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Surfing, No Sunscreen Required

By Heidi Mason

Clearwater Beach is a surfer's playground. But it can be intimidating and even dangerous to start in the ocean. At Surf Style, you can develop your skills on an indoor wave rider, gain your confidence, and then get out on the beach!

We spoke to Lauren Weeks, Surf Style's Office Manager, to learn more about the concept of indoor surfing on Surf Style's FlowRider wave simulator. "The FlowRider is a fun activity for all ages and all skill levels!" she says. " You can ride it standing on the flow board, sitting on it, or even laying on it like body surfing." Beginning riders can learn the basics of standing on the board and keeping their balance, while experienced riders can use the FlowRider to learn tricks. Some riders, Weeks tells us, even enter FlowRider competitions.

The indoor environment offers the convenience factor of being able to surf regardless of the weather conditions. Parents can rest assured that their kids will be protected from the risk of sunburn, and the temperature is always perfect.

Safety is top priority at Surf Style. The FlowRider is inspected by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as well as the Pinellas County Health Department. An instructor is always present to ensure riders' safety. The surface of the wave rider's floor is crafted from bouncy material similar to that of a trampoline- so if you do fall, you'll be able to get back up and keep surfing!

One would think that indoor surfing would be for areas of the country without a real ocean, but Surf Style's Clearwater Beach location seems to only encourage people to try the sport indoors. Some come to learn; others for the indoor surfing experience itself. "It is extremely popular!" says Weeks. "Kids and adults both love it! Most people come back and do it again. We even sell membership cards for our repeat riders."

The next time you're looking for a family-friendly activity, grab your board shorts and head to Surf Style. No sunscreen required.

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