After a long winter, with the warmer spring and summer months on their way, the urge to jump into the ocean becomes stronger every day. However, the swell doesn’t always align with that urge. For example in the UK last summer was the flatest on record and then this winter the surf was so stormy and huge for months there were days when going in the ocean wasn’t such a joyful experience. However that doesn’t mean your surfing has to suffer when the waves aren’t cooperating.

For the most part, more wave time is the best way to improve your surfing. However we are here to tell you that the ‘no surfing days’ can be beneficial too. You can focus on gaining strength and fitness, so when you hit the waves your surfing will be better for it.

Surfing is an intricate sport, and like most sports, it requires a lot of crossover and overall fitness to help you improve. Here’s our tips to help your surfing ability on the ‘no surfing days’.

Paddle Fitness

Flat days are a great chance to work on your paddle power, and technique.

Paddling power is one of the most important parts of surfing, getting used to paddling in the ocean and perfecting your paddle can be one of the fastest and quickest way to improve your surfing if you struggle to catch waves.

Try doing short circuits of different strokes and watching some videos on how to paddle correctly then spending time putting them into action and focusing on your technique as you do it.

Try out that new board

New board day is always exciting, however, sometimes it can be the most frustrating things. Most boards aren’t the same, so trying to find your balance point on a new one can be difficult and feel completely different to what you’re comfortable with.

Sally from Yonder in the Northeast spoke on this saying ‘the best way to get used to your new board is taking it out on a flat day, finding your balance point and getting used to paddling with it and feeling how it moves in the ocean. It takes a while to get comfortable on a new board and getting used to it on a flat day can help loads.’

Work out

We know you probably know this but working out can improve your overall fitness and in turn help your surfing massively. We’re not talking just hitting the gym a few times a week, we’re talking surf specific workouts that will build muscle memory and strength for when you’re in the heaviest waves.

Know where you can get that? Our very own Surf Girl Premium subscription.
We offer a great range of HIIT workouts for all levels all tailored to breakdown and improve intricate parts of your surfing you may didn’t even know were off. The first-class advice comes from carefully selected experts to help you improve your surfing, even when the waves aren’t pumping. Check it out here.

Spend time learning the ocean

With this, you don’t even need to be in the ocean – taking time to learn and understand the ocean can help improve your surfing by a country mile. Even if it’s going down to your local beach and just watching the ocean, identifying changes in the sandbank.

Not only does it give you confidence in your knowledge so you can make educated decisions on waves rather than panic paddling into a bomb and decking it. But it will keep you safe in future surfs where you’re maybe in conditions you haven’t necessarily been in before.

The ocean can change so quickly and having knowledge on how to handle yourself in these situations can be lifesaving.


Yoga and stretching has become a major feature in surfing in recent years. Flexibility is one of the most important components in surfing, from your pop up to your cutbacks.

Sometimes just a gentle stretch before a surf can do the trick, but on flat days why not take an hour to get in a series of powerful movements that will build your surfing strength, flexibility and help you push your body further than your mind thinks it can go.

Not to mention yoga is incredible for your breathing, we don’t need to explain why that’s important for surfing though…

You can find some amazing yoga flows for all levels on our Surf Girl Premium subscription. For the days you want to help build your surf strength, and the days you just want a good stretch. Check it out here.

Article by Beth Franklin