The FlowRider®FLOW Tour is ‘flowing’ (yes, these puns are always intended) around the west coast and making appearances at popular locations in the region. Check the schedule on the competitions tab; Flowboarders may be headed to your home wave next!
Through the month of June, top Flowboarders and flow family fanatics ventured through the mountains, around the bends and even the found themselves poolside on the Las Vegas strip. One of the most awesome things about the FLOW Tour is that it takes our community all around the world. We all found ourselves riding FlowRider sheet wave attractions in the most unique places – places that we wouldn’t visit otherwise.
Kicking off the west coast events was the popular trio of FlowRider locations in Utah- Lindon Aquatics Center (LAC), Provo Beach and FlowRider Utah, Ogden. A core series of events on Tour, year in and year out.
LAC provided challenging conditions on and off the wave. Flowboarders battled the heat and rode through some adversity and difficult conditions on the wave. That picturesque mountain back drop is totally priceless though, so it all worked out.
Thanks to our official sponsor, Aquafina, riders stayed hydrated and showcased their skills all day long to local to the community and judges.
Click here for full results and LAC Recap (Photo Gallery & Video)
Local FLOW Tour Champion, Matt Chipman (Utah) held off another local favorite, Nick Gust (Utah), for top spot. Andy Broder (New Jersey) and Troy Niehardt (Illinois) still gave them a run for their money in the Finals.
The Pro Bodyboard division took things to the next level. Jon Reese took a close second to current World Champion, Daniel Tarapchak (DT). Jeremey Marks (South Carolina) had a break out performance and earned a 3rd place finish.
The Pro Flowboard competitors put on a show. Picking up right where he left off, Taylor Hales was at the top of the pro podium and put some extra cash in his pocket.
“It was a pleasure to see Taylor back on the wave and competing,” explains Tour Coordinator, Adam Muller.
Just before leaving on his mission, Taylor won his first pro prime event at Ogden’s National Championship – taking down friendly rivals and world champions. This time, (at LAC) TH held off Scott Callens and current world champion Sean Silveira (6x World Champion).
“He brings a lot of style and variety to his runs,” mentions Jake Fasset, FLOW Judge. “Hopefully Taylor will redeem his GT and make and appearance at Nationals.” added Fasset.
Straight from competing at LAC, riders refueled and jumped right over to the Provo Beach facilities to get some practice runs in before Prime Stop #4. Provo is a top choice wave for many riders which allowed for some seriously good riding!
Nick Gust (Utah) was able to secure the 1st place finish in the Masters Flowboard division and put pressure back on Chipman and the others going into Prime Stop #5 hosted in Ogden, Utah. Jordan Walter (Iowa) continued his FLOW Tour campaign for a JR title and added 1,000 points to his overall rankings.
DT Birthday boy battled through a tough field and took the cake (again) in Pro BB. I guess you can have your cake and eat it too, at least on your birthday anyways.
Pro flowboard division action came down to Scotty Callens (Washington), Sean Silveira (Florida) and local stylish sensation TK Barreto (@twosdays).
The CCI-sponsored rider from Washington, put together some amazing runs! “Scotty took it next level, earned himself that Golden Ticket Slot at Nationals,” mentions Muller.
After back to back events, there was a break in competitions as riders made their way North to Ogden to complete the trifecta of events and possibly earn the next golden ticket to the US national championships in Orlando, FL.
Ogden did not disappoint with lots of ride time and a stellar event outing. With Shaun Hancock (venue manager) behind the scenes, you already know it will be a great event.
The Pro Flowboard Finals included the two winners from events #4 & #5 (Taylor and Scott), this time taking on the golden boy with a pocket full of steez, Daniel Tarapchak. Scott Callens again found himself on top the podium, making that back to back victories on the road in the Pro Flowboard category and stacking a few thousand points towards his Nationals Campaign
The Pro Bodyboard had a weird finish in the finals, but you had to be there to understand and we will leave it at that. After a lot of hard work, it finally paid off as the rider from FL, Jon Reese, took down his role model and current champion, Daniel Tarapchak (California).
Amateur riders, Jeffrey Howell (Youth BB, South Carolina), Luke Newman (Youth FB, Florida), Brandon Marks (Jr. BB, South Carolina), Lexi Koefed (Female FB, Nevada) and Cory Woods (Masters/Mens BB, Pennyslvania) all made clean sweep with 1st place finishes at Prime Stops #3,4 & 5!
Moving right along, Flowboarders rolled on over to surf the strip in Las Vegas. If you don’t know by now, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino (@PhVegas) is home to the ONLY surf simulator in Nevada, let alone the strip.
By common rule, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…except for the recap of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino FLOW Tour PRO/Am and contest results!
This year, courtesy of Saint Archer Brewing Co., the PH Pro/Am was a great event (and may have just unlocked some doors to future Flowboarding success)! Feels like we just hit 21 at the black jack table and might finally beat the house.
The action on the wave was just as hot as the action off it. With temperatures pushing 110, there was no better place to beat the heat and cool off.
The Planet Hollywood Pro/Am welcomed novice, amateur and even beginner riders to join the action, right alongside the Pro riders. FLOW Tour followers, local riders and hotel guest were eager to sign up and surf the strip once the Pro riders started to gain some awareness.
Robert Terch, PH staff member and avid local rider, was literally and physically clocking in and out on for his lunch breaks to compete in his first event; shows promise for local ridership in Las Vegas.
Another local standout, Riley Watanhe, did something that is essentially unheard of in FLOW. Riley won the Men’s Flowboard division and then preceded to challenge the Pros from all over the country, all within his first 3 months of riding. Riley also claimed some extra pocket cash in the Pro Best Trick Jam Session for innovative tricks. Must mean the trainers and staff at PH are doing something right.
Speaking of staff, newly hired at PH, Matt East defend his new home wave and lit it up during the Jam session formats, earning himself and solid 2nd place finish, his best result on Tour as a Pro.
“We wanted to put on a show, welcome amateurs and do something new and fun for the Pro riders,” said Brad Spencer, pool manager.
Does that name sound familiar? I’m sure it does because he’s your 2012 world flow champ and former US FLOW Tour National Champion and Team USA representative. Along with Aaron Knight Entertainment, the platform at PH tops the chart.
The format was indeed unique and added a bit of a twist to the competition. “I got screwed by the format, but honestly I really enjoyed it and riders pushed limits!” says Nick Sanchez, 2x World Bodyboard Champion and event competitor.
Riders were instructed to pick a playing card from the deck, it would either be a black or red suited card, which would determine your heat placements and seeding. The competitor that selected the Ace of Spades was the wild card and had the final say of what heat they wanted to be in. Meaning, they could switch around the seeding and insert themselves were they felt they had the best chance of winning.
Nate Murray took the top spot with big tricks and consistency throughout the day. His big tricks, like the switch Lazer and switch tre flips earn him best trick honors and some extra cash! Pretty slick, considering he booked a last minute flight from FL and showed up the morning of the contest.
“It’s Vegas, sometimes you gotta roll the dice, this time it payed off,” explains Nate Murray. “Really enjoyed the format and felt like pure riding from everyone. Stoked to take the W back to FL,” Murray added.
Other to Pros, including Nick Nguyen, Josh Soto, Miller Brown, Daniel Tarpachak, collected nice payments and having a VIP time living like Hollywood starts at PH resort and casino.
Side Note: This time, it was Nick Sanches 21st birthday!
“I’ve seen (Nick) Sanchez go from doing the yo-yo tricks to rodeos and winning World Championships!” says Muller. “I couldn’t be more proud of the kid for what hes doing in the sport and his personal education.” express Muller, friend and Tour coordinator.
The West Coast events are not wrapped up just quite yet, riders are on the move to surf Snohomish Washington. That’s right, Surf’s up Snohomish! Pro boarders from around the region will soon converge on and hit the waves in Snohomish. We are excited to announce that the Snohomish Aquatic Center (516 Maple Avenue in Snohomish) will be the site of a FlowRider Pro/Am Competition on Friday, June 29- Saturday, June 30.
If you are looking to book a last minute travel, Alaska Airlines has discount codes for FLOW Tour members and is a proud sponsor for the 2018 season!
Check out Snohomish Aquatics Center event details here and stay social via @flowboarders for all things flowboarding!
See ya on the wave!