Who says you can’t surf the Gulf coast? Clearwater has some of the best surfing in Florida if you check out Surf Style’s FlowRider.
FlowRider surfing is a lot like other board sports. You’ll find similarities to snowboarding, body boarding, surfing, skateboarding, and wakeboarding. But some aspects of it are different. Even pros like Tony Hawk have needed a little practice to get used to the idea. It requires a bit of trial and error, but it’s a lot of fun. Almost anyone can get the hang of it no matter their skill level.
If you’ve already nailed wakeboarding or skateboarding, that’s great. You know how to balance and use your feet. If you’re just getting started, that’s great, too. FlowRider surfing gives you plenty of room to learn, but the water isn’t deep. When you go down, you can get right back up again.
Ready to get started? Here’s what you can expect from Surf Style and your first FlowRider run.
1. FlowRider Surfing is a Self-Contained System
The FlowRider mimics the action of a wave but in rushing water “sheet waves” that are only about 3 inches deep. The surface just below the water is a lot like a trampoline. It’s bouncy but it doesn’t move uphill with the water. Beneath the top layer, the surface is more rigid.
Powerful pumps send a steady sheet of water up the incline at speeds that can range between 20 and 40 mph. When you hop on a flowboard, the force of the water coming toward you is what keeps you up.
Check out this video to see what it's really like:
2. You’re Going to Fall (Probably Several Times)
Even the most experienced flow boarders fall. It’s part of learning and it’s also part of the fun. Keep in mind that the water isn’t deep. What you’ll really fall into is the bouncy surface under the water, but with a little water as a cushion.
The surface is flexible, but it’s not like wiping out in deep water. If you fall hard enough, the flexible surface might give enough to contact the hard surface underneath. Board shorts and rash guards will help protect your skin. Snug-fitting suits help prevent losing them altogether.
Keep the leading edge of the board up and you are a lot less likely to go down.
3. You Can Learn in a Day and Spend Years Nailing Your Style
At Surf Style, anyone can learn the basics of flowboarding pretty quickly. If you take it slow at first and learn good techniques, you’ll spend more time on your board than wiping out.
Remember that it’s not a pool, so don’t dive. The water is too shallow. Keep your weight on the back of the board. If the front goes down, you’ll lose your board. And when you fall, keep your arms and legs close to your body. Lower your body and try to sit into the fall.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Use the BED technique:
B: Keep your belly on the board.
E: Keep your elbows pulled in and on the board.
D: Drag your feet in the water and use them like rudders to steer.
When you’re comfortable, you can add these tips:
To move down the flow, lean slightly forward.
To move up the flow, lean slightly back.
To move right, lean right and lift up slightly on the left side of the board.
To move left, lean left and lift up on the right side of the board.
Ready to stand up? It’s a lot like snowboarding, but with most of your weight on your back foot. Nick Nguyen of All Things Flow13arding tells Royal Caribbean that 80 percent of your weight should be on the back of the board. If the front edge goes down, you’ll go down with it. Leaning a bit forward will take you down the flow. Leaning back will take you up the flow.
Anyone can surf Florida’s Gulf Coast. FlowRider® is fun for beginners and challenging for people with years of experience in skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding and any other board sport. It only takes a few minutes to learn the basics. Contact Surf Style in Clearwater and book a session or a surf party today.