Surfing certainly looks cool (haven’t we all spent time mesmerized by the wave-catching prowess of local surfers…while we recline back on the beach with a ham sandwich?). It’s also great exercise, which is fine news for folks who actually surf. Of course, not all of us are surfers (maybe the big waves creep us out, or maybe we really want to learn but haven’t yet mustered the courage to take a lesson. Or maybe we just like napping in the sand with a sandwich).
For folks who have long harbored surfing fantasies, here’s a chance to get surf-inspired exercise, sans the big waves and beach sand.
SURFEST is a surf-inspired fitness class offered at Magnolia Fitness in Portland (the studio is located at 16 Free Street, inside Head Games Salon).
Classes use a RipSurferX board, which is designed to mimic the movements of a surfboard on the water (imagine a small surf board mounted to a platform – except the board tips from side to side like a giant Bosu ball).
If you’ve ever attempted to stand up on a real surfboard for the first time (and were immediately tossed off into the water) then you know what instability feels like. And yes, you will feel really unstable on these boards at first. But each board is equipped with flexible bands that attach to the base and help make it more stable while you’re learning. As you get stronger and your balance improves, you’ll start removing the bands.
But it’s that stability that makes SURFSET such a good workout for surfers and non-surfers. Think you’ve mastered the plank? Try it on one of these boards. It’ll be much harder. (Read: Even more of a workout.)
And your squats will be harder, tree pose will be harder – you’ll even find a new challenge in child’s pose.
It’s also a hell of a lot of fun trying to stay upright while repositioning or holding a pose. There were frequent exclamations of “Whoa!” as we dipped unexpectedly to one side, catching ourselves and figuring out how to right our small ships again.
And quickly, we started figuring it out. By the end of the class, all three of us were notably more confident and stable. And I felt all kinds of muscles engaging at times when they wouldn’t have, had we been on the ground. (Read again: More of a workout.)
There are two SURFSET classes offered at Magnolia: SURFSET is a “total body, surf inspired session, which takes place on the RipSurferX total body surf trainer. SURFSET combines cardio, balance, and strength training moves to mix things up creating an intens challenging and fun class. to mix things up creating an intense, challenging and fun class.”
SURFSET Yoga is “a yoga inspired class takes place on the RipSurferX total body surf trainer and is designed to challenge balance like no other workout! Build balance, core strength, increase flexibility, and gain total body control with this full body workout.”
These classes will make you sweat. Your muscles will shake. You’re balance will be tested. And you won’t ever have to fret about sharks.
Check the full schedule of classes for SURFSET days and times (as well as barre classes and black light yoga. Yes – black light yoga!). Cost for a SURFEST drop-in is $20 ($14 if it’s your first class) and $80 for a 5-class punch card.