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A FlowRider Masterclass with Ben Skinner

By DavidMonday 17th October 2016

A surf simulator? At sea? Yes, you heard right. FlowRider is our unique surf simulator, which can be found onboard Navigator of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Quantum of the seas, and many more of our ships. And it’s the only surf simulator at sea! Although all of our FlowRiders are manned by our special surf instructors, it can’t hurt to get a bit ahead of the game. So, we invited 11-time European Longboard Surfing Champion, Ben Skinner, onboard Navigator of the Seas for a special masterclass. Here are his top tips for pulling gnarly moves on FlowRider.

1. Entering the wave

Start by standing on your board while holding on to the edge of FlowRider. Then, slowly push away from the edge, inching your board into the wave until you’re directly in the wave. Next, stand up, nice and steady, keeping your knees bent and your arms up.

2. Maintain balance

Once you’re standing up on the wave, you need to start maintaining your balance. Keep your knees bent, with a 70/30 weight distribution on your back foot, making sure the front of your board is high and the water runs underneath it. At the same time, keep your arms high and your front shoulder pointing forwards. This keeps the board pointing forwards and steady, so you’re less likely to fall.

3. Turning

So you’ve maintained your balance? Now you need to learn how to turn left and right. You turn by using your toe or your heel edge of the board, and you use your shoulder to initiate the turn. As you turn, make sure your weight is either on your toes or your heels (depending which way you’re turning) to stop the water catching the edge of the board and throwing you off. Once you get the hang of that, you can start gliding from left to right.

4. Other tricks

The next thing to look at is dropping in from the top of the wave. Starting at the side of the FlowRider, towards the top, put your board down and hold it in place with your back foot. Slowly step onto the board with your other foot and lean forwards, staying on your heel or toe edge, depending on which side you drop in from. Aim towards the middle of the wave, using your arms to keep yourself balanced. From that point, you can start using your turning motion, pushing harder to create more spray and make your turns look more radical. You can also do spins and rotations, and you can start using the whole of the wave.

Surf’s up!

Plan a cruise with Royal Caribbean and get ready to test your surfing skills onboard.

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