When the temperature rises, it’s oh-so tempting to dive into cold water and cool off. So, whether you’re at home or abroad this summer, why not join the legion of fitness fans who’re using the water to work out? According to the latest Watersports Participation Survey, over a quarter of Brits now take part in water-based activities! From watersports to extreme swimming and pool workouts like no other, there’s no shortage of activities to inspire and delight. We can’t promise it won’t be chilly – but it will be exhilarating…
Surfing WHAT IS IT? Surfing will feature in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for the first time, but you don’t have to aspire to Gold to give it a go. You need to be reasonably fit and definitely a strong swimmer. But there are plenty of beaches in the UK – and lots of keen instructors – to show you how to get your board out to sea, then ride back in.
Surf Travel Benefits Photo Gallery
‘An all-over body workout, surfing strengthens all your muscles, requiring and developing amazing core stability,’ says Nick Rees of Surfing England, the recognised national governing body. ‘Your shoulders, arms and upper back work hard too, as do your legs and glutes once you’re standing – basically, the effort of standing and riding a wave means nothing goes untouched. And surfers are quick to celebrate the stress-relieving and endorphin-boosting effects of catching a wave or wiping out. Thereʼs also a thriving social scene and lots of surfer communities.’
HOW TO TRY IT
Book a taster surfing session or start on a bodyboard (smaller, lighter, you lie or kneel on it). Find a surf school, coach or club at surfingengland.org.
KEY KIT: Boho Bralet bikini (1), £49.99; oneill.com. You’ll also need a wetsuit over the top in the UK: dhb Hydron wetsuit (2), £110, wiggle.co.uk. A rashvest or surfsuit such as Protest’s Mojito Surfsuit (3), £49.99; protest.eu can minimise chafing.
SURFING TO ME MEANS FREEDOM’
Imogen Caldwell, pictured left, freesurfer and part of the O’Neill global surf team ‘I grew up in a tiny town in Western Australia with the ocean at my front door and the desert at the back. Anything to do with the ocean brings me happiness. I’ve been surfing since I was about 15 – I’d steal my brothers’ boards and wetsuits. But I soon got my own board and I’ve been surfing big waves ever since. I can’t think of a form of exercise more fun than spending a few hours in the ocean. Surfing is addictive. And, if you’re like me, you’ll want to be good at it, which takes practice. My favourite motto is “You can”. It’s what I’d tell anyone scared of trying surfing.’
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