Fit To Surf

Years of research & development to get to this point, months of practice, testing and refinement, now it’s ready and time to start getting you fit to surf!
3-monthly training cycles, monthly blocks in a ‘sports team’ gym setting,
1) strength/stability,
2) power
3) power endurance & speed

“The most important elements are paddling endurance and multi-directional strength and mobility.” – Rocky Snyder

Mobility is continually worked, also forming part of the warm up.

As we move through blocks 2 and 3 energy systems are also worked.
We ensure that the trunk is actively supporting us through athletic movements, so is being trained throughout. ‘All training is core training’
These two facets help support our paddling endurance.

Testing at start and end of each phase. Results guaranteed!
6 surfers maximum

Maximum bang for the buck land training for surfing – in terms of time, and cash! You are paying for performance training, with education you might want along with it.

A long-term training program generates the best results.

I cant wait to work with you and help you elevate your physical performance for your surfing !

Nick Moffatt

Level 4 strength and conditioning qualified
Coach at Bristol Henleaze Swimming Club
Erstwhile Surf instructor

Scheduled sessions weekly in small group personal training

Want to know more? Read on or Contact me for my principles of training pdf.

NDM Coaching Fit To Surf Nick Kettlebell

Exclusive Swimming lane in the pipeline!
I’m working on this and hope to offer it very soon…

Some training misconceptions:

‘I just need to get more flexible’

Sure, we all appreciate the importance of flexibility in surfing, and for example how useful various yoga moves can be.
We include key stretches for surfing.

Flexibility alone is not enough.

More strength makes things feel easier. If we want to get stronger we can utilise bodyweight but we also need to add some load, (it doesn’t have to be much!) Bodyweight can only take us so far.

Improved flexibility can also come by using other muscles better, utilising load, reducing restrictive and unwanted tension elsewhere.

Also joint mobility is not the same. Learn the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a quality surf specific warm up, and how to make one your own.

Strength and Conditioning is about minimising or reducing the risk of injury,
as well as maximising performance.

If you are very mobile and flexible, strength training is even more crucial to you to reduce the risk of injury.

‘Technique of paddling or swimming is easy, this wont make much difference for me, I get all the paddle fitness I need surfing’

Getting in the pool regularly is important. I’m working on a session to host this and include coaching. There are technical elements we can run through in the land session that will make a difference!

If you get surf daily, you may well have stacks of paddle fitness. Due to the dysfunctional nature of the required mechanical positions for paddling, even more reason to ensure we are doing work that balances out overused muscles, and works underused muscles, and builds in protection for the back.

NDM Coaching Exercise Fit To Surf

‘Strength training will make me bulky , and/or reduce my Range of Motion.’

We’re not training hypertrophy, we’re training movement, stability, strength, power and then endurance of these. I know many lean people and athletes lifting double bodyweight, moving as athletically and as maximal a range of motion as any of us could dream. Enjoy increasing multi-directional strength and mobility.


‘Training the specific movements to the sport is most important’

Most people’s squat hinge, pulls and presses, are far from perfect… Spending quality land training time and effort here will give great benefit. Swimming and surfing-wise, developing prone trunk control is crucial ofcourse

General training is important to offset or protect against the inherent dysfunctions of our incredible sideways sliding and back hyper-extending (paddling) sport, not to mention the pop up! We need hip and shoulder strength for robustness and to anchor us around the trunk.

Sure we want to use specific movements replicating Forces involved but most important is building a good foundation first, and maintain it, add to it, utilise the transfers of training. The peak of the pyramid can only be as high as the how good the foundations are that support it.

Using weights on balancing equipment,

Just no!…
I often see balance boards misused. Joints ie. ankle, hip become statically held instead of mobility/stability being worked, wobbling around somewhere else instead, not actually challenging the right areas, not causing the adaptations we want.
Also why would you do this with squashy based running trainers on?! locking up the foot and ankle, and on not barefoot as they should be!
These can also form crucial proprioceptive rehabilitation exercises, and we can challenge these further
We don’t do our sport (on an unstable platform) carrying weights.
Resistance train from a stable platform – you don’t see many people able to achieve perfect single leg exercises even from this..!

Wobble boards can be really useful stimulus , getting specific to surfing, done in the right way…


‘I’m already an athlete and am fit enough, and have no issues’

Great! Now let’s make you stronger, fitter, keep you mobile and push your performance.
My energy systems work will push you whatever your level. Come and enjoy training hard! There is always room to progress!
When we’re young we have all the mobility and freedom of movement we need. After years of surfing we will develop issues if we don’t build in injury prevention. Future-proof yourself!

For most of us – me included! the biggest and most basic area we can work to improve our surfs is our fitness for paddling out and recovering, but lets do this in a motivating, group context, maximum ‘bang for your buck’ (time and expense!) highly functional and progressive way. There are no limits!

Imagine that session next when its touch and go making it out the back, recovering quickly enough for the wave that’s just come your way, making a tricky pop up with precision when you’re already gassing, or having enough left in the tank to enjoy nailing that ride!

If you’re at the level of getting some leg burn from your turns/surfs, how about lets add more reserves and some power!

NDM Fit to Surf

The key to getting any benefit from the most surf-specific exercises is first to master general movement patterns, a crucial foundation, which should form the majority of training.This also feeds into injury prevention and being robust for surfing. We want to progressively overload and the most value and long-term progression is made by ‘minimal dose response’, and by mastering an exercise before embarking on the next one of greater challenge. We need to understand the notion that strength is a skill… Occasional testing is a great way to see one’s progression and readiness to overload into a next phase of training!

The 4 week phases are mapped out in the 3-monthly cycle, each with a certain training emphasis. During these we utilise some exercises to maintain earlier adaptations. Progressions or regressions from the programmed exercises can be tailored to the individual!

Nick can give you examples from his sport analysis and research of Surfing , as well his own personal experience. We can all appreciate that it’s majority paddling, we know how technical the pop-up is, and how great those precious few seconds wave at a time are on our feet!

Adding light load makes the body fire up more: more neuromuscular activity, gives stability and something to work against, causing force generation.
Learning to absorb force is the foundation of then being able to generate it.
Training with greater load causes the body to adapt and get stronger. A stronger muscle can apply the same force for less effort.
Resistance training has been evidenced to also support bone , ligament and tendon strength, so doing some long term is a must.
It’s also a fantastic way to get a cardio-vascualar effect which can increase our ‘fitness’ levels

Deep postural muscles in the trunk key in surfing have to engage constantly to maintain balance and form, during these 3 aspects of surfing mentioned.

With many exercises it is more demanding on these or easier to feel these activated and working, with load (light) than just body weight.
Technique is paramount (otherwise one strengthens a dysfunction, rather than a quality movement
Strength is a skill -the force we generate is the result of firing neural pathways, and co-ordinating the timing of firing of muscle groups.
Strength work can be carried out to ‘tune’ antagonistic muscle pairs, optimising our ‘residual’ muscle tension. This is what tone is!

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Also do check out Nick’s blog post on Stretching and the RAMP warm up here