Hot off the press – pcbdaily’s press – an indoor double Flowrider is coming to Panama City Beach. Think surfing year-round, think surfing whether the water temperature in the Gulf is tolerable or not, think surfing whether it’s raining or lightning outside, or think surfing if you just don’t feel like paddling out. I’m thinking surfing because I can’t surf for real.
Being a veteran snowboarder remembering the days of the early 1990’s of me and one other guy on the whole mountain learning to snowboard, getting practically run over by skiers hating on the, what they thought, new sport. I always wanted to skate, but frankly, I sucked at it. I read all the magazines, wore the cool clothes, listened to the music, liked riding my board, but I couldn’t do any tricks for the life of me. Or maybe I just wasn’t dedicated. Snowboarding was everything I wanted – a board that was attached to my feet and a padded landing (sometimes). I rode passionately every chance I got for 10 years (growing up is Dallas offered me this opportunity twice a year at best).
Fast forward to moving to Panama City Beach in 2001. “Surfing is just like snowboarding,” a friend told me, “you’ll love it.” Well, it isn’t, and I don’t. It always seemed like too much work for not enough playtime. I was spoiled with the sometimes seemingly endless downhill bouts riding fresh powder. I gave it another chance when my wife, who is an avid surfer, convinced me. Same results. I did however find a new comprimise to my longing for the snow – wakeboarding. Yet, I’ve only been once. That day will always linger in my head when I got “up” after the third try and rode for hours. Everything about the control of the board was familiar – I loved it. Too bad that was almost three summers ago, and I haven’t gone since.
Fast forward again, to today. A new double Flowrider is coming to Panama City Beach, and it will be indoor. Talking to Jeremy, who’s working on the development and operational side of this new attraction, he said, “the best way I can describe it is a jet engine shooting water up a ramp so fast you can surf it.” The title on the main page of the Flowrider website describes it as “sheetwave attractions.” They vary in size and even in wave dynamics, but they all provide healthy doses of fun. If you’ve ever been on a Royal Caribbean’s cruise, chances are you’ve run into one.
Driving down Middle Beach Road, right across from Wal-Mart and where Tony Roma’s used to be, you’ve probably seen a video sign that says Shubee Flowrider. That’s it. Right there in Miracle Strip Loop will be where all the indoor surfing action can be found starting sometime early summer. “If everything works out right, we’ll be open sometime in June,” said Jeremy.
Prices haven’t been set yet, but they are estimating the cost to be around $20 per session. Each session could last for up to 1 hour. Inside, there will be observation areasall around the attraction, two party rooms and a retail area including gear and apparell.
Welcome to Panama City Beach, Jeremy!