13 Incredible Benefits of Surfing

Surfing is more than just a sport- it’s a way of life. Ask any surfer- there’s no feeling quite like the one you get from dropping in and flying down the face of a wave. Surfing is extremely fun, and I don’t know where my life would be without it. 

Beyond the fun, surfing also comes with a HUGE range of health benefits. Surfing is truly amazing for you, and if you’re considering getting into surfing, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend it, because surfing will change your life forever (in a good way!)

In this post, we’re going to dive into several of the ways that surfing can benefit your body, mind, and soul. Whether you’re just getting into surfing, or have surfed for forever and are wondering just why it makes you feel so good, here are the benefits of surfing:

13 remarkable surf benefits

Here are some fantastic benefits of surfing:

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1. Full-Body Workout: Enjoy the Physical Benefits of Surfing

surfer paddling, surfing workout, benefits of surfing

Ever wondered why surfers are so fit? It’s because surfing is an incredible full-body workout that targets multiple muscle groups. Paddling works your back, arms, shoulders, chest, back, and even your glutes! 

While you’re actually riding the waves, your hamstrings, quads, and glutes are also getting a serious workout. While surfing, you also use your core to stabilize yourself, and maintain balance and control. 

If you’re trying to get in shape or stay in shape, surfing is an amazing way to do so. In fact, surfing can burn anywhere from 200-400+ calories an hour! Plus, surfing is a relatively low-impact activity, which means it’s easier on your joints and a good exercise option for people of all ages and fitness levels.

2. Cardiovascular Health: Surfing’s Positive Impact on Your Heart Health

In addition to being an excellent full-body workout, studies have shown that surfing also has a hugely positive impact on your cardiovascular health. In fact, Regular surfing has even been proven to decrease the likelihood of suffering or dying from heart-related issues.

3. Surfing reduces anxiety and stress

Another amazing benefit of surfing is that it reduces stress and anxiety! While you’re out surfing, your body releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Surfing has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which keeps your anxiety levels low, and leaves you feeling calm and euphoric during and after your surf session. 

4. Surfing benefits your balance, coordination, and agility

Another benefit of surfing is that it works wonders for your balance, coordination, and agility. Standing on a surfboard and riding waves requires a TON of balance. Even paddling, and sitting on a surfboard requires a ton of balance to keep yourself stabilized on the board. 

Additionally, paddling into waves and popping up  requires a ton of coordination and agility. If you surf regularly, you’ll find that your balance, coordination, and agility have all greatly improved, which will increase your overall athletic performance and reduce the risk of falls and injuries in everyday life.

5. Surfing exposes you to Vitamin D

Surf sessions include long hours in the water under the sun, meaning you’re soaking up tons of Vitamin D! Vitamin D is essential for good health, as it helps the body absorb calcium and maintain strong bones. It’s also important for a healthy immune system and can help to improve mood and reduce the risk of depression.

While the exposure to Vitamin D has some excellent benefits, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Surfers get a lot of sunshine, and it’s a good idea to protect your skin with either a good surfing hat, or some reef safe sunscreen.

6. Surfing provides an opportunity for adventure and exploration of new places

If you want to explore new places to surf, you have to travel. Searching for new, uncrowded surf breaks can take you to some of the most beautiful and remote places on earth, giving you the chance to experience new cultures, meet new people, and explore new environments. Surf travel has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Traveling to find waves has taken me all over the coast of California, to Nicaragua, Portugal, and Costa Rica. Traveling to find waves has also allowed me to meet some of my best friends, and even fall in love.

Which leads to the next benefit of surfing…

7. Community Bonding: How Surfing Can Help You Make Friends

Jalama Beach Surf

Even if you’re not traveling all over the world to find waves, surfing will help you build a community of lifelong friends. 

The only people who really understand surfing and its appeals are other surfers. The friends that you make that you share surfing with are sure to belasting ones. 

The surfing community can be a very tight-knit and supportive one, with surfers of all ages and backgrounds coming together to enjoy the waves. Sharing a passion for surfing can create an instant bond. I’ve met some of my best friends in the entire world through surfing. 

8. Skin Health: The Benefits of Surfing in Saltwater

One of the benefits of surfing you may not have considered is that surfing is amazing for your skin! This is due to the presence of saltwater. Saltwater is very exfoliating, and during your surf session, the salt will actually open up your pores, and any dead skin away. 

Additionally, saltwater is full of nutrients and minerals that are good for dry skin. Thanks to all those nutrients and minerals, the saltwater reduces inflammation, and can even relieve conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. 

9. Unplugging and Connecting with Nature: The Benefit of Surfing as a Digital Detox

Did you know the average American checks their phone every ten to twelve minutes? We are literally addicted. When you spend about 2-3 hours in the ocean during your surf session, you’re not only getting incredible exercise, but you’re also completely unplugged. For many people, a surf session might be the only time they’re truly unplugged! This time in the water, connecting with nature is truly invaluable, and a COLOSSAL benefit of surfing. 

10. Surfing allows you to connect with the ocean

In addition to becoming unplugged, surfing allows you to connect with the ocean in a way that few other activities can match. Being in the ocean and riding its waves can provide a deep sense of connection with nature, as well as a feeling of freedom and exhilaration. Surfers have the opportunity to experience the power and beauty of the ocean firsthand, which can be both humbling and awe-inspiring. This connection with the ocean can also foster a sense of environmental stewardship and encourage surfers to become advocates for ocean conservation. Overall, surfing offers a unique and powerful way to connect with the ocean and all of the benefits that come with it.

11. Cold water benefits your immune system

cold water surfing

Cold water immersion has been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system. When swimming in cold water, studies have shown that your body responds by increasing its production of white blood cells, which help fight off infections and diseases. In addition, cold water can also increase the production of cytokines, which are proteins that regulate immune function. This means that surfing in cold water can not only be invigorating and refreshing, but also provide a boost to your immune system. However, it’s important to note that extremely cold water can also pose risks, such as hypothermia, so it’s crucial to be properly prepared and equipped with the proper wetsuit and gear before heading out into colder waves.

12. Better Sleep: The Surprising Sleep Benefits of Surfing

Surfing can also have a positive impact on your sleep. Spending time in the ocean and engaging in physical activity can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, known as your circadian rhythm. The physical exertion from surfing can leave you feeling tired and ready for a good night’s sleep. Additionally, research has found that Vitamin D plays a huge role in sleep regulation, and if you’re getting lots of Vitamin D while you’re out in the surf, you’re likely to sleep better as well. 

Research has shown that regular exercise, like surfing, can help you achieve better sleep and even help reduce the time it takes to actually fall asleep. So, if you’re looking for a way to catch more Z’s, consider hitting the waves on a regular basis.

13. Surfing is empowering (face your fears!)

Surfing is an incredibly empowering activity that can allow you to face your fears head-on. Since the sport takes place in a very unpredictable and powerful ocean, surfing requires a certain level of bravery and confidence. 

As long as you’re surfing safely, overcoming the fear of wiping out or being caught in a large set can provide a great sense of accomplishment and boost self-confidence. Additionally, the mental and physical challenges of surfing can also help individuals build resilience and adaptability, qualities that can be beneficial in many aspects of life. Whether it’s paddling out into big waves or simply committing to learning to surf, surfing can help you to develop a mindset of perseverance and courage that can carry over into other aspects of your life. 

The benefits of surfing- final thoughts

From making you physically and mentally stronger, to helping you make new friends and find a sense of community, there are so many incredible benefits of surfing. If you’re on the edge about learning to surf and find yourself reading this post, I implore you to give it a try. Surfing is seriously life changing, and you definitely won’t regret giving this sport a try. 

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