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MOFLOW Goes to Toronto, Canada

FlowRider® Mobile Wows the Canadian National Exhibition.

The Canadian National Exhibition is a very big deal. It’s a yearly fair and festival that goes back as far as the 1870s, when a roving agricultural fair that used to travel all though the province of Ontario finally settled in Toronto in 1879. The CNE, or the EX!, has attracted thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then over a million people to a two-week extravaganza of musical performances, midway rides, agricultural and mechanical exhibits, parades, sports, international food and shopping, Kids’ World and the Canadian International Air Show.

Standing out in the middle of all this was a new attraction as the people of the EX were treated to a demonstration of Wave Loch’s FlowRider®  Mobile – affectionately known as the MoFlow.,. Standing 16 feet high, 40 feet long and weighing in at 140,000 pounds, the MoFlow is thrills on wheels, delivering 15,000 gallons of water flowing at 20 MPH and bringing ocean action to anywhere in the world – like Toronto, which is hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean.

Toronto may be far from the ocean, but there is an ocean-like substance close by, in the form of Lake Ontario: “When you stand on the shore of Lake Ontario you can’t see the other side, ” said Rick Davis, who brought the FlowRider  Mobile across North America, from Wave Loch’s San Diego headquarters across the border to one of the largest cities in Canada. “So it’s not such a contradiction to see people riding waves here, 100 yards from the shore of a huge body of water. But the FlowRider created a big sensation. It’s exciting to do, but just as exciting to watch. We created a California beach feel around it: tiki huts and bamboo, and it looks great. There were big stands on either side, like a golf green at a PGA Tournament.”

And like a golf tournament, the Canadians imported pros to show the most modern moves on bodyboards and standup flowboards. Texan Nic Nguyen is the 2009 FLOW Tour Bodyboarding Champion and Florida’s Sean Silveira is the 2009 FLOW Tour Expert Standup Champion and they spent two weeks in Toronto, putting on three shows a day on weekdays and four on the weekends, to stands packed with as many as 1000 – 1200 spectators at a time: “It’s been a lot of fun,” said Sean Silveira. “Nic and I have been doing a lot of shows, and that has given us the chance to work on moves for the 2010 FLOW Tour. Can’t say what those moves are right now – it’s a secret – but the world will be seeing them soon enough.”

When Silveira and Nguyen weren’t showing their paces, the MoFlow was open to the public. Most of the riders were first-timers, and their wipeouts and mishaps kept the stands full and laughing. But Silveira said there were a number of riders who had experience on the FlowRider from taking Royal Caribbean cruises. Whatever the level of flowriding was in Canada, it got a shot in the arm from watching Silveira and Nguyen and an even bigger shot when legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk showed up to join them.

Back in the 1990s, World Surfing Champion Martin Potter said: “If you can’t have a spectacular ride, have a spectacular wipeout. It’s good for the sport.” Between two of the best flowboarders in the world and one of the legends of boardriding, the crowds were treated to both flavors of spectacular. “Of course the highlight was Tony Hawk coming up here and riding with us,” Silveira said. “But the big surprise was when Rick Davis took us out to dinner, and we got to hold the 2010 Winter Games, Olympic Torch.”

Flowboarding as an Olympic sport? The next Summer Games in 2012 is probably a little too close, but in the future, who knows? As a hybrid sport joining influences from a number of other boarding disciplines and a very spectator friendly, relatively compact past time it could happen. Wave Loch’s FlowRider Mobile seemingly exposed flowboarding to half of Canada and furthered the international profile of the sport. X Games would be nice and then something more golden, off in the future. Sean and Nic are ready, and the rest of the world is gearing up.


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