We Did It: SurfSet Fitness

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The Greatist team was looking for something new to try. Parkour? Done it. Muay Thai? Check. Bellydancing? Been there. So what is a team to do on a cold, rainy afternoon in Manhattan? Go surfing, of course.

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft

But this was no ordinary surfing— it was a new indoor workout, SurfSet (think: surfboard strapped to BOSU balls and pulleys). The company was started by Mike Hartwick, hockey player turned surfer, who credited his ability to stay in tip-top hockey shape to surfing in the off season. (Turns out all those core workouts are useful across different activities!) Mike, along with two fitness and surfing enthusiasts, Sarah Ponn and Bill Ninteau, teach these classes to a wide variety of students, from experienced surfers to surfing newbies and folks who just want a fun new way to work out.

Our group had a similar mix of surfing skill sets— I’ll give you three guesses to figure out how my Midwestern background prepared me for such an adventure. Sarah gave us a good overview of the handful of SurfSet classes, mixing elements of each. Over the course of 45 minutes, we paddled out, popped up, and carved— all without the risk of a shark attack. But, there were also some more unconventional moves including squats, downward dog, and leg raises— all while balancing on the board. It was a tough workout that left some of us slipping off of our boards, but we all agreed that is was super fun… err, gnarly. And workout-wise, it's actually more efficient than actual surfing— Sarah estimated it would have taken 3 hours out on the water for an experienced surfer to get the workout we did in 45 minutes!

Classes are currently being held at the Chelsea Piers Sports Center. Check out the SurfSet Fitness website the class schedules and follow SurfSetFitness on Twitter!

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