Surfer Conner Coffin on Training for the 2020 Summer Olympics and His Top Surf Spots


With surfing making its debut in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, surfers around the world are angling to make it into the competition. Conner Coffin is one of them.

Like his fellow World Surf League competitor Kolohe Andino, Coffin has been working hard all season to get to the top of the rankings, since finishing in the top two positions on the WSL Championship Tour means you qualify for the Olympic Games. While Andino currently sits in first place ahead of John John Florence, Coffin is in 12th place, so he’ll need to make up some points the rest of the season to get there. But he isn’t giving up—not by a long shot.

“It’s super exciting and a pretty insane opportunity to have a shot at qualifying and having the opportunity to represent the U.S. on that stage,” Coffin told Men’s Journal. Coffin’s next chance to make up some ground is at the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o competition, which will be taking place from August 21 through September 1.

Coffin spoke with Men’s Journal about his top surf spots around the world, how he’s training to potentially compete in the Olympics, his favorite surfboard, and more.

World Surf League / WSL / Cestari

Where are some of your favorite places to surf?

It’s a hard question because each spot has something different. On the World Surf League tour, we compete at some really amazing places. When I’m at Bells Beach, [Australia], I stay with family and it feels like Santa Barbara. J-Bay (Jeffreys Bay) in South Africa is probably my favorite. The waves are so good, and we stay at a beautiful place there. Hawaii Pipe and Tahiti round out my top four. I do love Europe, too, especially for the food.

What’s one of your favorite travel destinations?

I love Fiji and Tavarua island there. I’ve been going since I was eight years old, and I’ve made some really good friends there. I’ve had the chance to lifeguard there, too. It’s such a special place, and the waves are some of the best in the world. The whole experience is incredible, and Fijians have the biggest hearts. It’s so dreamy.

What are some of your favorite ways to train for surfing?

When I’m home, I try to surf as much as I can. That’s the main thing that helps you stay sharp. I paddle and spin bike a lot, and I also like the infrared sauna. That really keeps everything moving. I also work with a trainer when I can. I do a ton of mobility work and a lot of functional movement stuff. As a surfer, you aren’t trying to put on muscle and be too buff. It’s important to have mobility.