How To Practice Surfing When Landlocked

How to practice on surfing when you are landlocked?

There you are, you started looking after surfing and you’re determined to try it out, or just feel like you need a refresher and do it again.

But, you live in an area where the ocean isn’t accessible, you can’t practice or just go for fun and there’s no way of getting to it — you’re landlocked.

Luckily, there are still ways for those living far away from the coast to get into surfing, even if they don’t have access to open water.

In this post, we will explore the ways that landlocked surfers can still enjoy the activity of surfing, even when they are far away from the ocean.

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Who Is Considered To Be A Landlocked Surfer?

Before we’re getting into the tips for landlocked surfers, let’s define who a landlocked surfer is. As previously mentioned, a landlocked surfer is someone who lives far away from the ocean and can’t access open water for surfing.

This means that they don’t have the opportunity to regularly go out and practice, or just enjoy a day at the beach without having to make an extra effort to get there.

If they want to surf, they have to make plans of going somewhere else and make a whole schedule just for the sake of surfing.

Landlocked surfers can come from anywhere in the world where surfing isn’t accessible, like those living in continental Europe or in the central states of the US.

But it has more depth than that. Landlocked surfers can be either one of the three options below:

  1. You were born in a landlocked area, and your love of surfing led you to pick up the sport, despite the lack of nearby access to ocean waves. Family obligations and financial issues meant that moving closer to the coast wasn’t an option – resulting in real dedication to surfing. To you, true passion was enough for overcoming barriers posed by location.
  2. While you had been a casual surfer, the circumstances of your life necessitated that you relocate from the ocean. You may endure some bouts of withdrawal symptoms yet you will be alright as you can always revisit your home spots where you’ll still be considered and welcomed as local.
  3. Semi-landlocked surfers have some access to the ocean, yet opportunities are severely restricted and they fall into this category of limited surfing prospects. For instance, Texas, Germany, or Finland.

Landlocked surfers are a unique group of people who have the same love for the sport of surfing as any other surfer.

With a little bit of creative thinking and dedication, these surfers can still find ways to improve their skills and have fun in spite of the lack of nearby access to waves. Here’s how.

How To Practice Surfing When Landlocked?

Now that we know who landlocked surfers are, or if you already know and you are among them, let’s see how you can still practice surfing even when you don’t have easy access to the ocean.

Surf Simulator Parks

When landlocked, someone around you might have opened a surf simulator or a FlowRider, which are stationary waves that you can ride on a surfboard or bodyboard.

These can be a good way to get a feel for surfing without having to travel to the coast.

Surf parks are great for landlocked surfers since they provide them with waves on demand, making it easy to turn up and go surfing without having to take into account the whims of Mother Nature.

There are plenty of parks around the world, so if you’re living in an area close to one of them it’s worth checking out.

Practice On A Skateboard Or Snowboard

Landlocked surfers can use skateboards or snowboards to practice their surfing skills and improve their balance and control.

Skateboarding and surfing have similar principles, so practicing on a skateboard or snowboard can help a surfer develop the muscle memory and balance needed to ride a wave.

Using a skateboard or snowboard to practice surfing can be especially helpful for beginners who are just learning the sport.

It can also be a good way for more experienced surfers to keep their skills sharp when they don’t have access to the ocean.

In addition to helping with balance and control, practicing on a skateboard or snowboard can also help landlocked surfers get a feeling for the flow and speed of a wave.

This can be especially useful when you do eventually get the chance to hit the water, as you’ll have a better understanding of how to ride and maneuver on a wave.

Use A Balance Board

Balance boards are flat boards that are mounted on a ball or cylinder, and they are designed to challenge balance and stability.

By standing on a balance board and performing various movements, surfers can improve their balance and coordination, which are important skills for surfing.

To use a balance board to practice surfing, a surfer can stand on the board and mimic the movements they would make on a surfboard, such as shifting their weight, turning, and carving.

Surfers can also try different foot positions and stances to simulate different surfing maneuvers.

Using a balance board can help landlocked surfers develop their balance and coordination, which are essential for surfing.

In addition to balance boards, landlocked surfers can also use foam surfboards or other balance training equipment to practice their surfing skills and improve their balance.

If you don’t have a balance board, you can use a balance ball or Bosu ball to practice your surfing skills and improve your balance and coordination.

Both of these pieces of equipment can be used to help with improving your balance and stability.

Ride The Rivers

Even if you’re not near an ocean, there are still plenty of places where you can get out on the water and paddleboard.

Lakes and rivers can be great substitutes for open water — and since you won’t have any waves to ride (at least from natural sources), it’s a great way to work on improving your balance and technique while getting some good cardio exercise.

And who knows? Maybe one day soon there will be enough artificial wave pools around that you won’t have to travel far at all.

Visualization Techniques

Old fashioned, but visualization is a great technique that allows you to imagine yourself surfing a wave, from the moment you paddle out to when you ride back in.

This helps landlocked surfers get a better feel for how it would be to actually ride a wave and can help them develop mental cues that will allow them to improve their performance when they do finally hit the water.

This involves mentally rehearsing what it would be like to be in the water and going through all of the movements and actions that you would need to do while surfing.

For landlocked surfers, mental practice can also be a great tool for helping them stay motivated and committed to their surfing goals.

By visualizing yourself catching waves and feeling the thrill of riding one, they can stay connected to the experience even when you’re landlocked.

Try Adding some background music from YouTube of ocean sounds and feel the nature vibes to make this overall experience more real and live.

In order to practice the visualization technique, you can close your eyes and imagine yourself riding a wave, focusing on the details of the experience.

You can picture themselves paddling into the wave, popping up on their board, and executing turns and maneuvers.

As you visualize, you can also practice the physical movements involved in surfing, such as shifting weight and adjusting your stance.

And visualization can also help surfers overcome fears or mental blocks that may be holding them back in the water.

By mentally rehearsing these skills, you can improve your awareness and preparedness when you do get the chance to hit the water.

Extra Workout And Watch(out)

Landlocked surfers should also consider doing some dryland exercises that focus specifically on surfing skills.

Push-ups and pull-ups are great for building upper body strength and core stability — both of which are important for paddling out into the waves.

Squats are also helpful for developing leg power and balance. Surfing is a full-body workout, so everything in your body connects, and to remain agile and flexible, add in some yoga poses as well.

And of course, the best way to get a feel for what it takes to be a surfer is by watching experienced surfers in action.

Look for videos that showcase different types of waves, as well as different techniques used by experienced surfers.

This will give you an idea of what kind of moves and maneuvers you’ll need to master when you hit the waves.

Plus, watching these videos will help get you pumped up and excited about hitting the waves.


Surfing isn’t just about being at the beach – it’s about mastering certain techniques that require physical strength and mental focus.

While having access to an ocean may seem ideal, there are plenty of ways you can simulate surfing movements even when landlocked, so yes, you can most definitely practice surfing even when landlocked.

Follow these tips mentioned above and it will help you stay connected with the sport and get ready for when you’re finally able to hit the waves.