This is the second part of my review of the Retallack Resort and Spa – a twin and triplet friendly holiday I was invited along to review.
Ever heard of Flowboarding? Me neither, until I booked our holiday in Cornwall. Retallack is home to the Loop FlowRider, so it would have been rude not to try it. I hope this explains what it’s all about…
“Flowboarding was started by surfers, but the new sport we have developed takes in aspects of all the board sports. Flowboarding is skateboarding without the wheels (and the road rash), surfing without a fin, snowboarding without the mountain, wakeboarding without the boat and skimboarding without the sand.” (Waveloch, 2010)
This adrenaline packed activity is suitable for all the family (they say from 5 years old upwards). As the boys are only three and a half they were too little this time, but they really enjoyed watching people on it all week during our holiday.
A FlowRider is basically a surf machine that means you can try out your boarding skills any day of the year. Conditions are always perfect, it’s a very safe and controlled environment (unlike the sea) and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
Husband and I have had some good adventures over the last few years – we’ve climbed glaciers in New Zealand, ridden horses in the wilderness, sand boarded down giant dunes, dived fringing reefs and come face to face with sharks…but as I stood looking up at the FlowRider I actually started to feel a bit nervous. The water shoots up the slope fast. And there is A LOT of water.
Our kids were safely in the kids club and crèche for the afternoon, and we’d already squeezed ourselves into the wet suits they’d provided, so we took a deep breath and joined the group.
Our instructor, Dan Phillips, showed us the ropes by getting us to dive into the water from the top of the slope without a board. This was to show us how to get in and out safely and it meant we could get a feel for the strength of the water before we got on the boards. The first jump in head first was a bit scary until you land and realise it’s not as bad as you were expecting. The first time you get dunked back up the slope and the endless waves of water land over your head it’s a bit of a shock to the system, but it’s actually not as scary or as hard as it sounds or looks.
They take groups of up to twelve people on per session and you either go on the water solo or in pairs depending on the task. When you fall off you go to the back of the queue, which gives you time to catch your breath and work out what you did wrong.
Holding the bodyboard and moving left and right was easy, but the skills quickly got harder. We had to roll with the board, send the board away from us and catch it and then kneel on the board. If we could master the kneeling (which I struggled with as I kept falling off!) then we could do a forward roll but I think I needed another session to get to that stage. It turned out Husband was actually pretty good at it!
Towards the end of the session we stood up and Dan edged us out onto the water. I managed a few seconds on my feet each time before being dashed into the spray. Again it turned out Husband was pretty good at this too!
But, this is how is SHOULD be done…Looks easy doesn’t it?!
The one hour session was over far too quickly, and I really wished I’d booked a series of sessions when we first arrived rather than leaving it until our last day to try it out.
When we went to pick up the kids, the staff there told me the mums don’t usually do the FlowRider. I felt pretty chuffed with myself for giving it a try instead of booking into a spa treatment.
The next day, Husband was literally in agony. Every muscle in his body (even ones he didn’t know he had) ached. Thankfully, although I may not be the fittest person ever, I think carrying babies and toddlers around means I already use some of the muscles involved so I wasn’t in much pain at all *smug face*. I did have to put up with Husband telling me how much it hurt for the next WEEK though, so do beware. All fun comes with a price.
The FlowRider costs £25 per person for a session for residents of Retallack Resort and Spa or £30 per session for people staying off site. You can also book a series of sessions to save money if you want to have a few goes at it on your holiday.
*I paid for our FlowRider session myself and wasn’t given any discount for the activity. All views are my own.