Surfset Fitness: Workout Like a Surfer

Last night, I had the opportunity to try out Surfset Fitness, a new way to workout like a surfer. I was originally contacted by their marketing department a couple of weeks ago and was intrigued by the concept. I’ve never surfed before but have read about all the praise from celebrities for its awesome muscle sculpting benefits. Tickets were sold on Gilt.com and the classes are being held at the Boston Athletic Club over the span of the next couple weeks. I was invited to attend a class on launch night for local bloggers.

I love trying new classes and was especially excited to this one out. It takes a lot to get me to take a bus to Southie at 9 pm on a Monday.

Surfset Board

The class was set up as a 30 minute core strength, agility and endurance class. The board is what really sets this workout apart from anything I have ever tried. At first it looked like a Pilates reformer online but in person it’s pretty different. It does not move up or down and is unstable, resting on what looks like 3 balance pods.

surfset board

The handles at the top are pulleys. This model does not have the capability to change the resistance but the later model, I was told, does. The current setting was challenging enough for me. We used the handles to mimic what paddling would be like in open water as well as with some cross body bicep curls. We also did a “duck dive” on the board which is essentially a dive-bomber push-up with a surf-friendly name.


The top of the board is lined with a yoga mat like cushioning. The class was very unpredictable in that we were not on our bellies for longer than a minute or two at time. Same goes for standing, kneeling or on our lower backs for some intense core moves. This helped the time go by quick, and prevented any muscle from ever feeling over-worked and achy. Sarah Ponn led my class and did the entire workout with us. We were all sweaty and pretty tired by the end. She made a great playlist too. One of my favorite moves was standing up on the board and “paddling” the water with your feet. It was like a single leg squat with flair.

Surfset Top Mat

Of course I brought my Flip camera, so make sure you check YouTube tomorrow for my video showing off my awkward surfer moves. Since the boards are newly manufactured, Surfset Fitness is touring the US teaching demo classes to get it out there. I really liked the class and would totally take it if it was offered at my gym. The 30-minutes was efficiently used to break a sweat, fatigue my muscles and clear my mind. I would love to try surfing after taking a few more. Since I have never been, I doubt I would be any good but at least I can get an idea of how fast you need to “pop up.”


Afterwards, I went and got drinks at Papagayo with the team and learned a little more about their back story. We also ordered some food and pitchers of margaritas. The food was delicious. I will definitely come back here for dinner some time soon for a real meal.


I asked where the Surfset Fitness idea came and learned that CEO Mike was a college hockey player and grew to love surfing. He found that his training in the gym was not achieving the same results he found when he surfed. He decided to build a device that would allow surfers to get a similar workout in a gym setting. Personally, I think the concept is genius and timely given the recent rise in popularity among stand up paddle boards and making fitness fun again. We hung out for over two hours, chatted about random mutual friends and I had one too many margaritas, waking up with a headache.

margarita glass empty

To try a class near you, visit their website to see where the tour is taking them next! Make sure you tell them I sent you 🙂 Looking for a new workout? Check out my other class reviews:

Have you tried a new fitness class lately that totally flew by because you were so consumed in what you were doing?

Share the Post:

Related Posts