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Surfing Fitness

by Boardcave on March 24, 2016



The Surfing Fitness Program has changed over the years


Pre heat warm up of the one and only Kelly Slater.

Being healthy and fit has never been so “in” before. Especially when it comes to the professional surfing.

It wasn’t long ago, that pro surfers traveling the world on someone else’s dime to exotic locations, would party harder than anyone else and often show up hung over and barely on time for their heats. They were living the high life, partying like rock stars and being flown all over the world to not only surf amazing locations, but getting the chance to do it with only a few others out in the line up.

After gradually changing over the years, the pro tour couldn’t be any different. These surfers are going to bed early, waking up early, eating healthy, barely drinking, no drugs…they have become “real athletes”. Many of them even being sponsored or having some ownership in the health food market as opposed to being sponsored by Bud Light…

Even after big wins, they may celebrate with a few beers, but they are likely still in bed by 10pm and up at the crack of dawn the next morning.


DHD’s own Mick Fanning’s game has changed with his fitness regime. His alter ego “Eugene” hardly makes appearances any more.

This big change was’t even really that long ago… We still remember classic tales like when Occy, Hedge and Egan got up super early to get out to Cloudbreak for first light for a pre contest birthday surf for Nathan Hedge, under the suggestion of a few beers. Hedge decided to paddle to the Couldbreak judging tower in a rental kayak, towing his board behind him, with the plan of partying until light and being the first to nab some waves. Hedge made it and managed to be the first out, resulting in a 10km paddle and a damaged rental kayak.

The general idea of getting up early to beat the scene is no different, it’s the the execution of the idea that differs today compared to the old days.

These same pro’s today are the epitome of health and fitness. Eating ultra healthy, workout routines that would scare most athletes in any sport, up early and in bed early.

And they should be. It is no coincidence that this is happening, the sport of surfing is changing as we know it. As discussed in previous articles there is a huge shift in core surfing and fitness plays an important role in the future of the sport. With Live webcasts of the events around the world, the infrastructure set in place today compared to years ago, and the worldwide popularity growing yearly, the top level professional surfers make a really good living and I am sure want to continue to do so. How do you get closer to ensuring that? Remain at the top of your game at all times.

Surf Fitness has even turned into an industry of it’s own. There are dedicated fitness instructors, sports therapists, and even fitness centers focused solely on the act of surfing. The Hurley High Performance Center in NSW is one of the main notable facilitates. Offering everything from surf coaching, personal trainers, fitness and nutrition programs aiming to make you surf at the top of your game. They cater to regular bro’s, groms, and top level athletes alike.


Legendary Gerry Lopez takes care of his mind body and soul and can still surf better than 90% of us.

A far cry from the old days when the majority of your coaching was done by your shapers… unless you shaped your own boards. Hell, early days of competitive surfing, it wasn’t out of the norm for the competitors to be surfing under the influence of a number of substances. But again, relate that to the exposure surfing had, the prize money involved or just the general living someone could make as a “professional surfer” back in the day. Most of the time the contest prize pool just barely covered the cost of getting to the competition in the first place and a good majority of clothing and accessory brands only offered free gear, not an added paycheck.

It is much more serious business nowadays for everyone involved… pro surfers can make over a million dollars a year, and the industry behind them is even bigger. Surfing is even being considered for the olympics…I bet no one saw that coming in the early days of the industry or contest scene.


Dave Rastovich is another yoga enthusiast who pays close attention to what he puts into his body. This allows him to bury serious rail on his boards from Gary McNeill Concepts.

This goes beyond just the contest side of the industry though. Many free surfers live much healthier lives today although maybe not as intense in some areas. Eating healthy benefits everyone, I don’t care who you are… and the older you get the more you become aware of this as your body starts shutting down from all the junk you feed it. Some free surfers may not hold the same exercise regime as their counterpart contest surfers, but they are also not really dealing with the same pressures. They do however still have to remain on top of their own game at all times though to keep their recognition with the public that allows them to make a living doing what they love.


Pyzel’s John John Florence has his training dialed, who said your workout can’t be fun!

The times have changed. Whether we like it or not, surfing is main stream and will continue to grow. There is a huge shift in the industry and this is just the beginning. Core surfing is growing up and leaping towards the future. In our opinion, it is great the surfers today have the need to live healthy lives in order to raise the bar of the sport. With the advancement in surf fitness, board construction and wave pools this is just the beginning.

Check out the Board Engine as a guide to find board recommendations all made by professional shapers at the top of their craft, helping improve your surfing. Email [email protected] with your details for a detailed report of board recommendations for you.





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