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Surf’s In: New machine offers indoor surf workout

Indoor surfing may soon be a potential workout after bariatric surgeryHave you ever dreamed of being a surfer, or even just looking like one, but live too far from the beach to hit the water? A unique new workout may soon make your dreams a reality. Though ‘indoor surfing’ may sound oxymoronic , surf fitness classes using a new, surf-simulating machine offer all of the great strength and balance training of surfing without ever getting your feet wet.

Bored with the same old workout after a bariatric surgery like LAP-BAND? You may have to wait a little while—indoor surf fitness is too new a sensation to be widespread just yet—but keep your eyes peeled in the coming months, as this workout could be riding the next big wave to a gym near you.

Balancing a Good Workout

When you think about the lean, beach-ready bodies that avid surfers are known for, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that surfing provides its enthusiasts with a dynamic, full-body workout. Though most may hit the waves for the thrill of the ride, surfing develops strength in the upper and lower body, improves balance and flexibility and provides a cardio workout in the form of constant paddling.

Many highlight the nigh-meditative quality of surfing as one of its major benefits. This unfortunately can’t be accurately simulated by any kind of workout machine, but bringing surfing into the gym gives everyone the chance to build the muscles used by surfing without getting thrashed by waves. What’s more, indoor surfing may offer a way to train for real surfing or give surfers a way to keep training during the offseason.

The Machine

Invented by a former professional hockey player, the indoor surf machine has been dubbed RipSurfer X and features a real surfboard mounted on top of air-filled bladders, which provides the sensation of water’s instability by moving based on where the rider’s weight is placed. This mimics the dynamic strength building of riding while also improving balance and agility, and adjustable pull handles attached to a frame on the machine’s front offer resistance training that simulates paddling through the waves.

Hoping to convince your gym to invest in some surf fitness machines? Unfortunately, the machines are currently on a lengthy backorder, and surf fitness classes seem to only be regularly available in New York, where the practice was founded. Also, practitioners warn that the current surf fitness classes are not for beginners or the faint of heart, as they provide a very challenging, high-intensity workout.

However, as indoor surfing builds in popularity, its creators hope to create classes that cater to older and less-fit individuals as well. A home version of the RipSurfer is also in development, which would offer users the opportunity to adjust the intensity of the workout based on skill level. In other words, you may be able to forget all about your old exercise bike or treadmill soon enough, and start surfing in the comfort of your own home.


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