Meet: Surfset Las Vegas :

Opening a fitness business in Las Vegas is a balancing act

Co-owner Jason Santiago demonstrates an exercise that can be done on the board at Surfset Fitness in Las Vegas on Monday, October 7, 2013.

Surfset Fitness

Co-owners Jason Laricchia, left, and Jason Santiago demonstrate some moves on the boards at Surfset Fitness in Las Vegas on Monday, October 7, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Name of business: Surfset Las Vegas

Address: 8665 W. Flamingo Road, Suite 126, Las Vegas

Phone: 503-4780 or **SURFSET from a mobile phone

Email: [email protected]


Hours of operation: Classes start 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday.

Owned by: Jason Laricchia and Jason Santiago

In business since: June

Describe your business.

Surfset Las Vegas is a fitness studio that offers workout routines and training done on modified surf boards.

The surf boards are set on balance balls to simulate instability and cause your body to tighten and engage your core.

Not only are you working the areas of the exercise we are doing, but your whole body is engaged to remain balanced on the board.

Doing bicep curls in a gym with free weights is one thing, but try doing them while standing on a surf board that is shaking and feels like it is floating. It’s a little more intense.

Who are your customers?

We cater to anyone and everyone who wants to work out and get or stay in shape.

We have clients who grew up surfing in Hawaii and love that they can get that feel again, and we have clients who have been land-locked their whole lives and never set foot on a beach or a surf board.

We have clients who are in their 60s, all the way down to our youngest client who is 5 years old. We primarily see 23- to 45-year-olds, but we cater to everyone who wants to try a unique and fresh take on exercise.

What makes your business unique?

We are the first and only gym in Las Vegas to offer Surfset Fitness-style training.

How did you come up with the idea?

We saw the concept on the ABC show “Shark Tank” last year and thought it would be perfect here in Las Vegas. So we did our research and contacted the company and everything rolled on from there.

We can’t take credit for coming up with the surf board concept, but we can take credit for being the ones who brought it Las Vegas first.

How is it different from other workouts?

It simulates being on the water and having a constant shake underneath you.

Imagine doing a simple squat. Now, imagine doing it while standing on a floating piece of wood in your pool.

It engages your core the entire workout, so no matter what exercise you do, your whole body is focused on balance, and you begin to work muscles that normally don’t get used in the gym. Machines make you do an exercise one way, with little or no variation. Our movements work entire muscle groups just as they would if you were really surfing.

With so many choices out there, we wanted to bring something different and fun that people will enjoy doing and benefit from at the same time. The first couple classes you take don’t feel like you’re working out because you are focused on the board and getting the balance down.

What is your business philosophy?

We want to keep our clients happy while providing them with the best experience possible. Everyone’s goals in fitness are different, so we like to listen to our client’s needs and help them achieve their goals.

What’s the most important part of your job?

Nothing is too small for us to do as owners. We are hands-on, and we like it that way. Our goal is to make our clients happy, and if that means we have to clean the bathrooms and take out the trash after class, then that’s what we do.

Training people is the big part but all the little things done right add up to success.

What is the hardest part about doing business in Las Vegas?

The hours — finding the right balance of classes to offer and deciding which times to offer them.

Because Las Vegas runs 24/7, we have to think about our clients who work graveyard shifts. Classes at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. may not be so far off for us. The transient lifestyle of Las Vegas residents can be difficult to get a feel for, so you have to adjust your offerings and change things up to suit their needs.

What is the best part about doing business in Las Vegas?

The people. We have such a diverse community here, not just the born and raised but everyone who lives here and calls Las Vegas home. Our clients are what make it fun.

What obstacles has your business overcome?

With any new business, the start can be slow.

How can Nevada improve its business climate?

Nevada is poised to make a nice uphill climb in the business world, especially Las Vegas.

This town is not all about the Strip anymore. There are families and industries booming here. It’s catching up to other places in the country.

If people look and focus on what is missing from this city and start those businesses, then Las Vegas will be seen as a place not only to visit but to live and grow a business and family.

What have you learned from the recession?

If you want to do something, you just have to push yourself and find a way to make it possible.

Everyone wants to get to the level of the big boys at some point, but you have to crawl first before you can walk. Start small, find what works, then multiply it and see where it takes you.

Tags: Business