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Health / Fitness

Surf your way to better health

Surfing has numerous fitness benefits 

It’s no secret or surprise that at Soul & Surf we’re big fans of surfing. It’s what kickstarted our journey in the first place – our love for surfing spurred us on to set off on a round the world trip in search for waves, almost 10 years ago.

For us, surfing isn’t a workout, it’s a lifestyle. However, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the more time you spend in the water – whether it’s in the line-up, or splashing around in the white wash – the better you feel.

Here are some of the reasons that surfing is so good for your health:

Keeping fit

Surfing requires every major muscle group. Paddling works out your shoulders and upper body, then post pop-up your legs take over as you steer the board. 

And throughout all of this, you’re getting a cardiovascular workout too. We don’t always notice it when we’re in the water concentrating on staying afloat, watching the waves or timing your pop-up but surfing is a pretty physically demanding activity. It’s why you feel so ravenous after a surf – and why that post-surf breakfast always tastes so good.


So your arms and shoulders are working hard, you’re paddling fast, and you’ve mastered the pop-up. Then, it’s time to balance, which involves huge amounts of core strength. It’s why yoga and surfing are such complementary activities; balance is a fundamental part of both practices, and something which takes time.

Core work helps build strong core muscles, which support you when you’re up on your feet on the board, but that’s only half the work-out. Balance is a mental practice, too – which leads us on to…

Mental health

We’re firm believers in living in the moment, but we get that it can be tricky to do that. In our fast-paced lives, it can be hard enough to stay on top of growing to-do lists let alone ‘be present’.

When it comes to living a more mindful life, one thing that has helped us enormously, though, is surfing. When you’re in the water, not only are you away from your desk and connecting with nature, but you’re forced to focus. Lose your concentration, and you’ll wipe out – simple. There is no quicker way to instantly connect with the ‘now.’ (This is something that our good friend Sam Bleakley writes about in his wonderful book Mindfulness & Surfing.)

So there we have it. We can’t think of any other pastime that combines all of this, and is as addictively fun. 

Soul & Surf specialises in offering yoga, surf and massage retreats. It has locations in India, Sri Lanka and Portugal

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