Part 3 of my “things to do in Bangkok not involving prostitution” segment focuses on a revolutionary idea of surfing in a city. I mean why go to a beach when you can waste natural resources and surf in your backyard.  Awesome.

So my wife tells me we should go surfing. I say no. I did the wakeboard thing before, and unless you’re good at it, or have a bunch of money and free time; forget it. Wakeboarding consisted of me falling in dirty water, having to swim really far back to the dock, then waiting in line with a bunch of douche bags. Not something I want to do on a Saturday. But then I saw some photos of Flow House. It was clean and if I fell I wouldn’t have to walk far. It was close; no 250b and a 50 minute taxi ride. It located on Sukhumvit Soi 26 near K Village; which has Wine Connection as an after surfing hang out. And most important it looked fun.  So I took a chance.

Once I walked in I loved it. The vibe was really cool. Concrete everywhere, comfortable seating, and it was open air. I signed up for a session and then ordered a burger and a beer. The burger was cooked on a grill. An American style grill, one you see everywhere in backyards or on beachfronts in the USA. The burger was wonderful and reminded me of home. Great food, great value (140b for the burger and fries)

After a bit of watching and hanging out it was our turn to surf. I was with my wife, my friend Chris, and his 5 year old son Aaron. We had a brief safety introduction first. The Thai staff was awesome. They were really into it, but not so much as to be annoying. They had a good command of English, were tall-good looking guys who all have a background in extreme sports; which really means they have the capacity to get high on marijuana and then go really fast and do really cool shit without dying. (purely speculative on the weed smoking, no evidence at all; but….)

Aaron went first on a boogie board accompanied by an instructor. He loved it, of course, and everyone was cheering him on. Then it was my turn. I fell in about 5 seconds, got 2nd degree whiplash and loved every minute of it. By my third go, I rode for about 25 seconds, which felt way longer. In the end my fat friend Chris did the best; weird because he doesn’t look athletic at all. My wife did the worst.

After the surf session I got to sit down for five minutes with Jay, the owner of Flow House, to see what the deal was with new concept. He said there are only 10 of these machines in the world. He was in San Diego, saw the machine at work, and thought it would be good in Bangkok. So he opened shop. He employs people currently in the industry, wake boarders, kite surfers etc.. This is great because extreme sports isn’t the best field to get jobs; so this place allows a few more people to live their dream by working and doing what they love.

So naturally my next question was to call him out on the fact that he was wasting water, and that kids are dying every day due to lack of water. He said the water is filtered and reused and he only loses some water due to splashing and evaporation. At this point his manager stepped in and spoke about the open air factor; how they aren’t using any air con. He also said the power used by the machine is very low.

Well…they passed the environment test…for now.

After my little chat I sat around and watched taking it all in. Kids were loving it. Adults were loving it. The seating is arranged so that everyone is watching the surfing. All the staff and the patrons were really friendly. Every time someone got the hang of it they got a round of applause. Every time a kid under 12 got the hang of it he got a standing ovation and a few hoots and hollers. It was great. Another fun activity for adults or kids right in the middle of this wicked corrupt city we call home.

So many travelers stay in Bangkok for a night or two and then get out quick, which I don’t blame them. But if Bangkok, and more importantly its citizens/local businessmen who believe in Bangkok, keeps up this trend of making Bangkok more than just parties and whores I can see future travelers booking a few more nights in this amazing city.