YYC’s Surf Movement / by Shelby Stewart

“I want to be an image of health but also an image of what is real and attainable”

As soon as I walked through the doors of Studio Revolution, I immediately felt a laidback vibe. The pale ocean blue accents, white-wash wood and chill atmosphere made me feel like I was in a surf shack on the beach instead of in the midst of downtown Calgary.  Home of the first and original Surfset studio in the city, Studio Revolution is a game-changer in Calgary’s fitness industry. Picture a wobbly board, twelve other surfers, a mental image of a wicked surf destination and a whole lot of sweat.

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Mallory Chapman, owner and fitness instructor, matched the easygoing feel of the studio as she welcomed me warmly. 

“We don’t have an office,” she laughed as we sat behind the reception desk.  I liked her already. 

Mallory explained how she grew up on the lakes in Saskatchewan, whereshe learned to love watersports and the way she felt doing them. As a self-proclaimed ‘water baby,’ she wanted to share the way she felt when she surfed on the ocean, river or behind a boat with Calgary.

“There is obviously a lack of water here,” Mallory laughed, and then with a more serious tone, added, “so I wanted to bring my connection with water to the city.”

Mallory regularly river-surfs in downtown Calgary and Kananaskis, and has ocean-surfed across the globe.  Some of her favourite destinations to ride include Jeffreys Bay in South Africa and Hanalei Bay in Hawaii.

When I asked how she discovered Surfset, she explained that a friend of hers had introduced her to the product.  Shortly after their conversation, Mallory bought her first Surfset board and fell in love with the workout and the results.

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 “It’s so much fun,” she smiled, “and Surfset is a proven workout that is functional and safe.”

At 21 years old, Mallory had opened her own part-time boot camp and in-home training business.  Six years later, she decided it was time to create a community in a physical space- and thus Studio Revolution was born. 

When I asked if she’d always been entrepreneurial, she laughed and said she never thought she would be.

“I have a criminology degree and a minor in psychology,” she explained, “after university, I was a counselor in Alberta’s prison system.”

She moved on from counselling to working in leadership development for corporate companies and finally to pursuing her passion for fitness.

“I think the common thread between counselling, leadership development and personal training is the desire to help people,” she explained.   

Surfset workouts range from yoga and Pilates-inspired classes, to fast-paced cardio and strength training. Since Surfset is a relatively new concept that pushes people outside their comfort zones, Mallory expressed that her biggest challenge in the first few months of opening was building trust in the community.

“We want the vibe here to put people at ease,” she said, “and we want any fear or hesitation to melt away as soon as people meet our faces.  We try to treat people like family, and we want them to feel as welcome and as comfortable as possible.”

Mallory’s main motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle is to feel good and inspire others.

“I want to be an image of health but also an image of what is real and attainable.  I eat pizza, I love a good glass of wine and I’m happy people know that because it’s real.”

To Mallory, the word ‘revolution’ carries a lot of meaning.

“Revolution means a turnaround, a transformation, something exponentially huge in your life.  We’re here to transform, inspire, turn people’s lives around for the positive and create a bigger movement in the city.”

Writen by Riley Webster | Photos pulled from @mchap12 Instagram