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A First-Timer’s Guide To Surfing The Strip

Last updated: July 17, 2018 at 9:56 am. Posted by in Planet Hollywood Resort, Things to Do in Las Vegas. No Comments on A First-Timer’s Guide To Surfing The Strip.

Las Vegas has a funny way of taking things that don’t belong in the desert and making them somehow work really well.

Ancient Rome? Check.

The Eiffel Tower? Check.

Shredding the gnar? Check.

The latter becomes possible with the FlowRider, a “free-standing wave” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino’s sixth-floor pool deck. The setup offers a genuine surf experience on the Las Vegas Strip with a high-tech setup that generates artificial waves. It’s seen everyone from surfers to celebrities including the cast of “Jersey Shore” and Gwen Stefani as recent guests.

It’s a fun way to beat the heat and a surprisingly effective core workout, regardless of your experience level with board sports – or, in this writer’s case, sense of coordination in general.

I went to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino along with our copywriter Chris to practice my moves and see what I could learn about this hidden gem of a summer attraction.

Experience The Flowrider at Planet Hollywood Pools

Flowrider at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino pool

From left to right: Matt, Chris and Jorge after a surf session. Guess which one’s the surf pro. Photo by Leonard Quenneville.

Start On Easy Mode

Total novices will want to get started with the bodyboard, which can still be a challenge if you’re new to board sports. On these, you lie relatively flat, with elbows pointed inward on the board and the board facing toward the wave flow.

And just to get this out of the way: It’s OK if you slip or fall the first few times. First off, you’re learning a totally new way of moving your body. Second, the trampoline-like surface absorbs the impact and the water jets whisk you upward.

It’s weird – and kind of fun – to fall up instead of down. I went from frustration to laughter after my second wipeout.

Riding a bodyboard on the FlowRider at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

It took a few tries to get to this level, but it was worth it! Photo by Leonard Quenneville.

Fight (Some of) Your Instincts

Whether you’re on the bodyboard or the stand-up flowboard, take note of your FlowRider instructor’s words, their stance and their movements as they demonstrate the proper form. It took several tries for it to all “click” for me. A lot of it – like putting your weight on your rear foot and gently steering with the front foot on the flowboard – is counter-intuitive at first, but becomes natural after a few tries.

And it will take a few tries. Luckily, the FlowRider instructors want to see you succeed and will help you fix your form until you get it just right.

Don’t Overthink It

…or you’ll tense up, or start looking down, or do some other thing that will throw you off balance and you’ll have to start over. Get into a kung fu master-esque trance and let go of the world around you.

We found that looking off into the distance helped the most in terms of balance.

Take Your Time

If you’re thinking about trying this for the first time, congrats on trying something new! But unless you’re some kind of crazy-good first-timer prodigy (in which case, we’d like to interview you), you’re not going to be pulling off wild stunts after your first 30-minute session.

You will, however, have developed a cool new skill worth showing off and a better understanding of what your body can do with a little practice.

Matt East surfing at the FlowRider at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

When you’re as good as Matt, it looks so easy. Photo by Leonard Quenneville.

Rest Up

You might also feel a little sore from all the muscles you don’t get to use every day. We recommend you treat yourself to a little relaxation after your surf sesh.

Luckily, there’s a bar right next to the Flowrider, so you can toast your new accomplishments. Or check out the Planet Hollywood Spa by Mandara.

Maybe surfing is not your thing. Our Las Vegas hotels offer pools that are action packed pool parties to pools that are relaxing retreat. Find all our Las Vegas pool experiences with our Vegas pool guide.

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About The Author

Jorge has been writing in Las Vegas for about a decade, covering a mix of entertainment, nightlife and travel offerings for publications like Best of Las Vegas, Las Vegas Weekly, Los Angeles Times and Louisville Voice-Tribune. In his spare time, he's traveling, at pub trivia or not playing his stack of video games.

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