Sunday, January 13, 2013

How I Went ‘Surfing’ in Manhattan

Last September at the NYRR Fitness Games 4 miler I first learned about SURFSET, a completely different type of workout than I’ve ever done before. Basically it’s a combination cardio and strength class where you use a piece of equipment called the RipSurfer X to perform a range of exercises for 45 minutes while using just about every muscle to balance so you don’t fall.

The classes aren’t offered too widely yet, but they are offered at Chelsea Piers. At $35 a class, it’s definitely on the expensive side if you’re not a member of the health club ($10 if you are), but I was really curious and wanted to give it a try.

I was excited and nervous before class. I’m a klutz and have never surfed so I was pretty sure it was not going to be pretty.

Leticia, the instructor, was really cool and friendly when I arrived. I was the second student to show up at the studio but there were only 8 of us in all (the class max’s out at 10). She showed me how to set up the resistance bands and gave me a few pointers before class started. I stood up on the board to get a feel for it and was convinced I would fall off! It was HARD! I was wobbling all over the place.


Then class started:

  • warm-up
  • cardio – among other things included side lunges and jumping on and off the board holding the sides towards the front
  • strength – using the resistance bands to work biceps and triceps, pushups
  • core – crunches, bicycles, bridges, leg lifts. It is not easy to keep the board level when doing this!
  • surfing – simulated paddling on the board, ‘popping up’ – I didn’t do much popping – and ‘riding the wave’
  • cool down

The class was pretty intense, but mostly in spurts. It was pretty obvious I was a beginner. There were a bunch of moves I had trouble with and I was wobbling all over. I did find better balance during the surfing set, which was great.

The verdict: The instructor was great and the concept is really interesting. I definitely felt the workout and it was a good way to change things up in my fitness routine, but I wasn’t blown away. The workout seemed clunky and not very smooth. I’m sure if you get the method and moves down, and have great balance, then it’s a lot smoother and can be an awesome workout. Today my shoulders, back and hamstrings are really tight, so I know it worked some muscles I don’t usually hit. I’m glad I gave it a try but it’s one and done for me and SURFSET.

After I met Grace for brunch at The Park on 10th Ave close to Chelsea Market and The High Line. It’s a pretty cool interior – if you’re in the garden area it’s like you’re sitting on a patio with trees and birds flying around. I recommend the huevos rancheros but not the ‘hash browns.

The Park

If you haven’t checked out Grace’s blog recently, you should click HERE to do so.

Today is Woody’s birthday. As usual, we started our Sunday with a workout then stopped by our favorite local bagel shop, Zucker’s, for breakfast then walked home through the fog.


Later I decided to head out for a run and I’m so glad I did. Even though my hamstrings are super tight from yesterday, I hardly felt them on the run and I kept a really good pace the entire way, even picking it up the last quarter mile or so. Stay tuned for news on my racing plans! Also, I’m glad I burned off a few more calories before dinner tonight at Red Rooster!

  • What’s the most interesting/unique fitness class you’ve tried?
  • If you’ve ever gone surfing, what was the hardest thing about it?
  • Favorite thing to get at brunch?
  • Do you workout on your birthday or take the day off?


Today’s workout -

  • 60 min elliptical
  • 3x15 lat pulldown
  • 3x10 hammer curls
  • 4x10 roundhouse kicks w/weight bag
  • 3x10 alternating single-leg deadlift
  • ab exercises
  • stretching
  • 35 min run

1 comment:

Susan - Nurse on the Run said...

Surfing is SUCH a crazy good workout. All the popping up is just like pushups (wish I'd done more before I learned to surf...), and balancing takes your whole body. It's no wonder surfers are in awesome shape. I definitely think it'd be interesting to try this class having surfed before, but Chelsea Piers is far away from the UES and $35 is a bit up there...

I've always wanted to try Red Rooster!