For over 6 years, our dream has been to provide all flowboarding enthusiasts on planet earth a place they can go. Not a physical space (although the nearest FlowRider® venue is a good alternative!), but a virtual place they can call their own. A platform to share image and video-rich blogs, to contribute their thoughts and feelings about our beloved activity, and to be inspired by the competition archives of flowboarding. Did you neophytes know that some of the early performers on a FlowRider/FlowBarrel included Rob Machado, Derrick Doerner, Tony Hawk, Shawn White, Terje, Jamie O, and Kelly Slater?!?! The list goes on and on. Or did you know that the FLOW (Flowboarding League Of the World) Tour has been an ongoing tour every year since the early 2000s? If you are one of the few original flowboarders and you happen to have some early results saved somewhere, please send them! We are looking for them and this is a user-driven site.
The whole FlowRider team travels often in order to visit our venue partners. I never leave home without my trusty 39” Outlaw. Why? The question should be – “Why not?” In order to make sure all is well, that the ride is pumping and is well kept up, we have to ride! It’s basically the best quality control procedure ever. It is fun and good exercise to boot, even for someone that rides horribly like me! If you travel, check the Locations Tab out and make sure you have a FlowRider somewhere near your destination or home town. Before you have your first frosty beverage, remember flowboarding is fun and healthy! Also, if a location is missing or the contact info is incorrect, please inform us. This is a user-driven site!
As loyal flowboarding enthusiasts, you realize our sport has a long way to go, and it is frustrating – we talk about it all the time. This is not due to a lack of talent however. Sean Silveira and Brad Spencer (haven’t forgotten you, Jake Chipman) have ruled the FlowRider in the standup domain, while Nick Nguyen and more recently Nick Sanchez have dominated in the “prone position.” On the FlowBarrel, is there anyone that can compete with the high flying antics of Eric Silverman? These athletes are the best in the world at what they do and their talent is at an incredibly high level!! They are paving the way for the future so hopefully future flowboarding athelets can make some serious money in our sport. This is analogous to pro surfing in the 70s – fledgling, grass roots, and lots of camaraderie, but no MONEY!
Sponsorship is a tough sell in the USA as the endemic brands don’t consider what we do to be “core.” This is why we need to band together to grow our “little” sport, one competition at a time, one year at a time. And now, one website at a time. We want to make this site COOK with activity, drive potential sponsors to the site, and let them see the current reality. As the number of visitations to the site increase, people will take note of the analytics, more venues will pop up and more people will be involved in the sport, bringing the dollar$ with them. So, let us help you help all of us!
We tried desperately to get this website off the ground when we were at Wave Loch, but alas, it was pushed to the sidelines. When Till joined us as our “Web Master,” we (Till, “Laz” and myself) figured we would finally make it happen. But not all plans take shape swiftly. We would talk about it, the website flowboarders.com, and communicate what our vision was, and we even had an ill-fated countdown, but something always got in the way. Try www.flowrider.com, www.flowhouse.com, www.flowridershop.com, www.flowridermobile.com, www.flowhouse.com (again), www.latitube.com, and www.whateveryoucanthinkof.com! If you ever want to screw something up, just have a countdown, but that is a pretty ambitious list of sites that we continue to manage with a small, hungry staff. Yet, we all pitch in, argue, wrestle and have spirited conversations (we call it a “different perspective”) about direction, content, etc. It is what we do and why we are who we are. Yet, every single time we tried to invigorate our flowboarders.com conversation/project – it was stalled.
The vision for the site has never wavered; I have always wanted it to be the flowboarding community that www.surfline.com is to the surfing community. I know. I surf. Love to surf. Surf addict. I have used Surfline since it was a phone service, then a fax service, then a website with no advertising all the way to what it is today – a virtual one-stop-shop for surfers all around the world. This simply reveals that, man, I’m old, which begs the question, “What the hell do I know about the youth of today?” Fair and legit question. I hang around younger people; they make me feel young. I paddle around them to get the best wave, I pound a golf ball by them, kick the shit out of them in racquetball, and try to drink them under the table. And I venture to think that the users of this site are not old. In fact, they most likely don’t give a shit about what I have to say or that my dream for a social site for the community beyond compare is real, but I do indeed care about them. Do you hear that neophytes!?! I care!! All they care about is Snapchat, Instagram and the flurry of new social sites that pop up all the time. Here I am on Twitter and I am old school! Call me “old school meets new school.” Before you think I have lost my mind, I can edit this site so be nice or I will mess it up! But, if I do that, I will have Adam, Till, and Jo, who have worked their collective “arses” off, so far down my throat that it will be quite sore. In fact, you better start sucking up to that threesome, because they are our future, and they will rule the site.
So what is the purpose of this rant? Well, I am sick and tired of this site being a dream, so I am CRACKING the whip. It’s now a reality…. And you know what? IT’S AWESOME!! We are all very stoked and I hope you are too. If you aren’t for some reason – ah, just go to the complaint department (or go to another social site that put as much heart, blood, and sweat equity into it as we did…. oh that’s right, there isn’t one – nobody has!) After all, a “complaint is a gift” and I am the primary receiver of all gifts! Enjoy! – Marsh