Surfing Vs. Boxing – Why You Should Be Doing Both

A Guest Post by Taylor Merritt, General Manager Title Boxing Club North Park

When thinking of the “typical” surfer, perhaps a happy-go-lucky, blonde-haired, completely carefree individual comes to mind. Often, the comical media stereotype depicts a mellow underachiever, who has probably never put an ounce of effort into anything other than finding the perfect wave. In reality, surfers are as serious and devoted athletes as any other, training regularly, and working to perfect their form. In fact, surfing is one of the most physically demanding sports out there, which explains why most surfers are extremely fit, and often dedicate a fair amount of time to other physical activities to improve their surfing skills.

Many people assume to become the “perfect” surfer, one must simply spend as much time as possible on a surfboard. While practice certainly helps, most surfers have found engaging in other sports to be of benefit to their surfing skills. One such sport is boxing.


While on the surface, boxing and surfing appear to be as different as night and day, the underlying skills are fairly similar. Strength and endurance training are essential in both sports. Anyone who has ever paddled their way out to sea on a surfboard recognizes the need for great upper body strength. Without strong pulling muscles, day two of your surfing adventure may be spent barely being able to lift your head off the board. Boxing is a prime way to build these muscles. From the speed bag to the heavy bag, sparring, and shadow boxing, the upper body is heavily involved and requires the arms and shoulders to be raised and working for extended periods of time.


Boxing is also a phenomenal way to build core strength and stability. In contrast to weight training, boxing uses one’s body weight and requires core stability to achieve good form and throw strong punches. Obviously, core stability is the key to balance, a necessity when “hanging 10” on a surfboard and soaring over escalating swells.


Of course, boxers must also recognize the benefits of adding surfing to their exercise regime. Cross training is necessary for every boxer as it works different muscles, and also works the same muscles in a variety of ways. While surfing is a different way to use both upper and lower body strength and puts core stability to the test, it is also a fantastic way to relax. The environment alone is entirely different from a sport based on competing against another person. Surfing can give boxers a much-needed change of scenery, and the calming effect of a solo sport, where the challenge is against the force of nature, a very different type of opponent.


Taylor Merritt is a trainer and General Manager of Title Boxing Club in North Park. If you would like to learn more about their services or if you have questions, please call 619-677-1341 or click here.


If you would like to learn more about surfing and how to hold your own against the sea, visit us at San Diego Surf School. We look forward to helping you get your feet wet with the exciting sport of surfing.