Surfing among skyscrapers

This isn’t the FlowRider Mobile’s first rodeo, but the FlowRider Mobile just had its first trip to Austin, TX this week for the famous SxSW conference and music festival. This massive event is city-wide, lasts close to 2 weeks and draws attendees from all over the world. Every year people from the film, tech, creative and music industries collide in Austin to decoratively present and discover new brands, collaborate in unprecedented ways and to party! Luckily for us, FlowRider got to be smack dab in the middle of the scene this year!

While huge bands like Pennywise and Jimmy Eat World were unpacking their trucks down the street, Andy Haase (SuperDuper Surf) and Sean Silveira (5x World Flowboarding Champion) unpacked and set up our impressive inflatable wave attraction. People walking by had some guesses as to what the massive blue structure was, but not many figured it out. Little did they know that people would be “surfing” on this structure in the middle of downtown Austin the very next day.

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The entire activation was intended to promote a new television series that premieres in May on TNT called Animal Kingdom. It has nothing to do with wild animals, but it is set in Southern California where some of the main characters surf.

Who do you call when you want to bring surfing and the California lifestyle to your event? The creative production teams that were tasked with promoting the TV show at SxSW called us and it proved to be a great decision.

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The FlowRider Mobile was the key element for 3 full and continuous days that brought together the whole surfy, Southern California vibe and was of course a huge draw! While Sean and Andy introduced the sport of flowboarding to hundreds, spectators and wanderers checked out the surfboards and beach cruisers strewn about, a bright yellow International Scout II (classic surf truck from back in the day), beautiful palm trees, a customize-your-own-shoes Vans station and the kickback beer garden.

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“Even though it’s only 50 degrees and raining right now, these SxSW people are so excited to ride,” said Andy on day 1 of 3 when the sun didn’t show up once. “It’s always extra cool and a unique opportunity when you can surf among skyscrapers, right?!” Andy added. The ride was free and open to the public. They just had to sign a waiver, get suited up with some provided Quicksilver gear and hop on for their 30 minute session, where they would learn from the best.

As if the event wasn’t exciting enough already, our friends showed up too! Flowboarders community members Cathy, Patrick, Morgan, Mateo, Boomer & Steven (Flowciety) and more…all made the trip to Austin to be part of the “show off” crew and to have some fun. When they were riding, the bleachers in front of the ride were full of people holding their phones up for a quick Snap, Live Facebook video or FaceTime session.

“As an avid flowboarder, it’s easy to forget that lots of people have never seen or even heard of a FlowRider before,” said Patrick Boyce. “New riders were asking me for tips and trying to learn tricks just in their quick 30 minute sessions. It was so much fun!”

To make it even more fun, as a cherry-on-top deal was given to those who tried the FlowRider Mobile. Niki Sotkovski of Next Level Ride, a local cable park owner, gave away free 2-hour sessions once riders were dried off and back at the sign in table. If they weren’t already smiling ear to ear, this freebie got them there.

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All in all, this trip to Texas was a huge success. We gained some instant social followers, people that are interested in entering competitions and even some big time companies that want to sponsor national FLOW Tour events.

Stay tuned, because the FlowRider Mobile surf simulator is always on the move! You never know when it will come to a town near you so stay social and Go With The Flow™ !

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