The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 14 No. 11 - January 8, 2014


Paddle up at Surfset

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story


Caleb Roberts and Eileen Heffernan, certified Surfset
trainers and Anna Maria Island residents, paddle at Monday’s
Surfset class at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.

ANNA MARIA – There are no excuses now to dodge that recurring New Year’s resolution to find a truly new form of fun exercise.

If the thrill is gone from yoga and Pilates, how about trying it on a surfboard?

No, not in the 62 degree Gulf of Mexico in January, but at the Anna Maria Island Community Center on a Surfset board.

The short board rests on three rubber balls that mimic the feeling of surfing, but don’t be fooled – even if you surf, windsurf or paddleboard, it’s a challenge because the boards have more range of motion than a surfboard on the water.

Some of the easiest things to do on solid ground – picture standing on both feet and pushing your right leg out to the right in an arc and resting it on the ground – feel like you’re in zero gravity or working in someone else’s body on a Surfset board.

Just a plain old sit up takes on a whole new dimension when you’re moving from left to right and forward to back.

And the unstable board, officially called the Ripsurfer X, points up whichever side you’re weakest on. You may have been able to compensate for that on land, but the board will force you to address any wobbly muscles.

To make it harder as you progress, you can add resistance bands to different hookups on the board or unhook one of the elastic bands attaching it to the base to make it more unstable.

Surfset begins this month at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, one of the first places in the country to offer the class, which incorporates core training, aerobics and balance with moves called wave runners, shark kicks, duck dives and the pop-up. A 45-minute class can burn from 500-900 calories.

SURFSET Fitness Inc. was founded in 2011 by Mike Hartwick, a former professional hockey player who had the idea to put his surfboard on an inner tube to train when he wasn’t near an ocean. The concept was picked up on ABC's Shark Tank and is catching on worldwide.

Classes are Mondays from 9-10 a.m. and 10:15-11:15 a.m.; Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m. and 5:15-6:15 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon and 12:15-1:15 p.m. To register, call the Center at 941-778-1908.

For more information, visit or call Island Surfset at 941-223-5977.

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