Saturday, July 15, 2017

iFly and Flowrider

This past Saturday we met up with Amy and Justin in Ogden to finally use our iFly/Flowrider/iRock Groupon. We'd tried to plan it at various times over the last several months, but it has been busy! So, this Saturday is where it landed.

We arrive in Ogden early afternoon, around 2:45, only to discover that we'd actually been supposed to show up at 2:30 for our 3:00 PM appointment. But, things were light enough that they easily bumped us to the next time slot and we only had to wait about fifteen minutes. I was very glad that they were flexible and could accommodate us. But also maybe slightly annoyed that no where on the confirmation or website had specified to arrive thirty minutes early. I'd checked the day before as well as tried to call but no one had answered. Anyway, it all worked out. :)

As we waited we watched the group before us in the wind tunnel for awhile and then headed into a small side room to watch their little educational video. And then it was time to get suited up! Jump suits for everyone (I was pretty obsessed with my purple jumpsuit - it fit very well and was quite comfortable), closed toed shoes for those of us who didn't have them (another thing I'd checked for online and found no information about), goggles, earplugs, and helmets.  And we were set!

We were with a small party of five or six kids who were there for a birthday party. They had lots of energy and were partly excited and partly nervous. We shuffled into the benched corridor just outside the openings to the wind tunnel, with the kids seated to go in first. And then they turned up the wind! I think the biggest surprise was how hot the wind was. It was a warm day outside and I think they must have just pumped it in directly from outside. Quite warm - particularly in our jumpsuits. The kids all did great on their first cycle through, and we did too. It was fun to be able to compare it to our recent experience with sky diving and compare/contrast. After we'd all gone through once for about one minute per person, we cycled through again. This time the goal was to turn up the wind speed enough that the instructor could take us higher into the tunnel. The first of the kids did it, and then the rest were very clear that they did not want to go up that high. They missed out because that was one of the best parts - second only, perhaps, to watching two of the instructors jump around for us after we'd finished up - they were pretty incredible.

After we were out we took photos, returned our gear, and headed down to Flowrider to check in on how early before our appointment they needed us ("Five minutes."). Free for about an hour we headed across the street to the Sonora Grill. We started with three different desserts and completely ruined our appetites for our entrees. But it was worth it. ;)

Following lunch we headed back to the Flowrider, checked in, and got changed.

The Flowrider is pretty cool. It's essentially a soft padded ramp where the water shoots out from the base and creates a strong current of water that goes up the ramp. Options on the ramp where body boards and small surf boards. Of the two, the body boards were definitely easier, but I honestly found both tricky. With the body boards we could either enter from the front of the ramp (sliding backwards into the flow of water), or jump down from the top. With the surf boards, the easiest way to start was to have someone lead you out from the front on a rope, somewhat similar to water skiing. No matter what you did, when you went out - the water took you out - fiercely. I think most of us came home a little sore from various falls. 

After spending an hour on the Flowrider, we decided to wait on iRock. It's a small climbing gym, and while it is nice to have a free pass there now, we'll see if we're ever up there to use it. We were tired enough for the day that we didn't need the extra thing added to our fun for the evening.

Of the two activities, I probably liked iFly more (if it weren't such an expensive hobby, I'd really be seriously interested in it and skydiving). However, it was controlled enough that the later freedom of the Flowrider was refreshing. Definitely glad we did both!

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