WHAT YOU NEED
Water bottle. A MUST.
So if you didn’t know, we used to live in Australia. The land of vegemite, dingos and incredibly perfect surfers. Although we can vouch for spending plenty of time near Aussie surfers watching them be amazing, we sadly cannot report that we tried surfing with any said Aussie surfer babes. It was a miss, we acknowledge that. So when we heard about the indoor surfing mega-brand known as Surfset, it was our chance to satisfy our inner Blue Crush babe and learn to navigate a board. Our experience was fantastic and we encourage you to seek out one of the many Surfset franchise locations that exist across the country and try this refreshing, fun and super challenging take on group fitness classes. No surfing experience required.
After Surfset got it’s moment of fame from The Shark Tank TV show in 2012, the franchise has taken off, with studios opening up across Canada in Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and more (see location finder here.) Many as Surfset® specialty studios, but others that have just added the specialty workout class to their existing roster of yoga or spin, like Norish Yoga and Wellness in Muskoka. Open for almost 3 years now, the only Toronto Surfset studio is conveniently located at Yonge and Eglinton on the second floor, above Café La Bohème. Getting to this studio is super easy with public transport only a short walk from the Eglinton subway Station or the the 97AB bus stopping outside the studio. Parking is a bit more challenging with street parking only on Yonge and neighbourhood parking behind the studio.
Surfset TO offers 5 styles of classes all set on their signature balance boards; Surf Circuit, Blend, Build, Burn and Balance. As implied, Balance is a yoga inspired class focusing on core strength, flexibility and balance while Build centres on targeted bodyweight and resistance circuit training. Blend combines all signature classes, Surf Circuit is full of HIIT intervals and uses additional equipment such as kettlebells and ropes, and Burn is created to “torch fat and tone your core in high intensity intervals”, so naturally, we were all over this one. All classes are only 45 minutes which is a huge bonus and you’ll be grateful for the efficient sweat. The studio offers 4-6 classes per day during the week, focusing mostly on the early morning, midday or evening classes with a 7am slot Tuesday/Thursday and the latest class at 8pm. Weekend classes wrap up early with Saturday and Sunday classes ending after 11:30/12.
Although it’s understandable given the inclusion of equipment, costs per class are on the high end for a drop-in fee of $25 per class (before tax) for a 45-minute workout. As always though, the more you commit, the better the deal, and Surfset TO has some great package options. The 25 class pass for $399 drops the fees to $20 per class but the bonus is that it can be shared with up to 2 family members. Monthly unlimited memberships are worth it if you plan on going twice a week with the best deal being the 12-month unlimited membership at $95 per month, which drops fees to $12 per class if attending twice a week, and holy moly will you’re body thank you if you attend Surfset twice a week for a year. Beach body BABE. The benefit of joining a studio like this for a membership is that the workout is so dynamic, you will continually keep your body guessing and find a challenge. For beginners, they also run a $10 BEGINNER BALANCE class on the 1st Sunday of every month, a great way to test the waters and get more individual attention. Be sure to register in advance!
- Drop-In $25 (first timers $20)
- 5 Class Surf Pass $115 ($23 per)
- 10 Class Surf Pass $220 ($22 per)
- 25 Class Surf Pass $399, ($15.96 per)
- 1 Month Unlimited Membership $150
- 3 Month Unlimited Membership $135
- 12 Month Unlimited Membership $95
- 20% off for students
- Promo – bring a friend and recieve $10 credit
Although on the smaller side, the second floor studio space at Surfset TO is light, bright and has a laid back surfshack vibe running though it. The space has a small foyer/reception area with windows looking onto the studio that fit approximately 8 RipSurfer X® boards depending on the layout for the class. It can hold a maximum of 12, so you will always have a personalized workout experience, which is awesome. At the end of the hall is a single unisex change room and washrooms to store your belongings but unfortunately no lockers or showers. Given the small space however, they’ve done a wonderful job with the layout and ensuring they’ve got you covered with extras like blowdryers, hair ties, and towels.
The crowd for the class was all female ~20’s-30’s with us being the only first-timers, however we heard it’s very common to have beginners in almost every class. There were only 5 of us sweating our faces off together, which was fine by us with less people to witness us fall off our boards. The instructor and the staff were incredibly welcoming and the class vibe was fun, with our instructor and fellow surfer babes encouraging each other throughout the class.
- Towels included in the change rooms
- Free filtered water
- Blowdryers, hair ties, deodorant, make-up pads
- Water for purchase
- SURFSET® product for purchase like tanks and water bottles
The staff at Surfset are SO wonderful. We had the opportunity to meet both owners, Sofia Mok and Andrew Misiak, who opened this studio 3+ years ago and they were welcoming, supportive and infectiously positive. There are 7 instructors in total, including Andrew, and all trainers have a dynamic history in fitness from actual surfer backgrounds, to personal trainers to dancers. The great thing about the fantastic staff is how continually invested they are in training and learning the art of surfing. Even after 17+ years of experience in the fitness industry, Andrew and Julian spent time last year in Costa Rica at a surf camp doing intense (and probably awesome) research and development to better improve their classes!
Andrew’s teaching style was definitely something to write home about. His infectious can-do attitude was quite necessary when trying to convince us that a one legged squat to the ground while balancing on the board was achievable. He did a wonderful job building us up as the class progressed and he ensured we were listening and focused on his instructions so we weren’t at risk of injuring ourselves. “Can I have your eyes” is his catch phrase and we appreciated it every time.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
The class most definitely earned a solid HARD. These classes are designed to stimulate the physical demands of surfing without the waves. Meant to torch body fat, build lean muscle and get a ripped core, the classes all use RipSurfer X® boards which are 11″high, 70″ long and 22″ wide, and move side to side on an elevated stationary base.
Our class was high energy and challenged every muscle in our bodies. The circuit-training structure started out with a warm up, which was great because it gave us time to get used to our boards. Andrew built a strong sequence with each exercise building on the last, from jumping onto the boards to squating on the boards to jumping over the boards. It created a full body workout, with an ab sequence one minute, glutes the next, and arm and wrist work next. Our only word of caution: know your limits and make sure to continually check in with your body and only go to your edge. It could be easy to injure yourself using such a large, unsteady prop and we definitely had to slow down a couple times to keep our form in check. The best part, there is no previous surfing experience required. This class will challenge your fitness in a way that most classes don’t becasue the exercises will ask your body to move in a way it’s likely not used to. We were soar all over for a few days after, and we can appreciate the benefit of attending a fun, dynamic class like this on the regular to keep things fresh and your muscles continually guessing.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Surfset TO’s contact info below.
Surfset TO Web:www.surfsettoronto.com E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE |416.787.3738 Instagram | Facebook | Twitter