Surfing is a sport for real thrill-seekers. Many people who have experienced the thrill of riding a wave can’t forget this unusual feeling of rush of the ocean. However, this kind of sport is very dependent on weather. And there is also a danger of shark attacks! To enjoy surfing in any weather you must definitely try flowboarding – the new kind of sport that became possible because of the invention of artificial indoor waves.
Indoor surfing or flowboarding is probably the most special way to conjure up that sporty beach feeling under the roof. Today there are many opportunities to ride waves without going to Hawaii or Australia.
Indoor surfing is called “flowboarding” and is a mixture of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding.
TECHNOLOGY OF ARTIFICIAL WAVES
There are differences in the technologies that can offer indoor surfing. One of the most successful manufacturers of artificial waves’ machines is probably the company Waveloch from California. It builds the FlowRider, which has become quite famous and is now available in different versions almost 30 times around the world.
It is a formed wave from a solid material, which is washed over by means of pumps with a strong water jet. Meanwhile, there are even mobile variants. All they have in common that you have only a few centimeters of water under the flowboard. Therefore, no normal surfboards may be used, but only flowboards.
Much more expensive (especially in energy) are the wave pools, which produce real waves in the style of a wave pool. But the whole thing is more authentic. In Japan there is a wave pool where they have taken it to the extreme. There the waves can reach 2.5 meters. Here are some examples of artificial
So, the first variant is the thin, padded mat over which shoots a thin film of water. The mat has a wave shape. The speed of the water is about 50 km/h and this technology for artificial waves is called the “FlowRider”.
The “wave” in indoor surfing is a 2 inch sheet of rushing water that is pushed uphill by a large motor. In FlowRider waves don’t crash into the shore or water, and there is a trampoline surface which makes indoor surfing quite safe.
The technology called “FlowBarrel” is more suitable for experienced indoor surfers. Here the wave shape is more pronounced. The water does not flow backwards here and crash into the artificial surface like in the real ocean or sea. Depending on the strength of the water pressure, this machine also creates a tunnel, so it resembles real “ocean” life.
INDOOR SURFING TECHNIQUES
In indoor surfing there are two ways to ride the wave: either with a bodyboard or a special flowboard. While you venture into the waves belly left or kneeling on the bodyboard, you can also stand on the flowboard.
SURFING VS. FLOWBOARDING
Many professional surfers go in for indoor surfing to improve their skills and to get prepared for a real ocean or sea environment. However, flowboarding has some differences to common surfing because the athletes who do it often have background not only in surfing, but in snowboarding and skateboarding. The flowboard is even smaller than a surfboard and is more practical to perform jumps or special “flow” moves.
And one of the key differences between flowboarding and surfing lies in the technique to maintain balance.
Which kind of sport is more difficult? Well, the technique to maintain balance in indoor surfing is quite difficult in comparison to “normal” surfing. However, it is relatively easier to get a hang on artificial waves than its cousins if you are an experienced wave rider. And you should not choose the appropriate surfing spot and take in account weather conditions. To try flowboarding you just go to the modern recreational center with a FlowRider and rent a flowboard.