Flowboarding is a late-20th century alternative boardsport incorporating elements of surfing, bodyboarding, skateboarding, skimboarding, snowboarding and wakeboarding.
Flow-boarders ride on artificial waves that are technically called "sheet waves". Known technically as the WaveLoch FlowRider and the FlowBarrel, these sheet waves are the patented constructions of Wave Loch Inc, which is headquartered in La Jolla, California. Powerful pumps project a three-inch layer of water at speeds ranging from 20 MPH to 30 MPH. The water flows up and over surfaces engineered to replicate the shape of ocean waves. Sheet waves are stationary waves, in that the wave does not move forward, and the movement is derived from water flowing over a stationary surface. Flow-boarders get their speed from the energy of the water flowing at them, and can perform basic to sophisticated turns and tricks within a relatively small area.
Participants ride standard bodyboards in the prone or kneeling position. Stand up flow-boards are constructed like wakeboards: A foam core wrapped with fiberglass, but with a soft EVA edge (ethylene vinyl acetate) to offer protection. Some flow-boards come with footstraps, while some flow-boarders prefer to ride unstrapped. Flowboards range in length from: 910 millimeters (36 inches) to 1070 millimeters (42 inches); and in width from 280 millimeters (11 inches) to 356 millimeters (14 inches). They weigh between 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) and 2.8 kilograms (6 pounds).
At competitions,the riders must perform tricks similar to those found in surfing and skateboarding. There is a competition tour each Summer and hundreds of people compete.