Kira Stokes & Stoked Surf 360: Rising to the Challenge

On Saturday, I finally got the chance to try Kira Stokes‘ take on a SurfSet Fitness class called Stoked Surf 360.  Going into the class, I just KNEW it was going to be a good one, although, I was a little worried that there wasn’t a class scheduled afterwards because Kira really loves a little overtime push! I have gotten the chance to try a few of her classes in the Stoked 360 series (both the regular version and the small group version and I LOVED both) and assumed that this class would be in a similar vein. It was so much more than that, though.  It wasn’t just a retread of those great classes, but really took into account the uniqueness of the surfboard apparatus. It is always such a treat to get to train with someone like Kira, who is so inspiring and passionate about what she does and loves to challenge those she trains – and herself! The SurfSet Ripsurfer X (a surfboard balanced on top of three small exercise balls with handles attached to resistance bands for use in paddling) is such a fun, unique tool, that it was fun to see someone really push it to the limits of what it could be used for. She obviously LOVED getting to play with using a new tool and how to get an intense workout while using the board to its full advantage. Kira demonstrated the form of every single move, breaking it down so you knew where you were supposed to be throughout the whole movement. From the simplest of moves to the most complex, Kira is all about form. I know that by the end of any class with Kira, I will have been pushed, challenged, thoroughly worked out but I won’t ever leave hurt because she is watching every move too closely for that.

It was definitely a Stoked class, with every circuit done 3 times like in her other classes -once to learn it, once to master the moves, once to fatigue – but each was tailored to include one strength, one surf and one core move for each round. Kira was, of course, a complete stickler for form – even if you are on a wobbly surface she has a knack for really watching everyone’s form on every single move. In her normal classes, when she is demonstrating the next circuit, you jump rope or do jumping jacks – in this class, it was all about paddling. Each circuit, though, also contained a move that made me go “whaaaaaaaaat?” as she was doing the demo. In the first set, it was a burpee move that included a jump at the end, which in the first set, was completely out of the question, but by the third, I was actually managing at least a small hop at the end. In one set, it was a brutal combo move that went from a squat to a one leg deadlift, then to an upright row on one foot…all while holding the handles. In another, there was a frog move (which I sort of loved even though it was in a tricep set that made me want to cry) where you popped off the board with your feet on either side into sort of a modified dolphin push up with way more movement, then back up onto the board, straightening out your arms.  Kira made it look effortless but it was SO hard! By the time we got to the final standing section, I was dripping with sweat and shaky, but also loving EVERY single minute of that class. It was hard, but all the sections flowed into one another in a way that made perfect sense and built into a solid base for the final standing series that was the pop-up section. It was awesome and I was flying high from it, because all the prep for getting there made the pop-ups seem really natural – which has never been the case for me!  The very last section was the core section and was super hard, of course. Have you seen Kira’s abs?? None of my moves were nearly as graceful as the ones she demonstrated but really that isn’t a shock – she is RIPPED and her core strength is no joke!  Mine, not so much.  Must add that to the list of things to work on…

The entire class was on the board – all 85 minutes of it. It was so awesome to see someone really embrace the opportunity to really change up their core classes and create a class that was so focused on really being on the board and using it to its full advantage. Kira’s class was awesome, inspired and just really fun. I wasn’t surprised but Kira loves what she does so much that it really was a treat to get to watch her play with something new – and still be just as amazing as always.


(Photos taken by Eric Stafford for FBS)