Surf Tips


Being fit is a fine balance between being able to express yourself in the medium of dance, and vanity. Yes, some gym bores pump and pump the iron just so they can look at themselves in the mirror. Others are training for a fantasy triathalon that involves swimming to the moon, cycling Saturn’s rings and then running around Uranus. The truth is that most of these types were bullied at school, picked last for footie, etc, and are getting even with bitter memories a decade on, one Creatine drink at a time (they often also ride big motorbikes). But you don’t need to have been bullied to worship at your own temple of rig.

Charles Martin used to be a bit chubby until he did so much trampolining that he won Newquay! How’s that for training!

Some great surfers did great work outs. Mick Campbell wasn’t the second best surfer in the world, but he was, coz he did so many stomach crunches. Mick Fanning came back from ripping meat off the thigh bone so fit he won the 2007 ASP World Title. Tom Carroll, Taylor Knox, Laird Hamilton, each of these men have seen Rocky several times. And I don’t mean seen Rocky I mean like, actually seen Rocky.

If you want to be a lithe tube mystic, think yoga, think stretch. Think Balinese fishermen’s cotton pants (the baggy high waisted ones). Think tofu, think pureys, think about ultimately being able to lick your own. If yoga is too trendy, think ballet. Also try long distance running, and swimming. Swim in the ocean though. Chlorine is death.

Sancho and François Liets rid their rigs of stiffness and toxicity with hot yoging in the corridor…Photos: Laurel

If you want to bust rad, if you want to impress with spray, think boxing, think the gym. Think motivational music on the iPod. Think martial arts, and fucking fools up. Think the Swiss ball, think core. Think Mick (Fanning or Campbell, no matter). Think swimming, but race the other suckers in the fast lane. What? You think this ain’t a race? Life is a race sunshine. Actually, don’t think. Do. Do it. Doing is for fit men. Men.

If you don’t have a particular leaning either way, try a combination of swimming, yoga, running, gym-ing and play fighting. Each in moderation, just like junk food, wanking, Facebook, etc. Working out is fine in moderation. Too little will render you a weak, tubby bitch. Too much will render you boring. Just the right amount will enrich your surfing life, your sex life, hell you might even die older.


1. If you can commit to 40 minutes four times a week you’ll have it nailed within 3 to 4 weeks and you’ll stay fit for as long as you can keep this up.

2. Swimming ticks a lot of boxes, and will come in a lot more handy when your leash snaps at 12ft Sunset than boxercise or squash.

3. Want to know the best work out for surfing? I’ll let you into a secret… it’s surfing! If in doubt, paddle out.


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