The Benefits of Learning to Surf

by Lisa Rushton

June 5, 2019

Surfing is an awesome way to keep fit. It challenges you both physically and mentally. I had my first lessons back in 2008 in the cold waters of North Devon in the UK. It was freezing cold but for one hour I didn’t stop laughing or having fun as I continually fell off the huge foam surfboard, in an attempt to ‘catch a wave’. Since then I have been lucky enough to move to Australia and where I get to try and improve my surf skills is quite a lot warmer and arguably more beautiful.

Benefits of surfing

For me the benefits of surfing are immense. The physical effort required to surf is high.  Paddling out (or in the case of a beginner, trying to walk out through the waves) and popping up (standing up on the board) can take quite some effort. The balance and coordination required to stand up on the board once you’ve actually managed to ‘pop-up’ is also another skill you’ll need to master. After a surf session, you’ll definitely know you’ve had a physical work out. But the mental challenges you also have to overcome are so good for you too. If you’re like me, staying in your comfort zone is nice, and often you don’t always want to take yourself out of it. However, taking yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then is good for you as it can help you experience new things and take on challenges you didn’t think you could overcome – a great skill for life in general. If you’ve never surfed before, it is definitely going to take you out of your comfort zone! Getting into the water, which can be a bit chilly (even sometimes here in Australia), being smashed by waves (not all the time!), knowing you’re going to fall down a lot, these are all challenges you have to mentally, and physically overcome in a surf lesson. These challenges can be quite big for some people, but definitely worth it for a full mind and body workout! You’ll definitely get out of the water knowing you’ve had a great physical workout and overcome some mental challenges and hurdles too.

Where can I surf?

Obviously, you need to be near the coast (whichever country you live in!). If you don’t live close enough to the coast to take some surf lessons on a regular basis, you can always think about taking some surf lessons on your next holiday if you’re heading to a coastal town.

Different countries and areas will have different conditions for surfing so I definitely recommend getting some lessons to get started, not only does this allow you to borrow all the equipment required (usually just wetsuit and board) but it also allows you to be taught in the correct way how to paddle, pop-up, how to look for rips and most importantly what to do if you get caught in a rip.

Surfing is a challenge for a beginner, but it really is rewarding. Go out and give it a go – you’ll definitely have some great laughs trying even if it turns out it’s not for you.

Lisa Rushton

By Lisa Rushton

Hi, I'm Lisa, a physiotherapist with over 15 years of clinical experience in a variety of health and medical settings. I have a real passion for all things women's health and love writing and sharing knowledge. With these passions, I have put together my blog, Pelvic-Flaws, to try and share all things women's health-related and empower women with evidence-based information about their health and well-being.

Read more at pelvic-flaws.com

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