By Jody O’Donnell, Beach104.com
Top flowboarding athletes from near and far will compete Saturday at H2OBX water park in the FLOW Tour Prime Stop #7.
FlowRiders are surfing simulators introduced more than 25 years ago, with more than 200 now in service around the world. The flowriding sport has been described as a combination of surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and wakeboarding.
“Our riders vary depending on the day, we have our Outer Banks FlowGang, who are usually out here daily to ride the Flow, which is about 30 to 50 people,” said Molly Garavito, director of marketing at H2OBX. “We also encourage our daily guests to come and try it out, which can be 100 people or more throughout the day.”
The Outer Banks FlowGang is the group of FlowRider regulars at H2OBX. There’s no actual membership roll, and they don’t have an elected president. Yet, it’s members look towards Randy Owens for leadership. Owens, a 36-year-old electrician whose daughter Yaz also competes, will be entered in the Masters Division Boogie and Stand Up events this Saturday.
Owens is coming off a Masters Division Flow Tour win in New Jersey, where he narrowly defeated fellow FlowGang member Pat Barr in the Boogie category. With the victory, Owens will look to stay sharp in preparation for the August Flow Tour Nationals in Alabama.
Saturday’s Flow Tour stop will feature several divisions. Youth, for ages 13 and under; Junior, for ages 14-17; Mens 18 and over; Womens for all ages; Masters for ages 35 and over and Pro. The total prize pot is $2,500. The event is the final Flow Tour stop before the Nationals, with some competitors looking to qualify for Nationals as well as add to their season point totals.
Not only will Owens’ home waterpark be hosting the event, the Owens family will also welcome several competitors.
“We have about 10 people who will be staying in our yard from New Jersey and South Carolina,” Owens said of his flowboarding brethren.
Upper echelon pros like Daniel Tarapchak, Scott Cullens, and Jon Reese will not be camping at the Owens compound, but their presence will make a big splash on Saturday.
“These guys are all heavy hitters on the Flow Tour and some of the best in the nation, and they’re gonna be puttin’ on a show,” Owens said.
The action will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. and last throughout much of the day. H2OBX will remain open to the public and there is no additional charge to watch the Flow Tour event. There will be additional seating for spectators.
“The crowd is going to be engaged to this event,” said Owens. “The main event is going to be at the end, it’s gonna be the pros, there’s talent there all day long, don’t get me wrong, but these pros are next level, and like I say, they are the best in the world.”
For more information, see H2OBXwaterpark.com.