All of you Shark Tank fans out there might remember when SURFSET Fitness received funding from Mark Cuban a few years ago. SURFSET has created an extreme surf-inspired workout that mimics the movements of surfing without the water, using a special RipSurfer X board. I became aware of the brand when it set up shop inside Chelsea Piers in 2013 but didn’t get a chance to try a class until last weekend. A former coworker of mine, Diana Garrett, now co-owns SURFSET NYC with her husband. The two are teaching classes at an East Village studio but hosted a series of pop-ups at the Dream Downtown every Sunday this month. I was eager to see whether the workout would be similar to the tricky SUP Yoga class I tried at Pure Yoga.
When I arrived at Dream Downtown, I watched the end of the class before mine and was pleased to see that the group looked comfortable on their boards. The RipSurfer was designed specifically for SURFSET and is adjustable to all levels. It’s made from a custom surfboard atop a patent-pending inflatable instability system made of three air bubbles that create a balance challenge and engages the core with every move. The SUP Yoga board was set much lower to the ground on three rockers. I felt comfortable on the board as soon as we started class and appreciated the constant core engagement. Diana did a great job helping us transition into different body positions before starting the real workout.
The SURFSET class was broken down into three different types of intervals–cardio, strength, and balance. Cardio segments included a series of exercises like high knees, jumping jacks, power planks, burpees from the floor to the board, and mountain climbers on the board. The strength segments mostly took place on the board. I especially liked trying different squat variations on the unstable surface. It’s difficult to get your legs at a right angle on the RipSurfer! Balance segments incorporated both yoga poses and movements on one leg. The moves were definitely more challenging than they appeared to be. We went through each type of interval twice during the hour class. I felt strongest performing cardio and strength movements. Diana explained that most people excel in one or two areas and need to work on the others.
Images and video via SURFSET Fitness
I loved my first SURFSET class. While I’ve been sticking to yoga since my race, SURFSET was a great low-impact transition back into more intense classes. Diana said that many runners find that SURFSET classes help them develop core strength, regain hip turnout, and balance muscle development. After my beginner class, I’m excited to try out the Burn class.
SURFSET classes are offered at gyms across the country. You can also check out SURFSET videos online. If you’re in New York, I hear that Diana and her team are planning outdoor pop-ups for the spring and summer months. Stay tuned!