Insights, News, Refurbishments

Love Your FlowRider: How to Maintain Your Standing Wave

Mark your calendars and set your phone reminders… Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly! You’ll want to make an effort this year. Buy them something nice, make the reservations, give them some extra TLC, and you will surely be rewarded.

We’re talking about your FlowRider®, of course. We build our surf simulators with durability in mind. FlowRider opened its doors more than 20 years ago, and we have many standing waves that have been around that long, passing the test of time. After decades of boarders shredding a bit of wear and tear is normal, so you need to show your surf simulator some love if you want to get the most out of your wave. Constant care and attention just like in your relationships keeps your FlowRider loving you back, which means happy guests.

The best way to love your FlowRider is to give it a daily visual inspection. When you purchased your surf machine, one of our amazing installation team members will have trained you on how to maintain your standing wave, but we are always just a phone call away if you need a refresher. See below for the areas you will want to check daily:

Foam & Vinyl

The foam goes over the steel and concrete to minimize risk for your wave and patrons. Vinyl is heat welded onto the foam to keep it water-tight, and the vinyl is what we put on the wave to make it that gorgeous shade of FlowRider blue.

When inspecting the foam and vinyl, you will want to check for aesthetic issues like dirt or bubbling. If your wave gets dirty, a little bit of soap and water goes a long way to make the blue pop! Make sure you don’t use any chemical cleaners that will stain the beautiful blue.

You will also want to check for more critical problems, such as gaps in seams, tears, and cuts. Seams can be fixed easily with heat welding and TLC, which we trained your maintenance staff on after installation.  If you notice any tears and cuts, give us a call so that we can help you patch it or replace the foam and vinyl section in question.

Before and After of a Refurbished FlowRider

Before and After of a Refurbished FlowRider

Nozzle Flaps

The nozzle flaps protect a very important part of the wave—the nozzles! Nozzles are steel openings that direct the water from the pump and spread water over the ride surface, creating the perfectly smooth wave that FlowRider is all about.

When checking the nozzle flaps, you will want to make sure that there are no tears, cuts, or frayed seams. If you see any issues with the flaps, give your wave a break and give us a call. We don’t recommend addressing this issue on your own, so we can diagnose and create a plan to fix any problems with the flaps and keep those nozzles safe.

A photo of a pristine looking FlowRider

A beautiful FlowRider with some FlowRider blue that really pops!

Ride Surface

You should check the ride surface daily for any tears, delamination, or dirt. If you see tears, give us a call ASAP. These are critical and must be addressed immediately! Water is a powerful element, so operating with a tear in the ride surface may create a much larger issue.

If you have a tension ride surface, you will also want to perform tension checks to make sure your surface is fun to ride and easy to fall on. Make sure you see a crown, a large bump in the center of your wave, before operating so that the water disperses evenly across the wave. The biggest sign that your wave is not tensioned properly is if it leaves a puddle of water across your nozzle flaps. A good test is to have your lifeguards jump on the wave to make sure it has a trampoline effect.

Your maintenance staff should be trained on re-tensioning the ride surface, but we are always just a call or email away with some help and how-to videos.

Recovery and Decking

Our recovery and decking system uses pillow padding to keep wipeouts nice and soft, and to make waiting in line more enjoyable. When checking these, you will want to make sure the gaps are up to the ASTM standards of 3/8 inch to minimize risk for your riders. You will also want to look out for debris, tears, and cracks.

If you notice any issues with the pillow padding, we can send you individual bars that we custom-make in our San Diego warehouse, and we can walk you through replacement. The pillow padding is what your riders walk and slide on, so it’s important to make sure it’s void of any issues for an optimal ride experience.

Those daily inspections will help your ride stand the test of time. Taking care of the little problems when they happen will help you prevent major, costly issues, and in the long run, help you love your ride. If you do notice any large problems, don’t panic! Just give us a call, and our team will be happy to help Giving your FlowRider extra TLC should not be limited to Valentine’s Day, but now is a perfect time to start if you haven’t already. If you show your FlowRider a little bit of love every day, it’s sure to reward you with constant waves to thrill!