A Must Have Item For Your Home Gym!

SurfShelf Review

Hello, my name is Barry and I’m addicted to the internet. I love to surf and research different topics or products, etc. Not only does my full time job require research (technical writer) but so do the articles I create for this website. If I’m not working out, I’m working on my laptop.

rogue power rack
When I ran across the SurfShelf, I had to get one and test it out. This little piece of plastic will allow me to get more treadmill time in WHILE I’M SURFING THE INTERNET!!! This thing was tailor made for me!!!!

About the SurfShelf

No SurfShelf review would be complete without telling you about the inventor, Randy Fenton. All the readers of this website who like to make their own work out equipment can relate to Randy. You see, Randy has no television hookup in his home gym (i.e. the garage), but he did have a laptop and wireless connection. So what did he do? Being an engineer, he made the first SurfShelf out of plywood.

surfshelf plywood

After Randy starting using his homemade surfshelf, his workouts tripled!

Now his surfshelf is made out of polycarbonate, the same material used to make bullet-proof glass. This shelf is designed to hold up to 50 pounds (in case you have one of those old “dinosaur” heavy laptops); has air vents to keep your laptop cool; made of see through plastic so you can see your cardio machine’s controls; easily adjustable angles; and dead simple to install and use.

He figured others might want this as well so he lined up a manufacturer to produce the product and then got a booth at the 2008 Health and Fitness Business Expo in Denver, and the SurfShelf was even voted "one of the most innovative new products" at the show!

Installing the Surf Shelf

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? Check out how easy it is to install this.

The surfshelf was designed to fit 99% of the cardio machines out there, but there are a few it won’t fit…and of course my old treadmill was one of them. My treadmill has a control console that’s less than a 35 degree angle, meaning the surfshelf tray does not have a wide enough setting and will stick up at a slight angle. Great, I find this cool work out accessory and it won’t fit my piece of $h!t old treadmill?!!

BUT, thanks to Randy’s highly informative website, I found out that if you use a hand towel placed under the top of the SurfShelf back plate (right behind where the straps come out of the top) to act as a wedge. By supporting the back plate at a greater angle, the wedge allows the tray to be set at a horizontal setting.

Even better than a towel, I used an Olympic bar pad and my laptop is now level!


Using the SurfShelf

This product is a mult-taskers dream! It’s very cool to be able to catch up on emails, watch a DVD or TV program, read an e-book and…even do that four letter word…work, while getting your daily cardio in. It makes the time spent on my treadmill fly by and before I knew it, I had been on the treadmill for an hour! I even had the treadmill up to 10mph, with very little movement of the laptop.

Now, just like everything else in life, it does have its short comings. I can’t see my control panel when the surfshelf is in place. Although this might not be a bad thing. I find that I look too much at how many minutes are left, which makes the cardio workout take forever.

Depending upon your cardio machine, it’s going to be hard to type on the laptop. If you have a recumbent bike, your arms are relatively motionless allowing you to type, but any other kind of cardio machine, forget it. Short emails will be about it.

Now most of us won’t be writing a novel while on a treadmill. In fact, most of us won’t be using 99% of the keyboard any way. Not even to type in website addresses. Randy has solved this problem as well. He created In-Gym.com, an entertainment guide that is navigated using only your arrow keys — no typing or mouse is required making your virtual experience nearly hands-free.

In-Gym.com currently has seven categories (news, sports, entertainment, health & lifestyle, music videos, online TV and lots of fun stuff for teens) with each category having twelve video channels (so that’s 84 video sites total). Just use your arrow keys to choose the video site you wish to view (using the arrow keys are easy to do while exercising) and press ENTER. Your show will then launch automatically and begin playing hands-free.


I have listed just a few of the features of the SurfShelf. You really need to check out the website for yourself. The only negative I can find is if you’re really engrossed in your viewing, you could fall off the exercise machine. But this could also happen if you are reading, talking on a cell phone, doing your nails etc.

Damn, I wish I had thought of this!

The SurfShelf is an ingenious and inexpensive accessory for your home gym.

Makes me want to do cardio (I can’t believe I wrote that).

Buy your here...you won't regret it!

Keep Liftin'.

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