As a follow-up from my post earlier this fall on SurfSET Fitness, Catchin’ The Surfing Fitness Wave: Paddle Your Way To “The Perfect Workout”, I headed on down to Boston to get my surf on in a FREE demo clas. Turns out that Boston was the final stop on Surfset Fitness’ 8-week and 22-city Get On Board Tour. They held three (100% booked) demo classes that night at The Union Gym, America’s oldest gym, right downtown next to the Common.
So, I was super stoked to hit the surfboard and shake up my workout. I got on board for demo class #1 in Boston at 5:30 ready to catch the SurfSET Fitness wave.
Waxing On About SurfSET Fitness
Mike Hartwick, Founder & CEO (Div. I NCAA Hockey player at Dartmouth):
“I would quickly bulk up and lose the lean and toned physique that surfing gave me, no other workout could compare. Then it hit me. I’ll design a machine to mimic the workout that I got while surfing. It might not be as awesome as catching real waves, but it will keep me in peak physical condition and I will still see all of the benefits to my body. SurfSET Fitness was born.”
Nick Karwoski, Event Marketing & PR (All-American track athlete at Dickinson)
“SurfSET found a way to combine the importance of the core during any strength training session with all the other aspects of true fitness. It’s fun, it brings a surfer’s edge to working out, and it elevates my endurance & core strength for running. I think everyone should be able to experience such an awesome sport whether they live near a beach or not, and I’m excited to be on board & help grow the SurfSET brand.”
Class In “Surf-Session”
As the class started, the studio was packed. We were each nestled on own RipSurfer X (RSX) surf trainer. The class “ambience” was ideal as the lights were dimmed and there was a big projection screen up front featuring cool surfing videos and music for inspiration during the class. As a surfing novice and enthusiast, I was stoked! This class was taught by Bill Ninteau, Head of Operations & Business Development at SurfSET Fitness and a Div. II college hockey athlete at Stonehill College.
Bill got us going with a quick warm-up on the RSX trainer, which is designed to mimic the movement of a surfboard on water. From there the class picked up in intensity fast! We simulated a series of surfing paddling workouts and balance moves and incorporated some challenging yoga core and flow moves on the board. There was a particularly challenging series of moves that included one and two-handed planks and downward dogs and a VERY tough balance series where we hopped on and off the RSX boards into a runners lunge, at varying speeds. It was a tough workout challenge, but what made it even crazier was trying to execute this series of moves while balancing on an unsteady surfboard, the RSX trainer.
SurfSET offers several different fitness workouts. In our class Bill lead us through the SurfSET Core Program, a full body core-intensive workout. There is also a Yoga-inspired program, Get Balanced, which is a slower-paced balance & flexibility workout program. I promise you, our demo class was NOT slower-paced. It was kicking my butt, and my core.
Midway through class I was working up quite a sweat. So, I would recommend having a towel handy since I kept having to wipe off my board for better traction. I am not at my peak fitness level right now, but in decent shape, so for me the combination of cardio, strength training moves, yoga poses and balance moves were VERY intense and quite a challenge. In the second half of class, we kicked it up another notch and incorporated some one-legged balance moves stepping/jumping on and off the board which were pretty intense too, but very similar to lunges/hops you do in yoga class. And, yes I fell off the RSX at least once, OK twice. Much like surfing, finding your balance (and focus) on the surfboard and the proper stance was the key to success.
We finished up the class with a full surfing workout series that simulated paddling out to catch a wave, duck diving under waves and then paddling to catch, pop up and ride a wave into the beach. We repeated this series of moves several times to finish with a flourish! Honestly, I was expecting a light cool down but that was not to be. This was full-on and hard-core cardio and strength training on the surfboard from start to finish. Honestly, I was VERY surprised at how intense a workout and challenging this SurfSET Fitness Core class was, but I loved it! As hard as some of the moves were in class, I felt GREAT after class and can’t wait to get back on board with SurfSET.
I have done every kind of fitness class and workout there is from advanced spin classes to tae kwon do to Bikram Yoga to circuit training and cross fit, and I am an amateur triathlete too. But this SurfSET Fitness class gave me an intense and challenging cardio, balance and core workout that was unique, full of variety and truly second to none. It shook up my workout!
OVERALL SEACOAST FITNESS DALY CLASS RATING
Intensity: VERY INTENSE
Cardio: Lots and lots
Strength: Substantial – especially upper body and core
Knee-friendly: Avoid if your balance and knee stability are not at least average
Crowd: Full house for a demo class! *CLASS NOTE: The SurfSET core workout is not a good fit for beginners or those new to high-intensity fitness/studio classes or those with poor balance/weak ankles. The yoga workout would be ideal for beginners since you could build up the intensity and get used to the balancing on the surfboard. (There were several fitness professionals and personal trainers in my demo class and this workout pushed their fitness limits too!)
Music/video: Awesome surfing video clips and tunes during class. Made me want to go ride a wave. (And, made me think that this class would be AWESOME at a beach or vacation setting)
Final Words: SurfSET Fitness is a four-star fitness workout. If you like intense and challenging cardio/balance/core and strength training workouts and like to be pushed, and you want to shake up your workout, then get on board! You’ll be super stoked you did. SurfSET Fitness classes are offered in gyms and fitness studios throughout the east coast and will soon be coming to New England gyms and studios in 2013. To find a class near you, check in with SurfSET Fitness and get ready to paddle in a fun, intense fitness class. My advice – Get on board with SurfSET!
PS: If you are looking for a last-minute and super-stoked Christmas gift for that fitness enthusiast or surfer in your life, you can pick up a RipSurfer X (RSX) for a cool $450.00 via SurfSET’s online store. Gnarly.