Austin Fit Field Trip: City Surf
Buddha Board class
1500 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 4
The Austin Fit staff put on our board shorts and escaped the office life to hit some waves this week and show off our surfing skills at the new, indoor studio, City Surf. Part of the inspiration behind City Surf was the desire to bring a piece of the beach to the people living in the city. Two types of classes are offered at City Surf—the mellow Buddha Board class and the high energy City Surf class. It was hard to pick just one, so we decided the only fair thing to do was to try both. Here’s what we thought of the experience.
Buddha Board Class
City Surf Buddha Board class = AWESOME. I enjoyed the challenge of being on an unstable surface while going through different flows. I've always been a fan of integrating dynamic exercises into any routines that help increase stability; this class offers the best of both worlds. Our instructor, ZuZu, was great at making the class fun but also keeping us focused. The board can be a little intimidating the first couple of times you stand on it but ZuZu had plenty of great pointers for maintaining your balance. There were times when I really just wanted to bounce around on the board and pretend I was cuttin' loose on a wave. The class was definitely different than any yoga class I have taken. Go check out the fun for yourself!
City Surf's Buddha Board class is like yoga on a surfboard. It really challenged my stability on the warrior and tree poses. I liked the small class setting and the wave mural in the background. When you looked in the mirror, you could see yourself on the wave with all of your surf-mates! The room was warm (not hot), and at the conclusion of the class, instructor Zuzubee laid cool damp clothes on our foreheads. It was blissful! The Buddha Board class was a fun change-of-pace from my weekly workout routine.
City Surf was a lot of fun and humbling. As someone who does yoga a few times a week, I thought my balance would be okay on a surfboard. Well, I was way off! While intimidating at first, the board becomes a lot of fun to workout on. It challenges you to slow down your movements, focus on form, and works those muscles you forget you have! I'll be back for sure to check out their other types of classes too.
Board sports have always been challenging for me. When I learned that our City Surf field trip was going to involve yoga on surfboards, I was pumped at the idea of trying out my balancing skills on an unstable surface. My knees felt like jelly half the time and yoga poses that are easy for me on the ground (like Warrior 1 and Tree Pose) suddenly made me feel like a complete beginner again when I tried them on a wobbly board. The class was fun, challenging, and light hearted and I spent a majority of the time laughing at myself. Our instructor was rad and encouraged us to practice at our own pace. Now I’m excited to try real surfing!
As someone who regularly does yoga and considers herself pretty good at balancing in challenging postures, this Buddha Board class was a quick lesson in humility. At the beginning of class, our upbeat and encouraging instructor ZuZu asked us to set an intention for the surf session. I chose acceptance. A good one, I thought, as this was my first City Surf class. Throughout the hour-long practice, ZuZu demonstrated each movement on the floor before transitioning to the boards. Just staying on the surfboard required a lot of patience and focus, but it was cool to look in the mirror and see yourself “surfing.” Also, the flow of the class was a fun change from doing yoga on a mat. I’d recommend the experience to anyone tired of their traditional yoga practice and looking to test their core and leg strength as well as their capacity for self-acceptance.
City Surf Class
Loved City Surf! Thought it was a great cardio as well as strength workout, and the 50-minute class flew by. At first it was difficult staying on the board but, as the instructor said, the sooner you get over the fear of falling off, the sooner it will be easier to maneuver on the board. I definitely want to go back and will bring some friends that have never tried it before as I think everyone could enjoy this workout. Would have loved to see giant sized photos of surfers and waves to get in the groove along with some Beach Boy music though.
This class challenged my stability at a quicker tempo than the Buddha Board class. Some of the most challenging parts of the class were when we used the sand bells, did variations of planks and burpees on the board, and then did the 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 metabolic blast at the end. My favorite part: the class ends with your instructor placing a cold towel on your forehead while you’re laying down on the board! Ahhhh…
I was really excited to go to City Surf! I didn’t get the opportunity to try the Buddha Board class so I was really looking forward to the actual City Surf class (which was supposed to be more intense than Buddha Board). The warm-up had me out of breath, but left me with enough stamina to continue with the workout.
Our instructor, Tyler, was very informative but also efficient when explaining the exercises. We would stop briefly, she would demonstrate the series of movements we were about to perform, and then we’d get going at full speed. Aside from the few minutes taken to explain everything, it feels like you are in constant motion. My muscles were feeling fatigued, and I remember at one point standing up on a very shaky board and wondering if it was shaking because I had poor balance or if it was a result of my legs shaking from being so exhausted.
I would recommend this class because it was a full body workout and it was really fun! If you take this class, expect to be sore in places you didn’t know you could be sore. My only criticism: we finished the class in final Savasana (corpse pose) with our eyes closed and had cold washcloths put on our faces. I was totally not expecting this and would’ve preferred a little warning with a lukewarm washcloth instead.
I would compare the surfboard to being on a big Bosu ball flat side up. Most of my workouts involve the use of a Bosu, which puts any of the City Surf classes right up my alley!
I loved the higher intensity of this class compared to the Buddha Board class and our instructor, Tyler, rocks! Mid-way through our workout I was definitely struggling but I powered on. The exercise variations in her ladder workout made it fun but also very challenging. I liked that every exercise targeted a different group of muscles so that when you went from one exercise to another, the target area hadn't been exhausted—I think that's important since your stability on the board is already being challenged. Exhausted muscles = higher instability/poor form = risk of injury = no bueno. Tyler was great at reminding our group that if you weren't in control of your form, then the exercise should be completed off the board to prevent injury.
Would I take this class again? Yes! Would I recommend this class? Yes! Is this class for beginners? It could be, but I would suggest maybe starting off with the Buddha board class first so you can get comfortable with the board.
My second time at City Surf was a whole new experience, and equally as difficult and fun. Instead of doing yoga on the board, we did a series of plyometric workouts, like burpees, push-ups, squats, etc., which really increased the cardio and sweat factor a lot! I loved out instructor, the no-nonsense Tyler Guthrie, who was fantastic at demonstrating each exercise so that we could do it safely and correctly. By the end of the workout, I was soaked in sweat. The next day, my little muscles as well as my big muscles were sore the next day. I consider a workout like this a success!
I love Austin, but having grown up in Corpus Christi, surfing is the one thing Austin doesn't have. I miss the workout it gave me, so City Surf fitness couldn't have opened up at a better time. I was beyond excited to try it and see how much the workout compared to actual surfing. I took the City Surf class with Taylor and it did not disappoint. I got the same intense workout I used to get with surfing, and then some. It felt good to be on a board and paddle the way I used to. The movements were surf-inspired (i.e. balance is key). I worked out muscles I hadn't in years, all while trying to maintain balance while doing the poses on the supported boards. Lots of planking and push-ups fired up my core and the intensity level stayed high as we did jumping jacks in between (when off the board). The music was great and added an upbeat and fun element to the class. I can't wait to go back and try the class with other instructors, as well as their Buddha Board class. As a dedicated yogi, I'm excited to step up my game and take my practice to the board.
I loved the City Surf class! Thought it was super intense and an overall great full body workout. There was lots of strength training and core training which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.
*Classes at City Surf are $49 for your first month of unlimited classes or $20 a session.