Sip, sup, and surf at this downtown beach club
In the middle of a blazing hot afternoon or a sultry hot evening, Thais and foreigners alike can be found riding the waves at Flow House Bangkok, briefly defeating Thailand’s mind-numbing heat. This unique venue, which calls itself as a ‘beach club’, is the perfect spot if you’re looking for some watersport adventure with your burgers and beer.
Opened six years ago, the bar’s main ground level area is dominated by a large FlowRider machine (imported from California). This elaborate contraption was first produced by Wave Loch, the wave manufacturer that created the original surf technology. Flowriding as a sport started in the 1990s, from the idea of combining snowboarding, bodyboarding, and skateboarding together—thus creating a brand new workout. Nowadays, flowriders are taken seriously in the athletic world, competing around the globe.
However flowriding is different from surfing, as the water flows upstream, with your body resisting the wave rather than riding on the wave. Beginners start with bodyboarding, which involves lying flat on your stomach on a foam board with your elbows out in front, and you change direction by lifting the board on the way your body wants to go. The next level is sitting with your knees on the board, and then stepping up on one foot.
Of course, everyone new to the sport wants to eventually be fully standing up on the board, looking like a proper surf dude. However, on the day I visited a fellow wave rider told me it took him about four hours to start standing upright. Everybody must fall in the beginning, and falling in this rapidly streaming water causes a person to flow like a whirlwind upstream onto a flat trampoline-like surface at the far end of the wave machine. And the water is jetting upwards at 32 km per hour, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of tumbles. The price of a ride starts at B750 per hour, and every Thursdays is Ladies Night, with rides costing only B300.
But whether you’re here to join in on the activity, or just watch the hot bodies riding the waves, Flow House is just as much a bar and restaurant as it is a watersport facility. Popular menu items include the thin crusted Smoky chicken pizza (B350), the King Burger (B349) with beef patty, fried eggs, and French fries, and the salmon, chicken, and shrimp salad (B240). Meanwhile, beach style cocktails include the Thai Sabai (B180), made with Mekhong whisky and lemonade, and the refreshing raspberry or mango Mojitos (B180). In addition, the upstairs Chang Surf Bar, which is decorated in a funky tiki-style with plenty of surf-related memorabilia, is open on weekends and features live DJs and plenty of drink specials. By Lisnaree Vichitsorasatra
Flow House Bangkok
A Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26
Open: Mon-Fri, 2pm-11pm
Tel: 02 108 5210