Surfing is a great way to keep fit whether it’s a familiar holiday past time or a core summer sport for you. There are many positive effects of surfing and different ways in which you can get involved with the sport from a recreational to a fitness aspect. So, if you want to find out how surfing can benefit your physical and mental fitness, then keep on reading.
Surfing and Body Boarding
Surfing is a general term for a surface water sport which involves one person riding waves in the seas on a board. Under this umbrella sport there are different types of water sport which you can take part in, here are just a few:
- General surfing
- Body boarding
- Body surfing
- Kite surfing
- Wind surfing
- Tow-in surfing
General wave surfing sees the participant take to the sea with a body roughly the same length as the rider which is attached to their ankle with a strap. This strap is to ensure that you remain with your board at all times. When entering the water your aim is to stay standing on the board for as long as possible while gliding across the curve of the waves. To be able to remain standing for a long period of time requires great core strength and weight distribution control as to maintain a solid stance on the board.
Another popular type of surfing is called body boarding which is where you ride the waves on a much smaller board and place your torso on the board. As your legs are exposed while on the board, it is imperative that you keep a streamline position as to avoid cutting your wave riding short. As well as body boarding, there is also a type of water sport which just involves your body called body surfing. For this you surf the waves in the sea without a board and cut through the water using your streamline body stance.
The next two types of surfing rely mainly on the strength and force of the wind to pull you along rather than sourcing the waves yourself. Kite surfing sees a kite attached to the person or board so that when the wind strikes you will be redirected and pulled across the surface of the sea. As well as this there is wind surfing which is where the surfboard has a sail attached to it which you hold onto and control to face it into the correct direction for optimum wind power.
The last type of surfing you can try is tow-in surfing which involves the surfer being pulled along on a rope attached to the back of a boat. Once the boat has reached an optimum speed, this gives the surfer enough force to enter the waves and ride them effectively. The addition of a handle on the rope gives the surfer reassurance when hitting the waves.
Benefits of Surfing
Above we have looked into the various types of surfing you can take part in, but now we are going to look into the benefits of surfing recreationally or competitively:
- Fun activity
- Enhances balance
- Improve coordination
- Great for weight loss
- Lifts mood
- Ideal sport for mindfulness
- Improved core strength
- Enhances stamina
Surfing is a very rewarding sport as it is fun and engaging to take part in, but it also offers an abundance of positive health effects too when carried out regularly. For example, being able to remain standing on your board for an increased amount of time, each time you ride, will be a result of your enhanced balance, core strength and stamina acquired through surfing. As well as this, surfing is great for weight loss as you can burn fat while having fun without noticing how much you are working your muscles and core.
How to Get Involved
Throughout this post we have explored the different types of surfing as well as the positive health benefits of it. But now I bet you are asking how you get involved, then within this section of the article we are going to list various ways in which you can get surfing safely:
- Find supervised coastal areas
- Surf schools
- Surf retreats
- Surf clubs
- Indoor surfing machines
If you are a surfing regular, there are a variety of supervised coastal areas across the country where you can take your board and ride the waves safely. Having the area supervised means that there is a coast guard on duty looking out for any changes in the weather and sea levels so that they can alert and rescue when necessary.
But if you are new to surfing, we recommend that you try entering a surf school, club or a class in which will teach you the basics of the sport and how to stay safe. You could also learn to surf at an indoor pool which has wave machines specially designed to mimic waves without having to go into the sea.
And finally, you could also sign up to a surf retreat which you can find online or by speaking to your local surf school. These retreats are catered to all abilities when it comes to surfing as their aim is to help you improve your surfing skills in a secure environment under the instruction of qualified professionals. Retreats would make a great gift idea for a loved one who has always wanted to learn as they also offer a great aura of mindfulness too.
Have You Tried Surfing?
Today we have looked into the different ways in which surfing can benefit your health and how you can get involved. But now we want to know your experiences with surfing, are you an avid surfer or have you been inspired by this post to give it a go? Let us know over on our social media pages today. And don’t forget that you can stock up on all of your swimming and fitness gear needs over at Sports Fitness.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury