By Kara Seymour
Bucks County may seem like an unlikely place to go surfing but dozens in Yardley are doing just that.
No, the Delaware River hasn’t suddenly started churning out totally tubular waves. Rather, a new fitness center has become the first studio in Pennsylvania to offer SurfSet classes.
The workout mimics surfing except you don't need to step foot on the beach to reap the physical benefits. SurfSet boards are lifted up on billows of air that simulate the feeling of balancing on water, explained Cathy Colello, owner of Yardley Fitness, where the classes are held several times a week.
Colello first learned of SurfSet when it was featured on the primetime show “Shark Tank,” which features entrepreneurs who assess new inventions. “I’ve been training for 20 years. There’s always the newest thing,” she said. Not one to jump on board with trends, SurfSet is different, she said.
“I was very skeptical when I first learned about SurfSet but I am big into working on balance and stability with my clients so I ordered a board. I was shocked at how many of my clients loved it. They were nervous at first but then they would get this big smile across their face and they were hooked,” she said.
The hour-long SurfSet classes are a full-body workout for people of all fitness levels. Participants do everything from cardio to crunches, plyometrics, yoga poses, stretching, sculpting and traditional body weight exercises. The end result is increased coordination, strength and balance.
The board, which Colello describes as a full-body balance board, is about 10 inches off the ground; two straps on either side are used for stabilization. Since it puts your body in an unstable environment, your muscles must work harder at everything—even in resting positions.
Just because you're working hard, doesn't mean you're not having fun. “When people get on they just start smiling. That’s the best kind of workout, when it doesn’t feel like a workout,” Colello said.
When group classes began in August, Colello assumed it would attract primarily young, athletic 20-somethings. But she was wrong. Older men and women love it, as well as people recovering from an injury.
Husbands and wives often attend the classes together, as well as groups of friends. “People want to do it together, which to me is so exciting,” Colello said.
Classes are held Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Private lessons are also offered. Drop-ins are welcome but reservations are required.