How Old Is Too Old To Learn To Surf?

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Surfing is a fantastic way to work out without feeling like you’re doing any exercise. Surfing offers a vigorous cardiovascular workout, and it works out all your major muscle groups. Staying fit is vital for older people, who can lose mobility and muscle mass when inactive, but how old is too old to learn to surf?

No age is too old to learn to surf. There isn’t a strict age limit as long as the person learning can still move around relatively easily. An older person who can barely climb stairs will not be able to learn how to surf. However, a lively 50-year-old can still take on the ocean!

As long as you can move your body with reasonable flexibility, you can learn to surf even if you went gray years ago. Just remember to take it slow and enjoy surfing for the fantastic sport that it is. Read on to find out why older people learn to surf, learning to surf in your 30s, 40s, and 50s, and how to learn surfing.

Disclaimer: we are not healthcare professionals, please read our disclaimer here carefully.

Why Do Older People Learn To Surf?

When people get older, they tend to become a lot less active. Their inactiveness can lead to boredom as well as health issues. Surfing solves both of these problems at once, and it is a lot of fun.

Learning to surf is a wonderful experience for older people, and they might just appreciate it more than the younger generations. Older surfers don’t really want to chase the big waves — they’re happy just being on the ocean, so their safety isn’t as big a concern. 

How Long Does It Take To Learn To Surf?

This question cannot be easily answered because it depends on the person learning. Some people learn faster than others. Older people might take a bit longer than average because they may not have as much energy.

It is highly recommended that a professional surfing coach helps older people learn so they’ll know how to stay safe. The coach will teach them the proper ways to surf and avoid injuries as well.

For many professional surfers, it took between six months and a year to truly learn the ins and outs of surfing. Since older surfers won’t likely make a career out of surfing, they might be able to learn the basics in a year. They should see every lesson as a fun experience and enjoy it rather than worry about how long it takes them to learn.

Learning To Surf in the 30s and 40s


How Old Is Too Old To Learn To Surf?

The world may see surfing as a young person sport, but it can be enjoyed even when you feel too old to learn something new.

You may not be as flexible or active when you reach your middle years, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.

For people who are in their 30s and 40s, learning to surf holds many benefits. It improves cardiovascular fitness, which leads to a healthier heart. It also improves back and shoulder strength and flexibility.

A stronger back and shoulders and better flexibility will help you stay active much longer while you grow older.

There are also psychological and mental benefits to learning how to surf. When you start surfing, you can expect to enjoy improved coordination skills and concentration. It takes good balance to surf, and if you’ve learned this, your brain has worked out as well.

In general, working out improves mental health, and surfing is a fun and rejuvenating form of exercise.

People in their 30s and 40s are probably still climbing the corporate ladder, which comes with a lot of stress. Surfing can be a great form of stress relief. When you’re on the ocean, and it’s just you and mother nature, you feel a lot freer.

Learning To Surf in the 50s and Beyond

Although your body might not be in the great shape it was, you can still learn to surf if you’re 50 or older. Naturally, you will have to take things easier and accept that it will take longer than it would have taken a 20-year-old you.

Surfing is a non-contact sport, so it won’t take a toll on your body the way rugby or football will. As mentioned above, there are many benefits, and these are even more welcome as you grow older. Keeping your body fit will ensure a happier and more comfortable retired life.

Getting out of the home and meeting up with other surfers or fellow mature learners will also avoid loneliness. At this age, spouses and friends might have passed away, and their absence can cause depression. Going surfing and focusing on your own life will help you deal with the loss while having fun.

Learning to surf can sound daunting, but it’s less scary and a lot more enjoyable if you come prepared.

Board Size Matters

When it comes to the board you use, the size of it is crucial. A longer board provides better stability. When you’re just starting out, you’ll need to use a longer board. This Wavestorm 9ft Original New Modern Surfboard should be a great starter board.

Dress Correctly

Although we always see surfers doing their thing in just shorts, beginners might want to think twice during winter. Wetsuits provide better buoyancy and keep you warm in the chilly water. When surfing during the summer, you might want to use a skincare lubricant such as Belly Jelly to avoid or treat board rash.

How To Learn Surfing

Learning any new skill will take time and dedication, and you won’t get surfing right without putting in the time. There are a few things to remember when you take on this new adventure. 

Let’s look at what you need to keep in mind when you learn how to surf.

Have Fun

The most important thing — especially for older learners — is to enjoy the experience. Don’t worry about what other people are saying or doing. You’re just looking for a way to make your life more, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Get Proper Lessons

It might sound like a good idea to have a young surfer teach you, but that’s not the safest option. It’s just as safe as trying to climb a mountain with a group of climbers when you’ve never done it before.

Instead, take the time to find a professional surfing coach to show you the ropes. They will be able to teach you many tricks and how to stay safe while you have fun.

Pack Sunscreen

You’ll be spending all your time surfing in the sun, so it’s essential that you pack sunscreen. The ocean and wind can also affect your skin, so you need something to protect your skin on all fronts. Headhunter SPF 50 Clear Sunscreen is a reliable product and used by many surfers. 

Be Comfortable With the Ocean

This should go without saying, but you will have to be a good swimmer who is comfortable being in the ocean. A huge part of surfing is paddling, and you will have to get used to the rhythm of the waves. 

You have to be okay with the way the waves break and move you around. Get used to the bigger waves, or you’ll always be scared of them.

To ensure you’re not out of your element, get out there often. Spend as much time as you can in the ocean, on and off your surfboard.

Respect the Surf Ethics

The surfing community lives by a few unwritten rules that they never break; you should learn them.

One rule, for example, is that you must never drop in on another surfer’s wave. If you do, you can cause injury to you and the other surfer.

Final Thoughts

Surfing is a terrific sport that is a lot of fun and keeps you in great shape, regardless of your age. There is no such thing as you’re too old to learn to surf – if you can move around without difficulty, you can learn.



Hey there, my name is Ruth, I'm in my late fifties. My life was turned upside down a few years ago as I experienced a burn-out. But I saw it as a sign that something had to change in my life. I'm happy I used this tough experience as a stepping stone. I now feel happier than ever and hope to inspire you to do the same, no matter how old you are.

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