How to find the truth in the growing trend of Surf Fitness

Until recently, surfers ignored the fact that a properly designed strength and conditioning program can help an athlete realize their full potential. Over the last few years people have been exploring this idea of ‘surf fitness’ and there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of surfers working out to improve their surfing.

A few years ago we ran the only North American Masters Research Project showcasing the benefits of working out and land-based training to increase a surfer’s performance so we know that all types of surfers would benefit from either possessing; greater flexibility, becoming stronger and more powerful, increasing lung capacity and an overall increase in endurance and athleticism. However with so many social media sites and blogs flooding the internet with different surf fitness programs, it is easy to see why people end up becoming confused. To add to the confusion there is also an increase in the amount of injuries suffered by competitive and free surfers alike. There are many reasons why we are seeing this increase in injuries that we will cover in later articles but let’s look at how a fitness program can add to your surfing performance and reduce the risk of injuries.

Just because there are plenty of great exercises out there to increase strength, power and endurance that doesn’t mean you should be doing every single one. What we have observed is people being given “surf specific” drills and workouts without a qualified professional ever assessing them and seeing what they need as an individual. “Surf Specific” programs are only beneficial if they are “specific” to YOUR SURFING. Even worse, top competitive athletes are working with trainers who do not consistently watch them perform. It is difficult, if not impossible, to call any program “performance training” if the trainer does not consistently get to the beach and observe their athlete actually performing their sport. There is also a tendency for coaches to not place a high enough value on posture and movement during a training session.

The programs they design are guided by weight and reps with potentially unnecessary exercises and inadequate recovery techniques which is placing the trainee/athlete at a higher risk of injury. Our goal at DSC is to thoroughly assess every single person that trains with us prior to them beginning a training program. We analyze their movement patterns, discover any potential weak spots that could lead to injury, watch them surf and THEN design a workout routine. We also ensure we understand how our clients are eating, and how their energy levels are throughout the day. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain, or sports performance, proper nutrition is a key factor in producing amazing results. We also provide guides on how to warm up properly (blog and video coming soon) and how to recover at night so that your body can continue to work out hard, surf all day, in order to wake up the next day with no pain and do it all over again!

We have fun, but we steer clear from unnecessary exercises or fad training protocols. We prefer to rely on evidence based (research supported), clinically relevant protocols. Training is supposed to help you outside the gym, so our primary goal is to keep our athletes injury free and feeling good when they surf. Our exercises are designed and used to help specific biomechanics of surfing, not by scrolling Instagram.

We know there are many surfers who feel training diminishes the soul of surfing. At DSC we strongly feel that the best thing for your surfing is surfing! Nothing can replace water time; however, a specifically designed training program, tailored to each athlete’s needs, can and will improve the ingredients used in the sport (strength, power, flexibility, balance/coordination, movement patterns, etc.) which then leads to improved surfing. To quote a great surf coach Chris Gallagher, “Surfing better is just simply more fun!!” Regardless of whether you are a competitive surfer or not, if you improve your surfing ability you will enjoy your surfing that much more. We believe in what we do and we want to help as many people as possible improve their surfing, win contests, reduce or remove pain, live longer, and surf forever. Check out or call us to take advantage of our free trial offer.
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DSC Elite
SAN CLEMENTE – 201 Calle De Los Molinos
COSTA MESA – 1635 Superior Ave. #5
(949) 388-5692


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