Saturday, July 18, 2009

First FlowRider Experience

When I left for a quick west coast vacation a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I might have time to squeeze in a little activity that what "somewhat" council related. Well, here are the pics...

On the way back to GP we stopped off in Kelowna to visit the brand new H2O Activity & Fitness Centre. Of course with our new aquatics centre under construction it's worth while to visit any new facility for ideas but this one is special; it has Canada's first FlowRider... Grande Prairie will have Canada's second.

I lobbied hard to have the Flowrider included in the facility because I felt that it would add a unique, active, element to the building. I thought that it would be just the thing to attract the "15 - 20 yr old skateboard/snowboard kids" who I feel are kind of missed by the other pool elements we had in the design. On top of all that I think it has a good opportunity to be a revenue generator for the facility.

After trying it and seeing who was using it - I'm pretty confident that it will tick off all those points above.

Here's some pics of my first time on a FlowRider:

The use of the FlowRider was included in my drop in fee of $9.50 (non-member price) but since we were just making a quick detour and I wanted to get a lot of rides in a short period I also bought another band that allowed me to go approximately once for every four or five normal riders. That was an additional charge of $10. Here's body-boarding. To get on you enter from the top of the wave.

After body-boarding a couple times next up was surfing. The lifeguard had a rope for me to hang onto as I got started, from the bottom of the wave this time...

... confident enough to let go of the rope and managing pretty well!

.... but it all comes to a finish as I wipe out (the kid sitting down on the right obviously liked it)

A few quick things I noticed:

• There were always about 20 people lined up to ride
• Users ranged from boys and girls of about 8 or 10 up to guys that had to be 40+
• Two other boys had the "skip the line" wristband I paid $10 for & they could do lots of tricks
• The attendants (one at the top and one at the bottom) would control how long each person's ride was
• There was always a big crowd watching the action from the dry area of the pool

All in all it was a VERY fun time and I think the FlowRider is going to be great in GP!


Leslie said...

Looks like fun, Bill, and I can see how it would add to a pool experience for the more daring among us (that's not me--I'm strictly a lane swimmer!). Great report--thanks.

Jeremie said...

I'm a peace country skater that is a little older than most, but you hit it right on the money when you said that the FlowRider would attract the skateboard/snowboard crowd. Man, I'm gonna be all over that thing! [Well after the initial novelty wanes and the lines cool off] I rode a FlowRider at Watermania in Orlando when I was younger and thought that is was a wicked idea. I did terrible on it [maybe because i just started skate/snowboarding that year and i only had time for one try due to the long line] but still it was a rush I'll never forget. Some people get good on it after lots of practice and I always aspired to be one of those people :). Thanks for lobbying for this, I'll now have a chance to redeem myself!


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