Skip to main content

Indoor Surf Training: An Authentic Workout

Kenna works with doctors and natural healthcare professionals. Her experience as a fitness instructor helps her share positive health tips.


Try a Surfboard Exercise Machine

As seen on Shark Tank, this intense, super fun workout is called SurfSET Fitness, which offers people a fitness program that surfer dudes do all the time. The mastermind behind the practical training is Mike Hartwick. He invented the Rip Surfer X, a machine for one person to use for a complete workout. Hartwich developed the activity to exercise when he was away from the surf.

Big-Wave Surfing

The surfboard rides on three inflatable pouches that simulate the feel of surfing on the real ocean. Riders can perform classic maneuvers like carving a wave. They feel like they are in Maui, riding the big wave, surfing with the pros.

Even though it is a machine, it is pretty simple, with two handles at the front to replicate the sensation of paddling with the help of resistance lines on the handles. Once users feel comfortable, they use their leg muscles and carve the wave on custom-built unsteady surfboards. They can imagine taking on the best surfing the Pipeline at Oahu, Hawaii, or Rincon, Santa Barbara, California.

As they imagine, they get a fantastic workout and keep their body in shape for surfing during the offseason.

What Are Indoor Surfing Classes Like?

Surfers wear workout clothes because they surf indoors with a class, an excellent way to break from their usual workout routine. They successfully drive to hit the waves like surfing in New Zealand, where some giant waves are worldwide.

Each class begins with a warmup and ends with a cooldown. The participants go through intervals of intense aerobic training. While on the board, they build up their endurance and incinerate body fat. Performing maneuvers of short explosive energy intervals reshape the body.

Don't be surprised if you meet other surfers and plan a real big-wave surfing trip!


Where Is Indoor Surfing?

The first indoor surfing workouts happened at the Boston Athletic Club in South Boston. Now, the classes are accessible throughout the world. Attending one of these classes, one gets a surfer's workout indoors. It is like surfing in Costa Rica without getting wet. Even kids take the challenge when they attend birthday parties at the athletic club.

Surfing for Kids

That's right, even kids join the surfboard workout, which is beneficial for developing balance, motor skills, and confidence. The added benefit of safe surfing for kids starts indoors with an instructor explaining how to surf the waves.

Parents, if you are trying to find something unique for your kid's birthday party and want to change it up from your typical parties, girl's night out, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or even kid's play date, you can rent a surfboard fitness room for an hour or so. Some clubs do the setup and host get-togethers, and all you have to do is show up, sweat, and smile with a group of friends, relatives, and kids.


Why Are Surfers So Ripped?

Surfing works your core muscles because the watersport is the ultimate functional activity. You’re not pushing weights around when paddling and riding the waves.

According to Self magazine, your body has to adjust and move to each wave and fellow surfer. You constantly use different muscles, especially the core muscles.

You also use your upper body and legs, and it’s a complete cross-training experience. The Wave says surfing works the triceps, biceps, deltoids, obliques, rectus abdominis, trapezius and more.

How Surfing Affects the Body

A surfer is lean but doesn't look weak with a muscular body that is not bulky. The definition of the muscles creates a body balance of pure athletic physique symmetrically.

Paddling develops the shoulder, toughens the lower back, and builds cardiovascular fitness. When the surfboard goes through the waves, Duck-diving strengthens the arms, focusing on the triceps. The pop-up movement launches the pectoral and core muscles and develops the body with power. Standing and riding the wave activates the legs, engaging the quads and flexibility.

Older and Less Fit Can Indoor Surf

Some locations may cater to the less fit or older individuals. The developers have set up a board called RipSurfer, where users can adjust the intensity based on skill. The RipSurfer is the company’s answer to a home version for those who want to work out in the comfort of their home. That way, they can forego the traditional exercise bike and treadmill.

Try It Out!

This workout class or party is trendy in regions where surfing is prevalent. Getting a surfing workout while living in a surfing town near a beach is an intelligent and healthy way to stay fit. I would do a surfboard class three times a week for about three months before surfing the natural waves or big-wave surfing.

Health Benefits of Surfing for Body and Mind

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Kenna McHugh


Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on January 20, 2018:

Thank you for reading my article. Yes. It is a great way to get in shape or stay in shape, core, legs, balance.

Sherry Haynes on January 20, 2018:

Wow! I loved this article. I have some big love for fitness and surfing. This thing adds them together. Thank you for introducing me to the amazing surfSET, Kenna.