If you’ve been surfing, you know just how incredible of a workout it is. And if you live in Toronto, you also know how far away that opportunity is. That’s why Alexandra, Lua and Sofia of Surfset brought the experience indoors, offering a full-body workout you can’t find anywhere else…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
We offer fun surfing-inspired workouts that challenge the body in new ways to maximize calorie burn, build a strong core, and deliver a sleek, toned surfer physique. Our workouts are done on an indoor surfboard that mimic the instability of water to engage the whole body (especially the abs) in every movement.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
We brought SURFSET to Toronto because there’s nothing else quite like it! We all have business backgrounds, but our shared passion for fitness brought us together in this venture.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
We LOVE our clients, so interacting with them makes every bit of this worth it. The challenge comes in the form of running the business day to day and making impactful decisions, but luckily we have all three of us bouncing ideas and options off each other.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
L: Traditional office environments aren’t for everyone; when you spend the majority of your day in a place where you don’t feel happy, it inevitably begins to affect other aspects of your life.
A: Exponential increases in my Starbucks expenses, haha! Seriously though, I’ll quote my dad who told me years ago that life is all about walking a very fine line, always balancing every aspect.
S: To me personally, it was when I was counting down the minutes to go and work out. I craved the atmosphere of striving for progress and working towards set goals.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It would be great to bring SURFSET to other parts of the GTA, so we have our sights set on opening another location in the future. *knock on wood*
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
L: I realized early on that leading through inspiring is an important skill to learn as a manager. I made it a priority to become the type of manager that empowers her team and shares the wins.
A: Choosing my own path vs. the conventional road. Entrepreneurship is not easy but it is exceptionally rewarding.
S: That there is never enough time! Being a part of a new business, prioritizing and keeping organized is definitely key to success.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Not in the least! Seeing happy clients and building lasting relationships is what brings smiles to our faces, not the nickels in our piggy bank.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Opening SURFSET Toronto, of course!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
L: Know your career deal breakers, and then work hard to get to a place where you don’t have to put up with them. If you can’t find that environment, create it yourself.
A: Don’t let fear ever hold you back from doing what you’re passionate about. The worst case is that it doesn’t pan out, but now you have those telling and proud battle scars along with new knowledge and experience. One thing is certain: you will be no worse off than if you hadn’t tried in the first place.
S: As cliché as this may sound, if you ever fall down it’s okay to admit it and get right back up. We will all face setbacks in our lives and we’re not expected to get everything right on the first try.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
L: I’m a west-end gal! Veg curry at The Rhino in Parkdale, Via Mercanti in Kensington for my pizza fix, Grand Electric in Parkdale for tacos, and Sashimi Island on College.
A: Anywhere that serves sliders – I have an addiction. Pair that with some good wine and I won’t question the ‘where’ . Notably, Joey Don Mills (so close to home and always delicious) and Lee on King West (cheeseburger spring rolls, hello?!).
S: If you’re going to feed me something, gimme a good steak. Hy’s Steakhouse is where you’ll find me!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
L: Sweatpants and my Kobo!
A: Cold weather edition: Netflix and cuddles with the boyfriend and our dog, dinners with my girls and coffee dates with my mom. Summers include pools, beaches, cottages – anywhere with water!
S: The ‘Me’ time is actually spent exploring different workouts in the city. I love trying new ways to stay active; fitness really is my passion. That said, I am also very passionate about ice cream, so working out is both a want and a need!
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
L: Anywhere with mountains. Peru, Nepal, B.C., I’ll scale ‘em all!
A: Toughest question! Some favourites: Wicklow, Ireland (views!) Oia, Santorini (more views!), Arenal in Costa Rica (magical!), Pisa, Italy (haunted)… this list could go on forever.
S: I’ve been to a few places, and the Canary Islands are definitely a must-see. If I had to pick an absolute favourite destination though, it’s my mom and dad’s house! There’s nothing better than eating a mommy/daddy-made meal!
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
L: Anything by Beyoncé, because SERFBORD.
A: Haha – agreed. Lua has chosen the theme song for us. All hail Queen Bey!
S: I cannot answer this question! Lua and Alex would put me in a dark, dark corner if I selected one of my hard rap beats to represent SURFSET Toronto.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
L: I’d likely be working in marketing, but with my own clients rather than for someone else!
A: To be honest, probably something else as outrageously fun as SURFSET.
S: If I wasn’t with SURFSET, I’d be in people and behavioural coaching…. Oh wait, I already am! So I guess I’d still be juggling the 9-5 plus my own venture.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We pride ourselves one being an environmentally friendly studio, from our digitally stored waivers to our organic cleaning products. But what we’re most proud of is our Friday night Karma Balance classes that are only $10 to join, and all proceeds go to support the amazing conservation efforts of WWF Canada.
What to you is notable?
L: The endless pursuit of happiness, and not letting anything get in your way.
A: Hard work and dedication, always with a positive attitude – you’ll be unstoppable.
S: I watched Disney’s Cinderella a few nights ago, so I’ll go with “Be brave and always stay kind…”
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
L: I’m hanging on to my Android, but my resolve is weakening.
A: iPhone all the way.
S: Pigeon mail!