Catch a Wave
Utah is 700 miles from the nearest coast and even farther from the closest surfing. Catching a wave closer to home is half of the appeal of Flowrider, the perpetual wave generator at the Salomon Center in Ogden. Doing so when there’s two feet of snow on the ground is the other half. Flowrider’s continuous sheet wave is always a balmy 85 degrees, so even falling down and getting rolled off the foam ramp that shapes the artificial swell is relatively pleasant.
“A lot of people call this indoor surfing,” explains Salomon Center manager and flowboarding champion Shaun Hancock, “but it’s really a hybrid of all the different board sports. It has carving and using your edges like snowboarding, but the tricks are more like wakeskating and skateboarding.”
Flowboarding’s hybrid nature takes getting used to, regardless of how talented riders are at its sister sports. Beginners usually start out holding onto a rope like a wakeboarder, letting the wave create stabilizing tension. Riders graduate to a slicker, surfier ride as they ditch the rope. Mastering flowboarding is undoubtedly a challenge, but even its introductory stages are easy to enjoy. The staff is always on the lookout to provide help, and the facility supplies everything you need (minus the swimsuit) to get started. $20 an hour, 2261 Kiesel Ave., Ogden, 801-528-5348, flowriderutah.com