Saturday, 1 March 2014

Flow Rider Surfing

So, the surfing pictures are back! 
We all had so much fun. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone thinking about it. It was Stella (Rich's sister) and Carl's 20th anniversary so they had a party. Both families were invited and as such we were split between the 2 wave machines, so I only have pictures of the Brown clan as we happened to split down the middle. There was a quick instruction video, and then off to get wetsuits. 
Now, aside from Rich, none of the men had worn wetsuits before. Ethan had a fit of shyness and so asked to change in the shower cubicle. While they were in there, all the blokes got ready and came out. With their suits on backwards. Much fun was poked, particularly at Carl who though he has never worn one before, has a wife who can scuba and has her own suit, so we thought he'd at least remember that the zip goes up the back!

Our lovely instructor Tom showed us briefly how to bodyboard and get up onto our knees, and off we went.
 Stell with Tom

 After Stell's first wipeout :)

 Big Sam (Rich's younger brother) and you can just spot Rich biffing it at the back. We were shown how to glide fairly gracefully to the side to stop, but while it looked simple, it was very much not.

Hence my look of intense concentration! And here I am...

 It is my unfortunate privilege to inform you that in this position, with the water wooshing up and under the board, your...ahem...personal area... gets a little bashed. It wasn't that big of a deal and not really painful but I am assured it was worse for the men. Sorry fellas. Still, an incentive to learn quickly how to get up on your knees!

Despite the look on my face, I really enjoyed it. Even if wetsuits are the least flattering piece of clothing in the entire world.

Rich above, and with his brother Big Sam below.

 I really didn't expect much from Ethan, I thought he'd either refuse to try, or try once, fall off, and then refuse to try. However, he put us all to shame! He had several turns and wants to go again. I was really impressed with how brave he was as it's not one of his strong points. He absolutely loved it and really wants to go again.

With help from the instructor, and on his own :)

Too fast to snap! 
We were also shown how to do it standing up on special thin wooden boards - a little like skim boards on the beach. However there are no photos of this, even though I managed to stand up alone for a whole ooh... 15 seconds ;)

We did it at The Flowhouse at Xscape, Castleford, and we absolutely loved it, the water was warm enough that we didn't get cold in between turns, and the instructors were friendly and helpful. Now, it's a little pricey at £22-25 for kids and £30-35 for adults, and we were incredibly grateful to Stella and Carl for being so generous as to pay for everyone. There are group deals and multiple session deals, but still it's a bit teeth-suck inducing. I still would go again though, it was tons of fun and for a special treat definitely worth it. And the look on Ethan's face when he'd done it by himself was absolutely priceless. 
So overall, I'd definitely recommend it, even with the price. Hang 10! Surf's up! Kowabunga dude! Yeah, I'm not really pulling that off at all, am I.

Update: This blog has now moved to - Hope to see you over there!

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