FlowRider: a Smith family day out

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September 2, 2012 by hattersleysmith

Wedged between the still-dull ache of a month flyering and my body’s periwinkle suckering onto the first period of home laziness it’s been handed in almost two years, possibly the last thing I wanted to haul myself out of Dickens for on Friday was the ‘FlowRider’ (not to be confused with the American rapper) at Xscape.  The combination of my father’s obsession with family days out and my 16 year old sister’s frantic enthusiasm for ‘ohmygodLizzie’spartyatFlowRiderwassososoooocool’ made for an unusually despondent Lucy, especially seeing as waveloch.com hailed the experience as ‘the Kleenex, Coke, and Xerox of the sheet wave industry’.  I mean, there’s no doubt the handling of Kleenex’s brand has led to the belief that it is indeed the tissue of all tissues, whilst Coke has done a super job of demonstrating its AWESOMEness at the Olympics, but for the first time since god knows when I actually surprised myself with a niggling lack of botheredness…

I soon found myself in the middle seat, clutching my towel and swimming costume, painfully aware that I was going to have to be all gee-whizzo about the whole thing when all I really wanted (/needed) to do was curl up and whip myself through ‘Hard Times’.

I felt about 53 years old as Katie and Will bounded into the FlowRider studio and I slouched behind, begrudgingly watching hoardes of tweens throwing themselves to the powerful jets of water on their boogie boards, battling with the spray before being swooooooshed up the waveslope when they caught an edge attempting a three-sixty spin.  Pasting on a smile and forcing every ounce of energy out of my muesli to express my gratitude to my beaming parents at their bringing us to such a house of fun whilst refusing point-blank to attempt standing.

And the Americanized “oh boy are you going to have a ‘swell’ time” safety video made me feel so much more enthused…

But before I had time to overthink, the next thing I knew I was wet-suited and leaping into the spray, having just watched my bro and sis losing balance and being swept mercilessly up the ramp and ruthlessly smashed into the padded wall.

Tiredness, frustration, lack of botheredness were all blasted away as I quickly adjusted my board to the incredibly powerful jets, losing myself to the excitement of the balancing on the thunderous roar of water, feigned enthusiasm was soon eclipsed by the feeling of literally flying on the spray before being hurled backwards, soaring to the wall.


I sheepishly returned to queue behind a very smug Katie and had to admit it was, quite literally (and I’m not sure I’m going to get away with this), a blast.

During the one hour session we lay down, pushed away and caught our boards, rolled, knelt up, bunny hopped, roly-polyed (and I was damn good at it), stood up surfing (and I was damn bad at it) and pratted around in spray battles before being swooooooshed up the ramp on our bums.

It truly was the Kleenex of wave-machines.

Peeling off my wetsuit I suddenly felt completely energized, back to my normal self, and totally not up for spending the afternoon reading Dickens; I wanted to trampoline and run round with the dogs and go blackberry picking and sort out my life plans and make things…

As the case was, as soon as I got home I passed out from exhaustion on my bed.

I’m already planning to hit the next FlowRider with Mr Thomas Weller and Miss Emily Bartle as soon as possible; the silliness, energy and intense competitiveness would make for a hilarious afternoon off from reading.

And as luck would have it…


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