Surfset Fitness was developed after its co-founder Mike Hartwick, a former professional hockey player, became obsessed with surfing during his off-seasons. Amidst all the recreational wave catching, he realized that surfing, which engages muscles all over the body through both riding and swimming, is among the best workouts to develop a lean yet muscular physique. Determined to replicate the unique rigors of the sport for landlubbers, he designed the RipSurfer X, a custom surfboard that uses balancing technology to simulate surfing’s physical demands indoors. Hartwick then partnered with fitness trainer Sarah Ponn to develop a new routine using the board.
A RipSurfer X workout incorporates high-intensity intervals that imitate the aquatic art form: mountain climbers, faux paddling, squats, lunges, yoga, and of course, the signature surfer move, the pop-up. Since the board mimics paddling in the ocean, participants build shoulder and lower back strength while also getting a serious cardio workout—on average, Surfest burns up to 900 calories in 45 minutes.
Surfset has the potential to ride the early buzz and become 2014’s most popular fitness craze. Classes are already offered at more than 75 locations in North America. Expect that number to increase, thanks to Hartwick’s appearance on the ABC show Shark Tank, where he introduced Surfset to a panel of investors and garnered the backing of billionaire Mark Cuban.
Want to give Surfset a try? Here’s a look at simple beginner squats on the RipSurfer X: