50 Fitness challenges to shake up your fitness journey.
How many can you do?
No.27 Surf a wave
Balance, power, control, flexibility, and timing. Of course, surfing might not be a standard test of fitness, but why not? A skill that requires technique mixed with athleticism, what more of a fitness test do you need. It is unusual to see a regular surfer who is out of shape, because it is such a tough workout.
If you haven’t surfed before the first thing you will probably notice is how tiring it is, paddling out against the waves before one big exertion to catch each wave. This cycle is repeated until you end up so tired you just lie face down on your board, beaten. Rather than an exceptional or hard to attain feat, this member of the fit 50 is just catch your first wave. This will bring you a sense of satisfaction and exhilaration that may just get you hooked.
As only a beginner and pretty awful surfer myself my only advice is to get lessons off a local wherever you decide you are going to try it, just trying to figure it out yourself can be frustrating and more importantly dangerous. A friend of mine tried this once in Hikkaduwa (Sri Lanka) and was lucky to live to tell the tale. He caught the biggest the wave of the day as his first ever wave, smashing his surfboard in two. He remembers hitting the ocean floor and getting turned and thrown around like a washing machine. So as scary as it could be it is safe with the local knowledge and guidance. Try it, you might love it and catch that first wave, you will love that satisfaction.
My Experience – Thoroughly useless and utterly frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. This about sums up my surf experience. I found it a lot tougher physically than I ever expected, my shoulders burned after 20 minutes. I have tried between 15 and 20 times in my life, each time was a solid workout just to get into position. I have yet to grasp the agility and balance required to properly ride a wave, perhaps one day.
Fun Fact – There are about 25 million surfers worldwide, this means you might have to learn some surf etiquette, you don’t want to drop in on someone else’s wave.
Elite Challenge – Channel your inner Kelly Slater and surf a barrel.
Alternate Test – Try stand up paddling boarding if the waters near you lack waves.
Fit Fifty Challenge – Catch a wave surfing