Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Centre Park De Eemhof boosts a 'Flowrider'. A develish machine that creates an artificial wave on which holiday makers can learn to bodyboard. Watching novices struggle to keep afloat is the perfect antidote to my (April!) winter blues.

Holding a board in front of their tummies, children and adults alike need to dive down head first, into the white foam. Sliding down, while staying on their board, is something that most people seem to be able to manage after a while. Once the wannabee surfers hit the strong current however, a fair few of them float back up the ramp again. There they get a good tumble in water, so wild it is quite an accomplishment to manage to hold on to their swim wear. The surprised look on their faces, once they find the 'exit' is priceless.
The children could not wait, till I paid good money for them to have a 'Flowrider' lesson. So I made them a deal. They could go Flowriding, if they stopped nagging me about playing another round of freezing cold miniature golf. Needless to say, they took the bait. Winners all around!
Very exited and a little apprehensive the children show the wetsuit clad girl their special armbands. They both look tiny, next to some large teenage boys and their - even larger - dad. My daughter is first up. Bravely she takes the plunge. She gets catapulted backwards to where she just started, loses her board, gets a good wash in the surf, comes up for air and gives me the biggest smile ever. ,,This is epic", she yells at noone in particular.
My son, a year and a half older and infinitely cooler, goes for a more understated first run. He also gets pushed backwards, but does not give in. He pushes his elbows down and all the body weight that he has and - by sheer determination - manages to steer the board back down again. Triumphantly he swaggers back to the line.
Over the next half hour the children are being taught a dazzling array of tricks. They both sit up on their knees on their boards and also manage to turn themselves onto their backs while riding the wave. No mean feat, I can tell you. 

The nice mum that sits beside me and I make all the right noises while our brood is having a great time. We take some pictures, all the while sipping our cappucinos. She has not even changed into a bathing suit, but enjoys the subtropical pool fully clothed. Great idea! Next time I reckon, I could even smuggle in a magazine. Flowrider lessons tomorrow, anyone?