The flat spell, a surfer’s worst nightmare, when the wave Gods decide to go on holiday.

They can last a few days, a few weeks and sometimes over a month. They often come after a great run of swell, when we’re all pumped and stoked on surfing again, when we’re getting our surf mojo back and finally feel like we are progressing. It’s so easy to get frustrated and cynical about the flat spell, but it doesn’t have to mean that we lose our surf fitness. Here are the three ways we at the SurfGirl office like to keep our fitness on track for the waves while they take a break.


A sea swims across your local bay when flat is a lovely way to end or start the day and will keep your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape. Again always best to go with a friend so drag them along. Swim in a summer wetsuit or if you’re feeling extra brave opt for a bikini or a swimsuit, although depending on where you live you might not be able to last as long if the water is on the cold side.


If you don’t have a SUP, borrow one or even better head to your local surf school and hire one. Stand Up Paddleboarding is an excellent form of exercise and uses very similar muscles you use when surfing. Make sure you paddle for a long distance, to get your body working. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s always best to book a lesson or go with someone who is competent on a SUP.


When the weather is good, the yoga instructors tend to take their classes outside which we love! Use the flat spell as a chance to stretch out your tight muscles and improve your flexibility. It’s your perfect chance to focus on loosening out any stiff shoulders or knotted backs.

SUP Yoga

Combine yoga with SUPing and give SUP Yoga a try in the sea or on a river or lake. Wherever you do it, it’s great for the core as you need to balance twice as hard for stability, but it’s so much fun doing yoga on water. Nat Fox runs a SUP yoga and beach yoga in St Ives on alternate Wednesday’s through the summer in association with St Ives Surf School & St Ives Watersports Centre. or insta: yogarama_uk
Photo: Soul Somatics/ Harlyn SUP Club

Don’t see the flat spells as a negative and it doesn’t mean you have to give up everything. Just embrace the lack of waves and still get in the water. The good thing is, flat spells don’t last forever.