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Experience Surfing Without the Surf

My typical workout routine during the winter consists of using the treadmill and doing some sit-ups at the gym. This summer I discovered SURFSET, a workout on top of a custom made, unstable surfboard that brings you those beach vibes and a new, creative way of getting in your workout.

Coming from a beach town, anything that involves or relates to the sea, I’m all for trying it out.

I love running, but in the past, I’ve tried different workout routines such as Insanity, HIIT,  Jillian Michael’s videos, etc. Despite what results you may achieve, none of them included surfboards.

About four years ago, SURFSET YYC opened it’s doors. Tammy Pickering, one of the owners, had tried SURFSET in New York, before bringing it to Calgary.

According to Jeanette Davis, another one of the owners, when it first opened, one of the struggles was that there weren’t many people in town who knew about this novelty, and those that did were too shy to learn about it.

Jeanette Davis posing next to one of the surfboards used for SURFSET routines in Calgary on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Davis is also a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant. (Photo Credit: Andrea Juarez/SAIT)

She says the first ones to try were the adventurous ones or the fitness gurus.

In a 45 minute routine, SURFSET combines lean muscle building, balance, aerobic fat burning and core training.

I had the opportunity to try SURFSET YYC and I chose the ‘Big Kahuna’ class, which focuses on weights and core with instructor Kelly Haskett.

At the beginning, I have to admit I did have a hard time trying to get on the surfboard, but Kelly and the girls taught me how to do it properly. Soon I was balancing like a pro!

This class started off with a very energetic warm up with good, lively music off of the surfboard, followed by two different circuits. The first including squats with kettle bells and lunges –if you think they’re tough already, imagine doing them ON the surfboard. The second circuit focused on exercises such as gluteus raise, push-ups and squats with dumbbells.

What I liked the most about this class was that there was a challenge after the workout, which included 20 jellyfish sit ups, 15 burpees and 5 push-ups. On. The. Surfboard.

In my experience, this class was both challenging and hilarious at the same time. Time went by very fast, which is a great thing when you’re working out.

Alongside ‘Big Kahuna’, SURFSET classes also include ‘Booty Blast’, which targets gluteus and quad, and ‘The Maverick’, a full body workout session that incorporates strength training, aerobics, core and balance in a fun way.

Haskett says she personally recommends the ‘Soul Surfer’ class, a yoga-inspired workout for beginners.

At SURFSET YYC, every exercise is designed to engage the core and stabilize muscles, and because it’s a low impact workout, it is friendly for anyone with back or knee injuries.

“Many people have improved their back injuries. Some chiropractors have recommended us,” says Jeanette Davis.

SURFSET YYC offers not only SURFSET classes, but also barre fitness, TRX training, boxing, and even boot camps and personal training.

If you can’t decide which one you like better, you can combine classes, such as ‘Surf + Box’, and turn it into a killer workout.

Davis, who has surfed before, says that SURFSET also helps to improve performance for beginner surfers and adds that many customers found it easier to surf or paddleboard while they were away at the beach.

For those who want to improve not only their fitness but also eating habits, SURFSET YYC also offers nutrition plans since Davis is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant.

Don’t be afraid to try something challenging!

SURFSET is located at 120, 5403 Crowchild Trail NW, across from the Dalhousie C-Train Station. You can also contact them at 587-353-7873.

For more information, visit their website.



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