At New York’s newest spin studio, you won’t have to worry about bumping your neighbor with a hand weight—but you will have to try not to splash them. Aqua Studio, set to open in Tribeca on April 15, is mixing up the city’s spin scene by introducing an underwater approach to indoor cycling called Aquaspinning.
Pedaling in a pool is already offered at luxury wellness spas like Cal-A-Vie, and its growth across Europe in France, Italy, and Spain inspired French expat Esther Gauthier to bring it to the Big Apple.
“I was visiting my friends and family in Paris, and I took a class there,” explains Gauthier, who’s lived in New York for seven years. “I couldn’t believe how amazing it was and that I had never heard about it in New York.”
Proponents of the workout say that the water eliminates any and all impact or trauma that working out on land includes, so it’s great for taking stress off joints, or, say, for runners or cyclists with knee pain. And, perhaps more appealing to Flywheel-SoulCycle fans, the water also creates extra resistance. “Not only is it a great workout, but you really get results and you really protect your body,” says Gauthier.
The classes at Aqua Studio have a lot in common with a “dry” cycling class—45 minutes of interval training with varied positions and an upbeat playlist. But instead of a dial to adjust your resistance throughout class, you’ll have to choose from three pre-set levels before you start. And Gauthier is still deciding whether or not to offer different types of classes that vary between restorative and kick-butt.
Instructors (so far) include Zach Schares, who teaches cycling at 24 Hour Fitness and 30-60-90 at Equinox, and Luke Lombardo (AKA Lucas Paul), a David Barton and Gay Men’s Bootcamp instructor and endurance athlete. Classes max out at 15 riders and cost a hefty $40, plus $2 rental for rubber shoes.
Aqua Studio is on Franklin Street—on the same block as fellow water-business Aire Ancient Baths. It’s three stories with the pool on the bottom, a locker room, and a ground-floor level that will eventually include a cafe and juice bar later this year. Currently, it’s only open to women, but they plan to add a men’s locker room later this year.
While the concept is novel, it’s a little hard to picture time-strapped New Yorkers getting into swimsuits for a spin class. But Gauthier is sure they’ll be in deep in no time. “When you see how massive it has become in Europe in a couple of years, you can’t really doubt it.” —Lisa Elaine Held
Aqua Studio opens on April 15. For more information, visit www.aquastudiony.com