Surfing in clear water, where you can see the bottom and when you fall down, you bounce right back up. Pretty fun, yes? That is what surfing is like at the Rhodes Aquatic Complex and
FlowRider in Mesa, Arizona. The FlowRider is a ramp with a trampoline-like bottom. At the bottom of the ramp is where water is pushed out and up the ramp, creating a wave. The facility has public use schedule, group rentals, and lessons. The facility provided boogie and surf boards.
Flow Rider Lessons
A while ago, I joined the Wednesday night lessons. Or so I thought they were lessons. I showed up with the intention of learning how to “Flow Ride.” I had prepared myself with watching Youtube video introductions on how the FlowRider worked. From the videos, I learned that you lay on a board on your stomach and progress to standing on the board. That was what I thought I was going to learn to do. I was wrong.
Flow Rider League
It turned out that I had signed up for the FlowRider league and everyone had multiple years of experience on the FlowRider. During warm-up, the participants were doing basic moves likes spins, jumps, and drop-in entries. I was in over my head. Fortunately, the participants where nice and the lifeguards that were working gave me tips. That first night they had me stand on the board at the bottom and hold on to a rope (similar to a wake boarding rope) that a lifeguard would hold. Then I would slide the board backward into the water while holding the rope for balance. The lifeguard would then walk back and forth at the bottom of the ramp so that I could get used to the movement of the water from end to end and side to side. It was so much fun and I laughed a lot because I fell down many, many times and bounced right back up.