Surfin’ F.L.A. at Kissimmee’s Fantasy Surf

If everybody had an ocean
Across the U. S. A.
Then everybody’d be surfin’
Like Californ-i-a

There may not be an ocean in Kissimmee, Florida, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be surfin’.  Fantasy Surf is an indoor FlowRider surfing facility located just minutes from Walt Disney World property.  They recently hosted my group of Western New York college students, and in no time my students could… well… to paraphrase the Beach Boys… Tell the teacher we’re surfin’… Surfin’ F. L. A.

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL

We visited during a break from volunteering at Give Kids The World Village, and Fantasy Surf’s manager generously set up a one hour private lesson for the group.  Keep in mind, we’re a group of pasty Yankees from western New York with NO previous surfing experience.  Perhaps, a little trepidation going into the experience, but eight brave souls (and one professor) were willing to give it a try.  Take home message: everyone LOVED it, and if we can learn to surf in an hour, anyone can do it!  Want more details and photos?  Keep on reading…

Upon arrival, we changed into swimsuits, signed waivers, and headed into the steamy FlowRider.  A trainer and one of the experienced riders welcomed us, and gave pointers for how to hold the board and enter the wave.

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL

The FlowRider was divided in half with a barrier, so more of us could surf at a time, and the instructors handed out boogie-boards for us to get a feel for the wave on our bellies.

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FLFantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL
After a few belly flops down the FlowRider, we gradually worked our way up to our knees.

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FLFantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL

And before you knew it, everyone was wavin’ their hands in the air like they just didn’t care… heck some of them even accomplished flips on their boards.  The hour lesson was flying by, and towards the end our instructors brought out the stand-up boards.  One look and I thought, “there’s no way I’m ready to stand on that…”  Nevertheless, slowly and surely, the instructors held a rope to balance, gradually eased us out onto the wave, and voilà! Surfing!

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FLFantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL

Was it hard?  I wouldn’t say the FlowRider was hard, but it was a challenge – in a good way.  Everyone (myself included) pushed themselves as much as they wanted and had a great time.  The instructors were supportive and knowledgeable, and didn’t pressure riders outside their comfort zone.  Even if one only wanted to watch, there was plenty of laughing, encouragement, and camaraderie.  Fantasy Surf would be a great activity for the whole family, or a great team building activity no matter what the ability level.  Our group certainly came together as a team.

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL

That said, you will fall – no doubt about it.  Unless you are an experienced surfer, your time on the board will end with a tumble.  Did it hurt?  Well… the FlowRider is a padded rubber material, and will absorb your fall.  Afterwards, the water sweeps you into the wall at the top.  The wave spins you around like a washing machine, but that was part of the fun.  A couple of us smacked our heads hard when falling, and there were a couple of hard hits to the wall.  But everyone got back up, and hopped right back onto the board.  Word of warning, advise any girls in the group to wear t-shirts and/or one piece bathing suits.  The wave was unforgiving with clothing – heck, even us guys came close to losing our shorts.

Fantasy Surf, Kissimmee, FL

The hour private lesson flew by, but an hour was enough for our group.  Everyone left tired, a little sore, but with smiles on their faces.  Cost of the session was $20 for 30 minutes or $32 for an hour.  You can save a little money on admission by purchasing online ahead of time, or following Fantasy Surf on facebook, twitter, or instagram.  You can often find #TwitterTuesday and #FacebookFriday deals for 50% off admission – so it’s worth following.

We loved our visit to Fantasy Surf, and it reminded us there’s so much to do in Central Florida besides just the big theme parks.  You can find lots of hidden gems off the beaten path, just a few miles down the road.  Fantasy Surf was a great way to cool off, take a break from the theme parks, and experience something totally new.

DISCLOSURE: Our group was hosted by Fantasy Surf and received a complimentary one hour private lesson in order to experience the attraction.  However, all opinions expressed are those of the author.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.