Surfing Fitness tips – get ready for your next Surfing Holidays Portugal

Handle your falls easier, surf longer, catch more waves

Is there anything worst that wanting to surf and your body simply does not answer? Probably yes, but for those who plan a surfing vacation to Portugal, it can easily be frustrating and nerve racking!

Most of the beginners and surfing passionate that do not surf on regular basis can easier think about their fitness only when they arrive at their destination, or a few days earlier (weeks, in a very optimistic perspective!). The daily surf camp and beach lifestyle routines are hard and a proper body condition is important so that you can have the most of your stay, and especially from surfing.

Nowadays it’s quite easy to find surfing fitness exercises online. Youtube surfing exercises are just at click distance and the challenge it’s more about knowing which ones are more relevant for the occasion and then how to mix and plan them properly.

Putting all our background experience together and aware that more details are needed to present a proper surfing fitness plan, we gather some major tips that will allow you to surf longer, to catch more waves and handle wipe-outs easier, so that next time you want to surf Porto you can have a blast on the best surfing spots in north Portugal.

One thing you should know from the start: best training for surfing is… surfing!

A regular training it’s crucial

Pushing hard one or two weeks before your surf trip to Portugal won’t have the same results as a long-term fitness plan. Start your fitness routines as soon as possible and take note that nutrition and resting have the same crucial role in the whole process.

A general fitness approach that includes a range of opportunities to improve your strength, power, resistance, speed, balance and flexibility is more than welcome! The end result will be better physical condition and all the good mental effects that come along with it. However, surfing wise, a more specific look to the work-out plan is crucial, as it will allow your body gets more prepared for what surfing demands.


Think about your strengths and weaknesses in surfing and Identify the type of body skills and capacities involved. What do you find more difficult to do? Which movements were involved? Which physical capacities were required and which main body parts? Was it the lack of paddling power? All these answers should be top priorities in your Surfing Fitness plan for the best surfing in Porto!

For sure a proper surfing technique is required, but it’s also true that the right fitness should be there as well. Resistance, power and flexibility will probably be on the top of the list!

Surfing wise…

the work-out plan should be the more similar to surfing possible! Exercises that reproduce a surfer posture and the type of effort involved, are important. Swimming and a functional training on land are an important base!


A surfer spends 90% of his time in the water paddling, and from all the paddling, 80% of it happens when returning to the line-up, or simply cruising around. The remaining paddling time happens when it’s time to catch a wave. This means that both continuous and more intense efforts are involved, but in different amount. Your surfing fitness plan should attend this! With this in mind, swimming offers fine opportunities to push up both your cardio fitness and also the faster and more intense efforts relevant in surfing.

Crawl style and surfing have common body parts involved and similar overall posture. Standard crawl style (side breathing), and its breathing restrictions versions provide a good working base. The Water Polo style (front breathing) requires the similar back extension that surfing does. Backstroke can provide some additional back strength.

Functional Training:

This type of on ground training reproduces similar movements to surfing.

Whenever possible, use unstable platforms as they allow you to combine strength and power to balance, allowing you to get stronger in different relevant surfing postures. Balance board, swiss ball, TRX ®, Bosu ®, Dynair Togu ®, roll, etc, are some useful gear you can use. Remember that If you don’t have them you can always improvise!

Make long movements to make sure you train during the all movement amplitude so that you do not get only capable in one specific posture. Surfing it’s dynamic, right?!

Stretching and flexibility training is as important as strength, power and balance. Besides providing you with a proper fitness background, it’s very important to avoid injuries!

Keeping the same intensity and/or amount of charge on your training it’s not relevant because surfing it’s not a continuous effort. On the other hand, to get some gains from your training, each session should offer and additional effort. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you add enough intensity and mix it with your normal/comfortable performance speed. This allows that after each intense repetition you can recover actively while performing a slower physical exercise and using longer breathing.

Combining longer and shorter distances/exercises, or simply more cardio or more intense exercises, in each session and think it on a weekly plan, with a longer perspective in mind, will make you happier when you surf Portugal! Make sure you include an increasing effort in your fitness plan- no pain no game!

Be aware that the most difficult part it’s not starting with it, but keeping it going… Have in mind that in the end it all gonna be worth it and your surfing vacations will be even better. Next time you Surf in Porto you will be thrilled with our routines…

Watermark Surf House