Last week I had a flowboarding lesson with Billabong sponsored flowboarding champion Alfian Affandi at Wild Wadi Waterpark, Dubai.
Singaporean-native Alfian made history in 2010 when he became the first-ever flowboarder to be signed to an international brand.
– #360reviews: Mizuno’s new MP-25, MP-5
Alfian consistently ranks among the world’s top flow boarders, with his most recent achievements being the top three winners of the 2015 Penang Skimboarding Competition and the Korean leg of the 2015 Flow Tour Asia.
But what is Flowboarding? It’s a mixture of surfboarding, wakeboarding, bodyboarding, skimboarding and skateboarding and it’s been evolving ever since the 1980’s as it’s an ideal sport for areas where there isn’t a lot of surf.
These are purpose built structures resembling waves over which tonnes of water powerfully shoots towards you at speeds of up to 30mph for the ultimate surfing and flowboarding experience.
Flowriders 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.
I found it difficult just balancing on the board! Billabong was created for the simple purpose of providing board riders with the most functional and high quality products available.
A bikini on its own isn’t really practical for watersports, so I was pleased to be kitted out with this stylish Billabong gear.
Rash Guard (Dh165)
Also known as a rash vest, or rashie, protects against rashes caused by abrasion and sunburn. Useful under a wetsuit too.
More practical as the power of the water could cause a wardrobe malfunction if you just wear a skimpy bikini.
Bikini set (Dh260)
When you aren’t indulging in watersports, Billabong have a really stylish array of bikinis. Where to Buy: Billabong outlets across the UAE
After being chosen for the Ninja Camp Bali fitness week an email is sent through to participants advising them what to bring, and the first line reads as follows:
“There will be canyoning, CrossFit, yoga, surfing and beach fitness, so you’ll spend most of your time in workout gear.”
Excitement was quickly replaced by concern that battered old rugby shorts and T-shirts would not survive the rugged landscape of Indonesia.
— Ninja Camp, Bali (@NinjaCampBali) February 21, 2015
Fortunately, Reebok were on hand to help provide all the necessary equipment. After six days of exercise in varied environments including waterfalls, beaches and the ocean, the Reebok CrossFit range passed every test with flying colours. The array of colours and the stylish fit were underpinned by an extremely robust product that did not falter once.
CROSSFIT BURNOUT TEE
Without doubt the “go-to” item of clothing for the week. Fitted but not restrictive, these T-shirts are extremely comfortable and ultra-durable. Whether sweating bucket loads in the Bali’s tropical CrossFit gyms or canyoning down a waterfall, these T-shirts stood up to every challenge and should be a staple in every wodder’s wardrobe. Available in a range of cool colours, even the needs of the vainest CrossFitter will be met.
CORDURA JACQUARD HOODIE
Waking up at 5:50am to hit the beach for the day’s first workout showed that even Indonesia can be a little chilly. Fortunately the Cordura hoodie kept heat locked in with its fitted shape, but was so lightweight and breathable that it was genuinely hard to remember it was still on once the running had begun. It was also ideal for travelling as it rolls up to the size of a wallet, saving vital hand luggage space.
CROSSFIT NANO 5.0 SHOE
The CrossFit Nanos must be the best-looking gym footwear on the market. However the trainers also score full marks for practicality. The meshed rubber webbing not only provides vital support and protection to the toes but also aids with gripping the rope on a rope climb. The flat laces only ever needed tying once, which sounds pedantic but any pause during a set of box jumps can be frustrating. The trainers even survived a swim in a lake.
CROSSFIT SPRINT 2.0 SHOE
With size 11 feet, trainers often rub around the Achilles area after a significant period of time but there was no such problem here. With quite a narrow upper, those with a wider foot should go half a size up from what they usually take. The biggest compliment that can be paid to these shoes is that they were unnoticeable during exercise, allowing this runner to concentrate on getting oxygen into his lungs!
An area that is often overlooked in terms of importance but the right socks can make or break a workout. While knee-high socks are not to everyone’s taste, the extra protection on the shin while undertaking dead-lifts is vital if participants wish to avoid bleeding and scarring to this area.
The Ninja Fit camp runs for one week each month with a different professional athlete chosen to lead each one. On this occasion, Reebok-sponsored CrossFit legend Talayna Fortunato was the woman in charge and she paid homage to Reebok for helping her to achieve her goals in the sport to date.
“Reebok has been amazing,” said the former college gymnast, who finished third at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. “Anytime I need a shoe they keep trying until we get the perfect fit.
“For the past two years there has been a Reebok athlete summit where we all get together to unwind, bond and give our feedback about the products. The best part is they listen to the athlete’s feedback and every year the apparel and footwear gets better.”
We rate it: 10 out of 10: Unrivaled in the CrossFit-clothing sector for looks and functionality.
Where to Buy: All Reebok stores in the UAE.
Yep, you heard right, surf ski.
It’s the fun and rapidly growing way to explore coastlines or lakes and for those not yet aware, a surf ski is a long, narrow lightweight kayak with an open cockpit.
Adventure HQ have a new line of products available and you can enjoy 25 per cent off the best gear.
Hurry, though, because the promotion is coming to a close.
– #360reviews: Replay Hyperskin
With products from Epic and Sea To Summit, Adventure HQ will ensure you’re well stocked to be able to explore a new type of water sport.
The Epic V10L Performance boat is the ideal starter for any fledgling surf skier. Built for speed, handling and stability it provides the perfect introduction for beginners. But there is plenty more available in the range.
Sea To Summit’s Aqua Slings are the ideal accompaniment as they are designed to store anything from surf boards to the kayak itself. So if you’re thinking of trying something new then surf ski might be for you.
Price: Prices vary
Where to Buy: Adventure HQ