The Best of the Best Are Back from Bangkok – FlowRider World Championships
The top flowboarders in the world are back from Bangkok after Flow House Bangkok hosted the 2015 FlowRider® World Flowboarding Championships presented by Chang Beer November 14-15th.
Flow House is Bangkok’s only urban beach club with a wave machine, pool, bar/restaurant, games and loads of space for kids, adults and families to chill. It proved to be the ultimate destination for the largest and most prestigious FLOW contest of the year!
“Flow House Bangkok is the perfect example to showcase the Flow House brand and the sport at the highest level, it proves you can bring the Southern California Lifestyle to anywhere in the world and be successful,” Explains VP of FlowRider Sales, Andrew Thatcher.
With defending Champions, Sean Silveira (Pro Men’s Flowboard), Nick Nguyen (Pro Men’s Bodyboard), Xana Nash (Pro Women’s Flowboard) and Melanie Kelly (Pro Women’s Bodyboard), on site, the competition was heavy! Along with that crew, forty of the world’s most elite riders – from USA, Asia and Europe – competed against them head on.
“Competition was stacked, in all divisions,” explained FLOW Tour and Sports Marketing Manager, Adam Muller.” The level of progression has stepped up all around the world, it’s really special to bring the best of the best in our sport together at one venue for an epic battle on the wave!” Muller added.
The competition is unique in that it has a team and individual categories. Teams from USA, Asia and Europeflo are represented by Regional Tour Champions who qualified earlier in the season. Each members’ final placements are added up and the lowest total wins. Team USA defended their World Championship for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Asia in second and then Europe in third.
“We were very excited to be selected as the hosting venue. It was big deal for us to have the best riders in the world at Flow House Bangkok – the Asian market is huge as far as board enthusiast go,” explained Flow House Bangkok Partner, Jay Bunnag.
On the individual side, three new World Champions were crowned and another achieved back to back victories at Flow House Bangkok.
After three and a half weeks the jet lag has finally worn off and riders have returned to their home wave to continue their progression and prepare for next season.
“It’s just now sinking in,” explains 17-year-old, Jake Chipman, who made the trip to Flow House Bangkok from his home wave in Provo Beach, Utah.
Traveling over 16,000 miles round trip with his grandmother, Jake entered the World Flowboarding Championships as a Wild Card in the trials event. Chipman was a favorite to win the trials event until he was stopped by Faddy Kamarolah in the head to head finals matchup.
With the Top 8 riders moving on from the Trials, Chipman set himself up with a good seed for the main event. In route to his first World Championship, Chipman had to take down the top two seeds in the event, 5x World Champion, Sean Silveira and 2012 World Champion and 2015 US Team Rider, Brad Spencer. Chipman proudly returned as the 2015 FlowRider World Flowboarding Champion.
“When the spotlight was on him, Jake threw it down!” stated Muller.
The Pro Bodyboard Division featured a rematch of last year’s WFC event from the Semi-Finals on. Adam Wildman and Nazari Salim were narrowly outdone by Nick Sanchez and Nick Nguyen who met in the final for the second consecutive year.
Nick Nguyen has been riding for years and has five World Titles under his belt, where Sanchez is young and determined to dethrone the “King” who paved the way.
“This was an anticipated match up, some call it the Nick and Nick Show,” explained Rob Chalfant, FLOW’s Head Judge. “In the end, Sanchez put together speedy high-end combination maneuvers that sealed the deal,” Chalfant added.
During the Women’s competition, three-time Defending Champion, Xana Nash, fresh off her first World Championship on the FlowBarrel (Strapless), went up against her friendly FLOW Tour Rivals, Dee Spencer and Austyn Bynon. Some of Asia’s very best female riders, including Annisa Flynn, shredded too.
“Female riding is on its way to the next level,” stated Muller. Dee Spencer lit up the wave with difficult tricks that you would normally only see in the Men’s Division, which earned her the top spot on the podium and her first World Flowboarding Championship Title. “Dee worked hard all year, practicing in the off- season and attending as many FLOW Tour events as possible, happy to see it pay for her!” explained Muller.
Melanie Kelly from Australia was the only Defending Champion to reclaim her title. For the second consecutive year, Melanie topped the podium in the Women’s Pro Bodyboard Division. “I was excited to defend my title, almost as excited as I was to ride with this incredible group of flowboarders!” Melanie exclaimed. It’s very impressive to see the success Melanie is having, especially because of the limited access to the FlowRider attraction on the Gold Coast. With talent breeds like this, we will absolutely have to pop up more venues in that region soon.
The World Flowboarding Championships event at Flow House Bangkok presented by Chang Beer wraps up the 2015 FLOW competition season and we are gearing up for an exciting season in 2016.
A special shout and big thank must go out to you, the fans, the supporting sponsors, Chang Beer, Flow House Bangkok, FlowRider, SuperDuper Surf, FLOWBOARDERS, Nok Air, Ripcurl, G-Shock and The Tourism Authority of Thailand.
See ya on the wave!