There is nothing quite like surfing – it enriches the mind, body and soul in one all-encompassing pastime that leaves almost everyone who tries it wanting more. It is also a fantastic way to see a new destination and immerse yourself within a culture in a really unforgettable way. The physical benefits are significant, of course, but we will come to those a little later. If you are interested in getting involved, then here are five reasons to try surfing while you are traveling.

1. It is safer than you think

Surfing may have an image of being a daring, dangerous sport where wipe-outs and injuries are common place. But that is not actually the case – Groupon report that there are only 2.2 injuries suffered per surfer for every 1,000 days they are in the water. As long as you get your equipment right and choose the right kind of board for your ability, you should be safe. When you are starting out it is best to choose a wider, thicker board that will help keep you afloat more easily and will also help you keep your balance for longer.

2. It is an unparalleled full-body workout

It seems that we get a new workout recommendation every single week – whether that be HIIT workouts, kettlebells or something completely different. The key when it comes to working out is to do something that becomes a habit and you almost don’t notice you are doing. Surfing is exactly that, as it is a full-body plan that blends strength with punishing cardiovascular moves. Your arms will burn as you paddle out against the waves, your balance and your core will be tested as you battle to stay upright, and your legs will get a workout with all the swimming you will do.

a rainbow of old surfboards lined up like a fence around a house in california

3. It brings you closer to nature

We all know the importance of feeling at one with nature. Surfing delivers that in bucket loads, bringing you into the world of fish, dolphins, seals and whales, as you explore and totally immersive yourself in their environment. It will also help you understand the environmental challenges facing the oceans, which can only be a good thing.

4. It will teach you patience

The art of patience is something we all have to learn at some point in life. Well, surfing – rather like golf – is a fantastic way to learn that good things come to those who wait. It can be hugely frustrating at first, as you tumble into the water and battle to stand up on your board, let alone ride a wave. But if you put in the work, you will get the rewards and you will see how your patience is rewarded.

5. It’s another item off your bucket list

Not everyone has a written bucket list, but almost all of us have imagined what it might feel like to catch a wave on a surfboard. And even if we haven’t, you will certainly have a feeling of wanting to overcome new challenges, expand your horizons or do something that might scare you a little bit. Surfing can help you do all of those things!