LIVE BLOG & UPDATES HERE:
We are “SEOULD” on FLOW HOUSE SEOUL
Adam and Rob spent last week visiting Flow House Seoul in South Korea. It was a long and cold, but awesome week!
Andy Haase and Sean Silveira (a.k.a. The FlowRider Mobile Duo) were also there to work on the getting the inflatable FlowRider settled into its new home in South Korea.
Upon their arrival, Rob and Adam were greeted by the group and escorted directly to a Korean BBQ restaurant where they enjoyed the local food and culture. This become a common trend over the next few days.
Check out the day by recap and LIVE Blog updates below!
Regardless of the freezing temperatures outside, waking up at the Walker Hill hotel is nothing to complain about. The Walker Hill hotel is a 5-star hotel just outside the city of Seoul. These luxurious and relaxing rooms are equipped with a state-of-the-art tablet that controls all the features in the room at the touch of a button. From your Bluetooth speakers, the lights and even the curtains. The insane view of downtown and a huge breakfast buffet added to the world class experience.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so we combined our breakfast with a meeting. We were excited to hit the ground running and invited Sanjung and his translator to join us. Although there is a small language barrier, the group involved has learned to communicate smoothly and feed off each other during discussions. Without going into too much detail or boring you with the small talk, the topic of discussion had everything to do with growing the sport of flowboarding in South Korea. After breakfast, we were on the move. The group was on a mission to see as much of South Korea as possible.
First the group visited the current Flow House Seoul location. While onsite and hanging out talking about flowboarding, the FlowRider team did a brief wave inspection and offered up some suggestions and feedback on the daily operations.
The FlowRider mobile was onsite and nested in its new location. Andy and Sean built up about 80% of the inflatable FlowRider mobile wave, but the weather was below freezing the three days we were there so they did not fill up the tank. Unfortunately we had to postpone the planned wave demos that were intended for potential clients and sponsors.
Most likely though, Sean and Andy will return in a month or so to finish the setup of the ride and do some demos. Sanjung and his partners have big plans and expectations for the FlowRider Mobile wave in South Korea.
Up early and back to the grind! The group met for their daily breakfast meeting and had a brief recap from the day before. With a long road trip planned for the day, they fueled up at the breakfast buffet.
Luckily with a new express highway and 67 tunnelways, it saved us a journey around the mountains and easily cut off several hours of the drive. The expressway that was developed roughly a few years back provided a straight and smooth track to the coast of Korea.
There is a growing love of all board sports in South Korea, so Sanjung couldn’t wait to show off this part of his country to the crew. We saw surf shops, skate shops and experienced a general cool vibe all day cruising around the beach – even though it was FREEZING cold. The crew could just imagine how cool this part of South Korea is in the summer. Regardless of the season, the FlowRider Mobile will get some serious use and the sport of flowboarding will undoubtedly thrive here.
As always we will keep you posted.
See Ya On the Wave!
South Korea Live Blog
Read the full story here: FlowRider® Mobile On The Move!
Monday 1/22/2018, 5:30 AM PST:
It’s still dark outside, I’m in a deep snooze, and my alarm is going OFF! Although it’s only one hour earlier than a normal day for me, it’s well, alarming. Regardless, I like to start my day (usually at 6:30am) by checking the waves before work. I’m lucky enough to live less than 100 yards away from the ocean in San Diego, so it’s just a simple walk across the street and generally sets the tone for my day. However, whenever the alarm goes off, no matter what time it is, well…you already know the feeling I’m referring to, I don’t need to explain any further. I also used to be excited about living super close to Wave House SD before they decide to go wave-less and change their name to Beach House. Ugh, I should stop; surely anyone reading this felt (or still feels!) the same heartbreaking pain.
I hop in the shower, the water splashes my face and down the drain goes the grunge from the weekend. After that it finally hits me – I’m traveling to South Korea today! How’s that for a Monday morning commute to work?
We are looking at 17 hours & 11 minutes of travel, light winds, minor turbulence and little to no air traffic. I’m always read to fasten my seatbelt and Go With The Flow™!
Keep in mind, I said South Korea. South Korea is an ally to the US so don’t be alarmed. Not to mention, I’ll be traveling with Rob Chalfant (FlowRider Materials & Operations Manager); we are meeting Andy Haase from Super Duper Surf and 6x World Flowboarding Champion, Sean Silveira at our final destination, Flow House Seoul. We are just hoping there are no flight re-routes or missile misfires (we all heard about the scare in Hawaii recently – yikes!) Sean and Andy are the expert leads on our inflatable mobile projects. They have lots of experience with setting up, operating and breaking down the wave. Although this time it will remain inflated and settle in to its new home. Plus, with our buddy and host, Sang Jung Lee, we will be in good hands.
When you travel, do you ever get that feeling you are forgetting something? Constantly wondering what that one thing could be…this time, for me, it was the neck pillow. Let’s just hope that’s all I forgot.
After arriving at the airport this morning, checking in my luggage, of course using the padded flowboard bag from @flowridershop to protect the boards and gear, spending an hour trying to get through security, I needed a coffee before getting to the gate. I got a large White Chocolate Mocha with whip from Peet’s, not Starbucks – in case you were wondering.
Gate 46 is where I met up with Rob. Rob has Global Entry/TSA Pre Check. He’s fancy, so he got to keep his shoes on and skip all the hoopla, expediting his time going through security. Global Entry is something I would highly recommend looking into if you travel often, I need to get on that.
After chatting about the weekend, sharing weekend surf stories, talking about this week’s trip expectations with Rob and sipping Peet’s espresso nectar from the gods, I finally start coming to life. It wasn’t long before I noticed our friend and co-worker, Andrew Thatcher sitting at the same gate, waiting to board the same flight.
With 200+ locations installed worldwide, not including two dozen projects in the works, it’s not abnormal or surprising for members of our company to bump into each other at airports around the globe. We are proudly always on the move servicing our clients. But, as far as Rob and I knew, Andrew wasn’t expected to be in South Korea until next week. While he was scrolling through social media, of course staying social with @flowboarders and following this live blog, we crept up behind him and gave him a little startle. He was actually looking at fishing photos and surf videos, by the way.
Andrew is the VP of Sales for FlowRider and is also traveling internationally for a few new projects. We can’t disclose his first destination at this time, but he will also be visiting South Korea before returning to the FlowRider Headquarters in San Diego, CA.
Our first flight (DL5789) is heading to Seattle, Washington, the main airport hub for international flight connections (other than Los Angeles). Definitely explains why Andrew was at our same gate. In fact, another friend a co-worker worker, Jeff Ranta, was at SAN checking for a 7:30 AM international flight! Ranta is heading to the beautiful white sandy beaches of Dominican Republic. We didn’t spot Jeff before our boarding process started, so let’s hope that even with the busy airport this morning, he made his flight and wish him save travels. If you haven’t seen the promo video for the new venue in the DR, be sure to watch it on our YouTube channel or under the videos tab on the website.
With all that said, it’s been a fairly smooth start to the trip (except trying to type/write this on a tablet) and looking forward to the week ahead. We need just need to make our connecting flight (DL199) and settle in for the long 11 hours + direct to Seoul. I’m really banking on the movie selection and melatonin to set the mood. Otherwise, I will be ranting a lot in the next blog updates. Of course I got my other go-to travel essentials like snacks, a tablet, and Bluetooth headphones to keep me occupied as well.
Hard to complain though – I am lucky enough to enjoy my work. When I told a neighbor I’d be gone all week, traveling for work and explain what I was doing, his response was, “Sounds like fun to me, and if your having fun while working and doing what you love, are you really working?”
My neighbor, although a long-haired, shoeless and retired “beach bum” (which he is completely proud of) is totally right. Between all the lengthy trips away from home and the head-down/non-stop Monday through Friday office hours, sometimes I forget to boil it down, so to speak. I get to travel the world with friends, promote something I am truly passionate and pay the bills by doing it.
But, that’s also a big reason why I “work” so hard to grow the flow and have decided to bring you guys along for the ride, share some of my experiences and not just catch up on sleep in between flights and riding sessions.
See ya on the wave!
Adam: Last day in the office and lots to do before heading to South Korea on Monday. Shipping FlowRiderShop.com orders, FLOW Tour planning, packing board bags to bring new models to South Korea, cleaning up SD cards and charging camera batteries and preparing the rest of my travel needs. However, I can’t stop thinking how excited I am to travel around the world to a new place, promote the sport of flowboarding and meet new members of flow community! San Jung and I have had many chats over the years in regards to me visiting South Korea, finally the day has come! San Jung has always told me about the opportunities in his region and how we wants to bring the FLOW World Championships to his home waves! He is very passionate about the sport of flowboarding and his big things in mind for the future.
Please note that FlowRiderShop orders and shipping may be delayed next week since I will be out of the office and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience. If something comes up, please e-mail me (Adam@FlowRider.com) and I will respond at my earliest convenience as my e-mail and internet will be limited during the trip.
Sean and Andy arrive onsite today. Rob and I will be flying out early on Monday morning, via Delta Airlines. Stay social via Flowboarders Facebook and YouTube for LIVE videos and I’ll update you here when Rob and I are ready to hit the road for our 6,272 miles and 17 hour trip! See ya on the wave!
Friday 1/19/2018: Update from Korea.
Sean and Andy arrived in Seoul earlier today after a LONG trip. However, Sean did mention that the flight had a good selection of movies.