• Working together through waves of new experience
Most have wondered what it would feel like to surf, anticipating the swell of a big wave, finding your balance, and feeling the ocean spray on your face as you take the ride of a lifetime. While many participate in this often ‘extreme’ sport year-round, a countless number find ourselves landlocked or without the time and money to participate in the activity. Did you know that the Great Lakes area, known as the US’s “Third Coast,” has been a surfing destination for decades? Believe it or not, Sheboygan, WI was coined the “Malibu of the Midwest” in the late 1980s and still hosts many surfing events today.
FlowRider touts that their product “provides both first-time flow boarders and long-time enthusiasts with a challenging skill-based experience, as the sport’s never-ending learning curve forever challenges boarders to develop new tricks.” This never the same ride twice, ‘WOW’ factor keeps riders coming back for more. The double surf simulator, located at Blue Harbor, allows for one-on-one ‘competition,’ though venues that house single simulators are also seeing active use and enjoyment by all who take a board for a whirl.
At Blue Harbor, one-hour, private sessions can be scheduled the first hour of waterpark operation in the morning or the last hour in the evening for a minimal fee which includes a coach, a free T-shirt, and a fun and memorable experience. Coaches will educate new riders on proper riding procedures of body boarding, as well as stand-up surfing, safety procedures, and a few small ‘tricks.’ Vanderwalt provided, “We encourage that everyone tries body boarding, and surfing. It’s a good sense of accomplishment when you can ‘show off’ a bit in front of your friends.”
Imagine the excitement your guests might exude if their welcome packet included the opportunity to register for this type of teambuilder. According to Vanderwalt, “It’s a great teambuilder exercise because groups tend to encourage each other to try something new.” The mood is light and happy with everyone getting a good laugh, even if they are the one falling off the board. Groups are welcome to take photos or video of the participants, which allows those memories to live on for posterity. That’s right, when you add a photo or short video to next year’s meeting slideshow those good feelings will fill the room again.
At the end of the experience, everyone will say “That was a ‘swell’ teambuilder!” - pun very much intended.
Some other FlowRider® surf simulator locations in the Midwest include:
• Cascade Falls Aquatic Center, Ankeny, IA
• Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, IL
• Avalanche Bay, Boyne Mountain, MI
• Water Park of America, Bloomington, MN
• The Williston A.R.C., Williston, ND
• King's Island, Mason, OH
• Kalahari Resorts & Convention, Wisconsin Dells, WI
For a full list of locations see www.flowrider.com