight,  the best fitness for surfing, is surfing so I head down the beach as often as I can. However, being a landlocked UK surfer, the closest breaks to me rarely have swellso what are our options on keeping surf fit?
Get to the Gym!
Not a lot of people know how to optimize their time in the gym when it comes to surf fitness. Surfing is an all over workout. From upper body strength for paddling, explosive strength for popping up, core strength for balance and lower body strength for those longer rides.
After a month or more of not surfing chances are when you are paddling out next, you will fatigue a lot quicker. There are things you can do at home like press ups, squats, lunges and so forth, but in order to improve technique and ensure a higher level of surf fitness you need to take it a step further.
Head on down to the gym, or make a gym space at home. Buy some weights and/or TRX Suspension bands and get yourself a good surf fitness program. By training your full body, you will find that your general endurance in the water will improve. You will have more power through your turns, paddle out and into waves easier, and therefore have more fun. Just don’t get too macho and start trying to lift really heavy weights, this type of training can actually hinder your surfing by making you less flexible and make you more prone to injuries.
If you look into Taj Burrow ‘s workouts and diet, you can see how the training pays off when you see him surf. Strong powerful carving turns, aggressive radical snaps and a high level of energy throughout the session.


It’s pretty simple, swimming is as close to surfing as you can get without surfing. A lot of the top Pros are incredible Swimmers, like Clay Marzo. So buy some goggles, youtube swimming technique so you have the correct form and start slow. If you are a total novice just do 200m with perfect form the first day. You will feel good for stepping into the pool and set a benchmark for what you need to achieve from there on, just try to raise the bar with distance and/ or time each session. You are only competing with yourself and a ‘good time’ is only any time better than your last.
Another massive factor within any sport is stretching. Not only does it help reduce injury, but over time increases flexibility, which is an obvious bonus when it comes to surfing. If you stretch for 20mins just 3 times a week, you will DEFINITELY surf better next session. Whether you choose to train everyday, every week or never… always stretch.
I use a foam roller with a lot of my stretching, it gets deeper into your muscle then your usual static stretches, it is as close to a massage as you can get without going to one. Using these and tennis balls to help penetrate the muscle will sooth the muscles and like sports massage hurts like crazy during, but afterwards feels so much better!
I used to head down the beach and it didn’t matter if it was 2ft onshore storm mush or 6ft clean and offshore with the sun blazing, I would park up, suited up and run in, smirking at all those that were doing warm ups on the beach. In my head I would be saying ‘Muppet, all that time your doing your pre surf dance, I’m scoring waves’.
Nowadays I’m the one pulling shapes before a surf.
This is a pretty basic blog post outlining two main things – gym, swim and stretch. Over the following weeks I will be going into more detail regarding types of exercises etc so stay tuned.
Stay stoked folks,

Hans van Mourik

Co-founder SurfaWhile, ♥️ tech, travel, sports & outdoors.

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