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It’s hot in Bangkok. Really hot. Perhaps that’s why Flow House, a simulated wave surfing machine where you can boogyboard or “flowboard” has been so popular since it opened in 2012. It’s been a huge hit for private parties and lazy weekends when kids and adults head to show off their surfing skills — or whizz right off the machine in a matter of seconds.
If you’ve never had any water sports experience outside of a little beach-side ping pong, trained instructors (and a rope should you need it) are available to provide one-on-one tuition during your turn and to help you find your feet, ensure you get your money’s worth and don’t spend the whole hour’s session flat on your back or waiting for your next turn.
Chances are you won’t be very impressive on your first try, but you can get in some sneaky practice by signing up to the surf school — the only one in Bangkok>, we’d wager, but let us know if we’re wrong — for private lessons to help you work on your surfing or bodyboard techniques. Trust us – when you’re surrounded by cocky 10-year-olds doing flips, you might want to be able to stay upright for more than a few seconds.
But Flow House is open to everyone, whether you’re surfing or not. A little restaurant and bar area is popular with people looking for a chilled out weekend venue at which to drink buckets of Singha and shovel down burgers and fries while they laugh at people falling off their boards and pretend they hadn’t backed out of having a go themselves the moment they saw the kids there showing off. The restaurant and bar is actually a very pleasant spot for a weekend afternoon and early evening. It’s relaxed, the service is friendly and the fried Western food options add to the beachside vibe of the venue, even though it’s right in the heart of Sukhumvit.
But perhaps you’ll have a real knack for the sport. If you feel as though you’re really getting the hang of it by the time your hour is up, you might want to venture into the on-site surf shop, which stocks the latest boards and apparel.
One tip: if you’re going for the first time, you may want to wear a little more than you do at the beach. Most men surfing opt for surf shorts and a T-shirt, while the women choose short shorts, a bikini top and a T-shirt; strolling up in Speedos or an itsy bitsy bikini may make you feel a little exposed. It’s also worth checking your clothing fits well before you purchase your session. If you slip off the board, you don’t want your clothing slipping off from the power of the jets, too.
By Gaby Doman
Last updated on 6th May, 2014.