To get you in the mood to shape up, we’ve selected 20 of the best sportswear items to help you on your road to body perfection.
How to surf like a dude (in two days)
Let's face it lads, ever since we watched Point Break with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze carving up the waves with ridiculous accents, we've all wanted to learn how to surf.
Problem is, some of us live in grisly cities like London where there aren't that many waves around, so it's pretty hard to get into the sport, let alone try out our radical surfer dude expressions. That is, until now.
Winter may be upon us, but with the water still warm from the summer and with loads of great out of season travel and hotel deals out there, now is the perfect time to go surfing.
To help get me started I booked myself on a weekend course at the Extreme Academy in Watergate Bay, Cornwall, to find out what I could actually learn over two days.
It was time to man up and take the plunge. And the rubber ducky.
Where to go surfing
Although the UK has hundreds of beaches where you can learn to surf, it's probably a good idea to do your research and avoid the densely populated ones.
I chose Watergate Bay as a good example. Four hours from London, it's a well-known surf destination but preserves a healthy distance from rival surf mecca Newquay with it's congested 'line-outs' of hardcore enthusiasts. With an array of classy hotels and even boasting a Jamie Oliver Fifteen restaurant, it's certainly on the upmarket side but the focus remains firmly on the sport.
Check out the weather reports for offshore winds and decent 'swells' (meaning lots of waves) before you book your tickets. There are plenty of smartphone apps out there that will allow you to make a decision by 5pm Friday, in time for a swift booking and train down to the coast by 8pm. Job done.
Catching your first wave
All beginners worry that they'll look like a prat when they first learn to surf. Let's face it, you're going to spend the majority of your first day falling off your board at the merest hint of a ripple and running away from the biggest waves. Plus beginner's boards do look a bit silly. Eleven foot long and bright yellow, it's hard to look cool when you look like you're trying to surf a giant banana.
But do not fear - as your confidence grows, you'll soon be able to master paddling out with your board, judging which waves to catch, and eventually getting up on your feet. Nothing really compares to the first time you catch a wave and utter the words 'Kowabunga', even if the water is only up to your knees and your only audience is a team of toddlers with their grandparent. But, once you can stand, you're one of the gang.
Note to self: Avoid too many beers the night before as tackling waves at 9am in the morning can be a bit of a challenge.
For beginners, the costs of surfing can be relatively inexpensive, it just depends on what you need. Wetsuit hire can range from £10-£20 per day, with boards ranging from £20-£30 a day.
Try not to grab the shorter 7ft boards first time, however, as you'll spend most of your time in the water struggling to stand. A wider, 9ft Mimi-Mal type board would give you better balance plus you'll be able to catch more waves.
Alternatively, you could even book a surf instructor for the weekend, which is what I did. Sessions normally last two hours, 10am and 2pm depending on your local school with costs from £45-£90 per day. One-to-one tuition can certainly ramp up your learning during the course of a weekend and get you avoiding some early bad habits.
On day one, my instructor Pete took me through the basic steps to catching a wave, helping me to find my balance pretty early on so I could start thinking about which direction I wanted to go in.
Day two, we started to paddle 'out back' beyond the swell so we could take on the big waves. Each session lasted about two hours, which was enough for me as after that I soon began to lose the power in my arms and my toes had turned to ice.
Time to head back to the cafe to warm up, take stock of lessons learned, swallow some grub and then head back into the water. After another Cappuccino, of course..
My biggest takeaway from a weekend in the water was that surfing is not just about thrashing about in the water, it's all about the community.
Whilst 'city surfers' are often frowned upon by the natives, everyone is respected for giving the sport a go, just as long as you make an effort not to get in their way. Some beaches may be highly competitive, but if there's a surf school present, you can pretty much guarantee there won't be any attitude in the water.
After that, it's up to you. Standing up on your board is one thing but actually doing any of that cool stuff you see professionals do, well that takes years. For now, pat yourself on the back for a well-spent weekend away from the city, fully energised and looking ahead to your next break.
Congratulations, you are now, like, a total radical dude.
More on MSN Him
related stories on msn
latest him videos
Robots and a giant bunny have turned up for the launch of Daft Punk's latest album in a tiny Australian town called Wee Waa.
Date 11 mins ago, Duration 1:16, Views 0