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An Interview with the World’s Youngest Flowboard Champion

With Royal Caribbean’s recent announcement that they’d be releasing restrictions on their FlowRider® surf simulator, passengers are now free to try all sorts of impossible tricks like the boogie shuvit, show pony, or toe slide stall (whatever those are). The announcement came after a Xana-Kai Nash, who learned to Flowboard on their ship, went on to become the youngest-ever World Flowboard Champion.

Xana on Royal Caribbean's FlowRider

Xana Kai Nash on the FlowRider® [Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean International]

This week, on the heels of her second consecutive World Flowboarding Championship, we caught up with 15-year-old Xana-Kai about how she began her career on Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider® surf simulator, her favorite things about cruising Royal Caribbean, and what exactly a varial flip is.
So what exactly is Flowboarding?
Flowboarding is a combination of surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding all in one. It’s a great sport. I had played soccer before, but I had never really done any board sports before I went on the Liberty of the Seas.
Your first time Flowboarding was on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas FlowRider® surf simulator. How did you go?
I wasn’t a natural at all, but I got on it and I was like, “This is awesome!” It took me really the rest of the cruise to get the hang of it. My parents would go to eat and I’d be like, “No thanks.”
When did you realize you had a talent for it?
After the cruise I was like, “We have to do this again!” We would go three times a year, and I would spend all day on the FlowRider®. We eventually found a FlowRider®on land in Orlando at a place called Fantasy Surf where all the locals go, and we started going there in between. It’s about four hours away, so we’ll go on the weekends and stay two or three days and I’ll just ride all day.

What are your favorite tricks?
I can do a varial flip, it’s like a shuvit and a kick flip combined. It’s kind of a skateboarding trick. On Royal Caribbean now you can do a ton of tricks, the board just has to stay underneath you. But you can still try a wide variety of tricks like sitting, 180 degree turn, facing opposite direction, lazy boy, drop knee, drop knee 360, layback, boogie shuvit, baseball catcher, 360, skiing, show pony, rail slide, basic ollie, pop shuvit, heel side stall and the toe side stall.

Xana performing a trick on the FlowRider

Where Xana enjoys to spend most of her time!

How was it competing in the World Championships?
Last year I was really nervous, because I didn’t really know anyone, but everyone was so nice and cool. The majority of people are in their 20s or 30s, so I was competing with people 10 years older than me. I was also the only girl in the junior’s division, so I was going up against guys that were 17 years old. This year I know a lot more people, and it was great meeting up with everyone I met all over the country and world.

What’s your favorite part about cruising on Royal Caribbean – besides the FlowRider®, of course?
Royal Caribbean has the best service, and I love that they’re like a bunch of different vacations in one. It’s almost impossible to go on everything, there’s so much going on. Plus the food is amazing; they have food everywhere on the ship!

What do you do onboard when you’re not on the FlowRider®?
They have rock climbing, and a skating rink, and a teen club. I’ve also become friends with people on the ships who I still talk to and ride the FlowRider® with today. Plus they have this thing called the Cupcake Cupboard – you have to pay a little extra, but it’s so worth it. It’s so good!

What about your family?
They love that Royal Caribbean is really family oriented; we all love that entire family experience. We go to the pools together, and they have daily activities like volleyball and dodgeball. We have a very active family.

Do you have a favorite port?
I’ve probably been to every port there is to offer, but Cozumel is my all-time favorite. I love the beach there.

You can follow Xana-Kai Nash on Facebook or visit her website to learn more about her and the sport. And if you want to get your feet wet (pun intended), check out some of our Royal Caribbean Cruise offers so you can give the FlowRider® a shot!

By Megan Ranney

Tags: cruise activity, water sports

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