uSurfing: Take One

February 10, 2007

Instead of hopping on my bike with Tom or Jake or any of the hard-core mountain bikers I know, I decided that today would be the official start to my hands-on review of the uSurf from Osim/Brookstone.

As you recall, Brookstone sent me one of these devices to get my unabashed and unbiased view on what it could do for a late, late 20s man who has let his body go to pot. Today was the first real experience and I went up without a net!


Actually, the first real experience will probably take place in a couple weeks as I’m waiting for the official uSurf training DVD to arrive. But using the machine is easy and the materials claim you can just get on and start to sculpt a better body. Here’s how it went for me.

Luckily I’m not Nick Esasky, so I had no problem balancing on the uSurf while it was turned off. The tiny surfboard seems to have some natural resistance when it’s off, so the board doesn’t move much and you can get a feel for where to put your feet and how much room you have underneath each foot to move around.

The edge of the little board also has a beveled lip so if you inch your feet outward without looking down, you can feel where you should stop adjusting before you step off the board.

The surface is grippy and my sneakers had no problem remaining in place as I rocked a little and got a feel for the uSurf. Then I turned it on.

Without reading the instructions – mostly because I’m a guy and we don’t believe in instructions or directions – I pushed the power button, got on top and then pressed the remote. The uSurf started rocking.

It was gentle and felt like the board was moving in a figure 8. As long as I kept my knees bent I had no problem and this is likely from where the benefits come. Meaning, if you have to bend your legs they are going to start to burn and the muscles will get a workout. As noted in my last uSurf post, it doesn’t take long for your legs to tire if you haven’t been doing anything except operating a recliner for 27 months.

Continuing my test, I cycled through all the programs just by hitting the button on the remote again. There are two buttons – a power on and a program choice. The programs, again from what I could guess without reading the manual, are gentle figure 8; rapid rocking figure 8, Gilley’s Barroom Mechanical Bull motion; and a random cycle of all three.

After riding for about eight minutes, cycling through all the programs and switching the way in which I was facing, I was beat. The uSurf shakes you up a bit, but my legs felt some fatigue and I think with regular use it can definitely give me a little more tone in my legs and my abs. I don’t know if it can do much for my upper body, but I’ll see what the DVD has to say when it arrives.

More to come…