My first attempt at surfing in California turned out to be a multi-tasking adventure in which I simultaneously tried to avoid throwing up saltwater, losing my bathing suit and drowning. A few months after my return to New Orleans, City Surf Fitness, a boutique studio that started in Dallas, opened on Magazine Street. I felt compelled to get back on the board from the safety of dry land, partially because I wanted to switch up my workout routine and also because I vowed to myself that my next surfing adventure would be more successful.
Florida native Becky Hardin co-owns the studio with Michael Angle. “I’m majority owner and I manage the studio, but he has a small business entrepreneur background, so we’ve had a great partnership,” she says. “I have a background in marketing, events and social media, so we really have a good balance and each plays an important role in the company without stepping on each other’s toes.”
Hardin decided to open City Surf here after visiting her good friend Mitchell Brown, who started the business in Dallas “Mitch took surfboards and created a really awesome brand around them and built the fitness program,” says Hardin. “I knew about the Dallas location for a while, so on a trip out there I finally took a class and just fell in love with the workout.”
In New Orleans, City Surf offers six classes: City Surf, Beach Body Bootcamp and City Surf Circuits, which are cardio-based and designed to make you sweat, while the Big Kahuna focuses on strength-training, using resistance bands and a 10-pound sand bell. Then there’s Buddha Board, which is yoga-inspired; and Pipeline, which focuses on toning and small-ballet-inspired movements. My coworkers and I took the signature City Surf class, and while we wobbled on the boards a little bit at first, by the second go-around, we felt much more stable and strong.
Says Hardin, “I think with people moving to the city from all over, there’s a demand for fitness concepts that transplants are used to having elsewhere. It’s great to see the city embrace these concepts and learn how to balance its partying with being healthy … City Surf is approachable for all fitness levels and it’s a really fun workout, too.”
Information, 5924 Magazine St., 281-4174, CitySurfFitness.com.