August 25, 2015

If you’ve ever fancied jumping into a wetsuit and riding some waves but you’ve not been able to shake the Jaws theme tune from your head, we have a solution for you. Surfset is the indoor surf workout which gives you the benefits of a surf session, minus the potential of bumping into a toothy fish in the deep blue. As part of the release of our exclusive Minkpink Move range, we put our balance to the test and tried out a Surfset class ourselves. Our instructor, Hannah Jackson, gave us the low-down on the unique class.

UO: What’s the story of Surfset? How did it begin?

Surfset started in 2007 by Mike Hartwick, an ex-professional Ice Hockey Player. During his final summer playing Ice Hockey at college before he went pro, he spent it on the water in California. Since he didn’t follow his usual regime training in a gym, he thought he’d come back unfit for hockey but he actually found it did him some good and he was leaner, stronger and fitter. His core was so much stronger as well which helped him on the ice. This planted the seed in his head for Surfset.

Mike retired from Ice Hockey in 2007 and went on to work in finance but his desk job made him miss his old surfing physique. Whilst teaching a friend to surf in a gym using a surfboard and stability board combo, he realised he was on to something. With the help of Sarah Hartwick, this method of indoor surfing evolved into the RipsurferX that we use today.

UO: What are the benefits of a Surfset workout?

Surfset is a functional training programme so you are utilising a variety of muscle groups that you use in real life, instead of static, single muscle group exercises. One of the biggest advantages is the core stability, which keeps you strong and supported, improving posture and also helping to dramatically decrease the risk of back pain and injury.

Ultimately it works cardio, balance and strength, but manages to be fun and more like sport than a workout. It’s been created for people with a sense of adventure, to challenge both mind and body.

UO: What are the different workouts available with Surfset and what does each one do?

There are 4 different types of workout available:

Burn: This workout is designed to burn fat and blast your core with high intensity intervals.

Build: This one is focused on strength and building lean muscle with compound, full body movements.

Balance: Using the instability of the board to improve core strength, balance, flexibility and co-ordination.

Blend: Incorporates each of the programmes to get a total mind and body workout, a great way for people to have a play on the RipsurferX and see the variety of ways they can be used and the benefits they bring.

Each session includes awesome music, fantastic energy and a surf session towards the end where you get to combine surf inspired moves as if you were out on the water and catching waves.

UO: How does Surfset compare to surfing in real life? What are the key differences?

Surfset is a great work out and a lot of fun, but it doesn’t mean that you will be able to grab a board and go ride some waves if you’ve never surfed before!

It will familiarise you with some of the basic surf moves such as the pop-up, duck dive and the paddle, but we will never be able to fully replicate the waves in a gym environment. It’s similar to the way that spin and indoor cycling will get your body comfortable with pedaling and with the movements required to ride a bike, but it won’t teach you about being road safe or how a bicycle responds when you go for a ride.

If you already surf, it’s a great way to get a bit of a fix if you can’t get to the beach and it will really help improve your surfing skills if you have never surfed a day in your life. Surfset might be the thing that inspires you to give it a try!

UO: Where can you take a Surfset class?

Surfset is currently available at Gymbox Farringdon on Monday evenings at 7pm, Friday lunchtime at 1:15pm & Saturday mornings at 11am, with a view to increasing the number of classes available in the coming months. Keep an eye out!