In days of old, the average community center would be packed full of friends and family gathering for swimming, sports, and just about anything that included the words parks and recreation. But in the year 2022, kids have more options with endless technology at their fingertips, so the same old pools, parks, and sports leagues don’t measure up on their own the way they used to. Parks and rec centers across the world must get innovative to beat their biggest competitor—technology. Luckily, nothing motivates people to get active quite like a FlowRider® surf simulator.
You’ve seen FlowRiders at waterparks, hotels, and bars, and because of the athletic and social nature of the sport, FlowRider naturally builds a community at each of these venues, even the ones that don’t have community-building as their core purpose. That’s why a municipality, with the explicit goal of community-building, is an excellent venue for a surf simulator.
Municipalities are all about keeping their communities healthy by getting their community members off the couch, active, and making new friends. At FlowRider, we have that exact same goal. We believe that a healthy community center means a healthy community, and a surf simulator pumps life back into communities in the following three ways:
1. Bring in the Whole Family
Families with toddlers and young kids innately engage with their local parks and recreation department by going to the park, taking swimming lessons, and signing up for sports leagues. But what happens when the kids get a little bit older and become those tricky teenagers? With newfound independence, many teenagers prefer high school sports to parks and rec leagues, and their friends’ backyards to parks and pools. That’s where a surf simulator comes in.
“Since installing the wave, we have seen a constant uptick in teens and young adults coming around.” - Robert Serviss, Aquatics Operations Manager at Snohomish Aquatic Center
The FlowRider is a teen magnet. Robert Serviss, Aquatics Operations Manager at Snohomish Aquatic Center, says it best, stating, “Since installing the wave, we have seen a constant uptick in teens and young adults coming around.” It’s hard to replicate the addicting feeling of riding a wave on this unique attraction, so when teens get hooked on the FlowRider, they get hooked on your community center.
It’s a major bonus when one attraction engages an entire family. With a minimum height of 42”, young kids, teens, and adults will all be enthralled by the surf simulator. Those too short or timid to ride will surely be engaged as they watch their friends and family. The only thing as fun as riding the FlowRider as watching your friends and family have some epic wipeouts!
2. Activate Your Community with a New Sport
The progressive nature of flowboarding is what makes it so addicting. Community members spend anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks learning to successfully stand and carve the wave, and that’s just where the fun begins! Next, they learn and create awesome tricks and look for ways to show them off to friends and family.
That’s where a flowboarding league comes in. FlowRider venues around the world create teams, leagues, and competitions. Many of these leagues have dedicated social media accounts and Facebook groups to show of their members’ skills and provide easy marketing. This really helps draw flowboarding enthusiasts to their venues to watch and learn from great flowboarders in their community as they hone their skills, and it also creates a ton of hype around the sport, bringing in lots of flowboarding newbies. A little bit of friendly competition always keeps people engaged!
Any venue with a FlowRider can join the FLOW (Flowboarding League of the World) Tour each year, which means hosting a competition where your community members can go head-to-head with the best flowboarders in the world. These yearly events often attract hundreds of spectators, and the prospect of becoming one of the best at this sport keeps community members coming back to the wave daily.
3. Reinvest in Your Community
The revenue potential for a surf simulator is unlike any other municipality attraction. Revenue comes directly through ticket sales, elite membership options, rentals for parties, and competitions. FlowRider has the added benefit of drawing more people to your community center, which will surely increase their awareness of other events and revenue-generating activities at your center. And because FlowRider is such a spectator sport, we highly recommend placing the wave near some food and beverage to really maximize the revenue potential.
This increase in revenue can up your municipality budget to reinvest in the health and happiness of your community. The only limit to FlowRider revenue streams and ways to reinvest in your community is your imagination!
Community centers give municipalities a much-needed place for friends and families to connect and stay active, but drawing teens and young adults in for full community engagement can seem like an impossible task. Adding a surf simulator not only makes your center unique, but it gives your community a whole new method to get outside and get active.
Not all surf simulators are made equal, and FlowRider is the leader because we understand the importance of amazing support and quality when it comes to your wave. Having installed hundreds of these, FlowRider is here to partner with you to help train staff, ensure guests ride appropriately, and minimize risk overall.
If you have questions about what it takes to get a surf simulator in your community, click here to fill out an inquiry and speak with an awesome FlowRider team member!