One of Windsor’s most popular attractions, The Adventure Bay Flow Rider is back in action!
The good news is that the Adventure Bay Flow Rider has resurfaced with a huge splash!
To welcome its return, the local Windsor Flowrider Chapter invited Windsor area media to try their hand – rather, their feet and legs – with this challenging and exhilarating sporting craze.
Participants were given detailed instructions on the use of the boards and had expert shadow assistance provided by Windsor Flowriders, and by an international expert in the flow riding sport.
Mike ’Pappy’ Pappalardo hails from Vermont and originated the FLOW DOGS Group some years ago. They travel across the USA each year to visit and compete at many venues. According to Pappy, “Flowboarding is complete freedom of stress, it’s you and the wave. Nothing else matters. Total adrenaline high when you land the trick you were smashing your body learning. I love to see the families standing side by side in line awaiting their own destiny.”
We are very fortunate that Pappy volunteered to assist the Windsor group in spearheading this event. This ‘youthful’ 50-year-ol
d put on a demonstration for us performing acrobatic maneuvers on rapid-like waters that most of us could only dream of performing.
Then it was the media’s turn. I somehow was volunteered to represent Biz X magazine in experiencing this amazing and near-death experience. I fared well on the body-boarding where one lays flat on a miniature surfboard and rides the waves. Directional steering is accomplished by shifting body weight from left to right and right to left into your arms grasping the side of the board. This was a lot of fun. Body surfing in the heart of downtown Windsor!
But then came the standup challenge on the board. Again, we were all provided detailed instructions and assistance by the experts. I performed not as well in the standup, using as my excuse my recently sprained left ankle. (I did not confide to my instructors that I have yet to make it upward in my many attempts to waterski. I think I was born with the klutz gene.)
But those around me, both young and old, easily grasped the technique needed to stand up and proudly ride the waves. It is a truly breathtaking and exhilarating experience.
The experts that assisted us included 17 year old Kade Cox, Canadian Flowrider Champion from Grande Prairie, Alberta; Tyler Hentge from New Jersey, 21 years old and the 2015 Flow series National Champ; Florida’s Joel Stevens who is the 2015 junior body board national champ; and, Brad Spencer from Florida, a 4-times national champ and a 5-times world champion.
For more information on Windsor Flowriders, check out their Facebook page.
Joe McParland’s chats with Kendal Malewicz, Recreational program instructor at Adventure Bay who created the stand up surfing program; Jeff Jacques and his brother, Jason Jacques, members of the Windsor Flowrider chapter, and ‘Pappy’ from the Flow Dogs in Vermont.
Joe McParland chats with flowriders Joel Stevens, Tyler Hentge, Kade Cox and Brad Spencer.
Story photos and video by Joe McParland