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Want to stay in surf shape? There’s an app for that - OC Register

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

The rain is mucking up the ocean, keeping you out for days. There’s the flat days that make it hard to find the motivation to paddle out. Especially during winter months, wrestling with a wetsuit to brave the cold water might not sound all that appealing.

There’s plenty of reasons people leave their surfboard at home some days, but taking too much time out of the water means you may quickly fall out of surf shape. A new app launched by Costa Mesa gym Surf Ready Fitness aims at keeping surfers fit on dry land.

Surf Ready Fitness has become a favorite niche gym among local pro surfing athletes who compete in contests for a living, as well as everyday wave riders who want to improve their skills, endurance and strength in the water.

When the pandemic hit and gyms and many beaches shut down, founder Paul Norris and fellow surfer and gym regular Komron Tarkeshian talked about creating an app to keep people in surf shape – working out even if they couldn’t be in a physical gym or in the water. The newly launched app is designed around movements of being in the water, said Tarkeshian.

“When you do get back in the water, you’re not going to be miles behind where you could have been,” said Tarkeshian, who brought his tech knowledge to the partnership with Norris bringing the training experience. “You’ll be in a better place to execute in the water. That’s the goal.”

The app is twofold. There’s a “surf performance program” with 60- to 75-minute workouts meant to be done three times a week for four weeks that is a more intense program for seasoned surfers.

But Norris and Tarkeshian said they realized there are more people than just the pros who might want to use the workout on the road, so there is the “surf forever” three-week program geared toward beginner- to intermediate-level surfers to maintain strength, stamina, mobility and endurance.

“Surfers don’t need to be extremely strong or big, I think it’s more so about being in tune with our body, having body control,” Norris said. “Older surfers we work with, they just want to feel better. There’s a lot more joint pain. All of our programs are aimed at making people feel better so they can enjoy their time in the water. I would say it’s more functional for sport.”

The gym also launched lightweight kits designed to be used with the app, with gear such as resistance bands, weights, a stability ball and a jump rope.

“We wanted to come up with a good solid way to train when they were remote,” Tarkeshian said. “They can set it up in their house or hotel rooms and take it with them wherever they go.”

That’s just what Keanu Igarashi does when he’s traveling for contests, making sure his body is in top surf shape leading up to events.

“It’s really nice because surfing is such an injury-prone sport. Building your muscles and foundation is really important,” Igarashi said on a recent day during a workout at the gym. “Maintaining my body so it doesn’t break.”

Igarashi said he would typically have to hunt down local gyms when traveling for competition, which are sometimes at remote surf spots, but for the past three contests he brought his kit and used the app. It came in especially handy in Puerto Rico recently, where there were no gyms nearby.

“It’s one of a kind,” Igarashi said of the program.

Other options on the app include weight strengthening and mobility workouts.

Andy Ellingsen grew up in San Clemente, but now the father of two lives inland in Aliso Viejo. The 45-year-old said he knows he needs to keep in shape to stay in the water.

“This is the peak fitness I’ve ever been in, and it’s because of this place,” he said of the Costa Mesa gym during a recent workout before hitting the water.

When he doesn’t have time to get to the gym, Ellingsen uses the app in his garage, he said. “It’s a whole dictionary and guidance of workouts.”

Norris said the goal for Surf Ready Fitness is to be a one-stop shop for surf training or any board sport that requires flexibility and agility.

“There’s essentially nothing like this on the market, we’ve looked high and low,” Norris said. “You can take this kit with you anywhere – a hotel room, a park. We’re pretty excited about it.”

The app is currently free but after Jan. 1 will cost $9.99 a month. The Surf Performance Kit is $249 with three months of free access to the app.


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