Hobbies that are beneficial to Surfing

Surfing is a sport that requires a unique set of skills to become good at.

Not only does the physical strength, but a FAIR AMOUNT (to say the least) of stamina and knowledge of the water is something you MUST HAVE when you want to progress fast.

In any other sport, where you can train whenever YOU want, the surf has set its own rules. You have to play by nature’s rhythm and earn the required advantages to enjoy the sport.

In this post, I’ll be reviewing the closest sports and activities that are beneficial to surfing.

surfer surfing the wave

Related – Health Benefits of Surfing

1. Swimming

The nearest activity surfing is related to. Paddling is an essential part of surfing so you could navigate through the waves to position yourself. Paddle to the lineup, paddle for the wave, paddle, paddle, paddle, and more paddling. Swimming is not only good for increased power stroke techniques but also an excellent workout for the breath-hold as well!

Swimming is the perfect workout that tones all muscle groups.

What swimming and surfing both share in common:

  • Water element
  • Swim/paddle strokes
  • Breath-hold
  • Upper body strength

2. Cycling

What do surfing and cycling have in common? Well, many athletes cycle due to its low-resistance stamina workout qualities. Cycling is fun since you can set your own pace. Also, the primary muscle group that gets worked is the legs. Surfing the waves requires the right balance standing on your feet, pumping, carving, and much more.

What cycling and surfing both share in common:

  • Stamina workout
  • Balance

cyclist cycling

3. Gym

Any certain muscle-group exercise that makes you stronger is beneficial to a surfer. Whether it’ll be the shoulders, back, neck, or legs – going to the gym and working out is super useful to improve your strength that’s needed for surfing performance.

Gym’s beneficial points that can be carried over to surfing

  • Work on specific muscles groups and get way stronger in general.

4. Freediving

If you love surfing, you must have a love for the water. There’s no other way around it. Both surfing and freediving are in the water element. Freediving is quite extreme in a sense and needs a particular set of technical skills and mentality to literally survive. When you want to surf in high-quality waves – breath-hold skills are crucial!

Freediving benefits that can be carried over to surfing:

  • Water element
  • Calm mentality

5. Spearfishing

Just like freediving, spearfishing is very technical with an extra component of the game – the speargun. While freediving takes place “free-handedly,” spearfishing is another ball game where you hunt for the fish. Spearfishing can be done in shallow and deep waters.

What spearfishing and surfing share in common:

  • Water element and the knowledge
  • Breath-hold skills – M A N D A T O R Y in surfing
  • Catching/hunting something – Whether It’ll be a wave or a fish, the adrenaline rush is there

6. Fishing

Right time, right gear & luck

Not a sport, but one of the favored hobbies for people who share a love for the water. Fishing is not purely about luck, but looking for the best spot at the best time. The main difference is that you can have a “time-off” when fishing while surfing generally takes place in a constantly moving environment.

What fishing and surfing share in common:

  • Water & Weather conditions – Moon phase, characteristics of a specific spot, water – pretty much all the essential elements you get in surfing as well
  • Hunting – Same goes for spearfishing, the game to catch the best wave/fish out there

fisherman fishing on sunset

7. Yoga

Having the right, relaxed state of mind, is a stumbling block to many surfers. In surfing, you can’t go full-on with your whole strength, but instead, take it easy and go with the flow. Yoga is all about flexing as well, which can’t be simply overlooked when you are planning to surf regularly.

What Yoga and Surfing share in common?

  • Choosing the right mindset
  • Flexibility

8. Cliff Diving/High Diving

Ooh boy. I could go on and on about cliff diving. This is another extreme version of how to combine physique, stamina, coordination, and courage. Cliff diving can be hazardous when taking risks or of higher satisfaction when in control of the situation. Acrobatics background and friends nearby, who know what to do in case of emergency, are a MUST when giving your finger to this sport.

What cliff diving and surfing share in common:

  • Perfect control of your body
  • Knowledge of the water

person doing a backflip off a bridge

9. Traveling/Hiking

If you are a regular hiker or an overseas traveler, it comes highly beneficial when surfing. Why, might you ask? It’s because both traveling and surfing require a lot of knowledge about the importance of the right gear, what and how to back and be light on the way. Forget the excess. Most good private surf spots are located on far-away distances that require significant effort to get to when you want to enjoy crowd fewer waves.

When hiking and surfing, it’s all about the outdoors — knowing how to plan your route with the ways of nature. Any outdoor activity increases environmental knowledge and appreciation.

What do travel and hiking share in common with surfing:

  • Knowledge of the gear
  • Planning
  • Exploring and adapting to new surroundings

10. Climbing

A sport that has been very close to surfing throughout the ages. Although two of the fields tend to be very different in their form of activity – both are performed outdoors, working in line with nature to push your physical and mental boundaries. Climbing requires probably the best physique out of this list, a ton of healthy mindset, and the importance of the gear.

What Climbing and surfing share in common:

  • Both are “individual sports” where you have to work with nature and push your limits beyond.

11. Jiu-Jitsu

Martial arts and surfing seem to go like bread and butter. Both sports are intensely physical, where the right state of mind plays a huge role to be at your best. It’s all about apportioning your strength in a dedicated way so you would always have some energy savings for later.

What Jiu-Jitsu and Surfing share in common:

  • Both have the elements of stepping against your opponent and trying your best to conquer your fears.
  • Intense physical work-out

12. Snowboarding / Skating

Any activity related to board riding gives you an advantage when surfing the waves. Standing on board and gliding down the line. All the technical experience from snowboarding or skating can be easily carried over to surfing for good. These two sports are also favored by many surfers worldwide.

What Snowboarding and Skating have familiar with Surfing:

  • Improved board riding balance
  • Freedom to ride your own style

13. Studying

Studying, in general, is a process that’s been overlooked by many. To gain success at something – one of the most known parts is gaining knowledge and exercising according to it. The Internet is full of information that will give you more than just a slight advantage when you’d like to progress fast at anything.

Although there are roughly two types of people in this world – 1.) Lecture-type studying, who obtain information best in a classroom, in theory, while others, the 2.) Field-type studying, where learning, in theory, is extremely tricky, while doing anything hands-on will get the idea in a matter of minutes.

The key here is that both of the opposites sides should strive to do the opposite, in a way that helps them get stronger on their weak spots.

Healthy body = healthy mind

14. Sailing

The wind is the most important factor for surfers and sailors. Sailing requires a fair amount of dedication and knowledge of the “gear” and weather. Especially everything around the water. Many surfers are dreaming of sailing one day, and what could be more awesome to sail and surf around the world?

Related10 Disciplines of surfing

What sailing and surfing both share in common:

  • Importance of the gear
  • Weather knowledge
  • Water element
  • Alternative lifestyle


15. Dirt-Biking

Actually, any sort of motorcycle riding, in my opinion, is highly beneficial to surfing. Just as fun as it might seem, when riding a motorcycle you always have to check the surroundings and enjoy the flow of riding. Many surfers like to ride dirtbikes due to the sense of freedom it offers.

What motorcycling and surfing share in common:

  • Outdoors
  • Perfection of balance
  • Have to check the weather
  • Simplicity



Read next

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10 Disciplines of Surfing

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I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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