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The Future of Surfing Will be Recorded, and Flowstate is Leading the Way

The world of surf parks has produced some of the cleanest and most consistent waves we’ve ever seen. These parks have become destinations for surfers and those who want to try the sport. Besides the stoke of being barreled or the joy of catching your first wave, surf park guests are also leaving with videos, and that’s where Flowstate comes in.

flowstate surfing
(Source: Flowstate)

The company combines videos with AI technology to create an unforgettable experience for surf park visitors and an additional revenue stream for park operators. However, the product is way more than just a simple video. The company has created a community-based platform to share videos with friends and park guests. They’re using AI to help surfers improve their form, and they’re creating a new culture of comradery at parks like URBNSURF, Waco Surf, Fireside and more. 

The company’s founder, Luke Wallace, spoke with Surf Park Central to share more about their amazing product. In the past year alone, more of their cameras have come online in new destinations like URBNSURF Sydney. It’s an exciting year for the company as they continue to use new AI technology to push the boundaries of what many thought was possible with a surf video.

Surf Park Central: Tell me in your own words what Flowstate is.

Luke Wallace: Flowstate is a fully automated content creation solution designed for wave park operators and surfers. So when you go surfing in a wave pool, every wave of every session is filmed, edited, and available for you to download minutes after your surf session.

We played on this problem that most surfers had never seen themself surf. We might get lucky that someone’s pulled out a phone and got a clip of us here and there of a wave or two, but being able to consistently see yourself on every wave is sort of reserved for the elite with people who have coaches or ultimately paying someone to come down there and stand there and film them. Something like a wave pool where we’ve got consistent wave breaking in the same place all the time makes that a really good breeding ground for us to be able to create this completely automated solution.

videos for surfing
(Source: Flowstate)

Surf Park Central: How is Flowstate beneficial for surfers? How do these videos make someone a better surfer?

Luke Wallace: When you have surfers of any ability and generally anyone who is really trying to progress, being able to get fast feedback really helps. You can go surf and then go watch the video. It’s helping people surf better faster. No matter what level you’re at, whether it’s a beginner to intermediate stage or more advanced surfers, we’re able to help people of all walks of life.

We keep getting these really heartfelt messages from people saying, “Thank you. I’m just getting so much more enjoyment out of my surfing, and I’m surfing the best I’ve ever surfed.” They have this newfound stoke of the thing that we all know we love. That’s why we surf. That’s really a great one that we hear from people.

Surf Park Central: How is Flowstate helping surf parks when it comes to revenue?

Luke Wallace: With our wave park partners, we want to help them amplify their brand. We’re creating a new revenue stream through this digital product, with the revenue from selling the content and the revenue that they can get from keeping people on-site longer. 

One of our features is our Replay Mode. After every surf session, it is then replayed on big screen TVs in your food and beverage area. What we’re hearing and seeing is that it’s increasing foot traffic to those areas. It’s increasing that time on site and it’s increasing that average order spend and people are hanging around and having a second drink, and a burger and chips as well. 

Plus, when someone goes to one of these venues, it’s almost this badge of honor to be able to say I was one of the first to surf there, and you have it on video. They’re going to share that on social media and that’s some really valuable organic marketing. The parks don’t need to pay as much money to Google and Facebook for paid advertising. It’s ultimately helping with those operational costs for the wave pool operators. 

flowstate surf cameras
(Source: Flowstate)

Surf Park Central: What’s the backstory for Flowstate? What was the inspiration?

Luke Wallace: I’d go for a surf at URBNSURF Melbourne, and there would be tripods all over the shoreline, and people would try to film themselves. I started doing that myself, and that was pretty cool, but soon I had a line of people asking, “Can I get that footage from you?” So, you could sort of see there was the demand for it. I also recognized that when I could see myself surfing after every session, I immediately started surfing better because I was able to review my waves.

Surf Park Central: Flowstate users will find a social media aspect to the platform. They can follow other surfers and see their videos when they’re posted. Was that always part of the plan for your platform?

Luke Wallace:  It was always part of the plan. It just felt like the first thing you do when you get a really good wave, and you get it on film, you want to tell someone about it and share it. Being part of that community at URBNSURF Melbourne, you just sort of felt like that was something that could really bring people together. And so that was always part of that grand plan. Part of myself and my co-founders’ background of working in big tech and working in customer experience software was this model to make beautifully simple software. We just felt like the community aspect was of such value. 

Surf Park Central: What’s next for Flowstate?

Luke Wallace: There’s so much coming. We’ve got a really solid pipeline of work that’s coming out this year. 

I talked a lot about progression and we’re in the midst of our coaching product that is under development at the moment. I think it is super exciting. Every wave pool generally has their own surf academy and surf school, so delivering a seamless, fully integrated video and coaching solution and enabling coaches to deliver one-on-one coaching, right there at the pool. There are good coaching products available right now, but they’re not integrated, you have to sign up to separate platforms, upload and download content, lots of time-consuming manual labor that we can automate. Saving team members time, which equates to money, is a big value add. 

Within this space of automation is something we’re really excited about; AI coaching! Being able to automate feedback, making it fast and affordable, is the key to scalability and making coaching accessible to everyone. I think one of the barriers at the moment in coaching is it’s time-consuming and expensive. Someone’s got to stand there and film you the whole time, and then they’ll waste an hour uploading and downloading content and moving files around. So, we automate all of that manual labor. All of a sudden, the coaches can spend time actually coaching and not doing admin. When we think about wave pools going into new countries and locations where surfing is not a core sport, I think this fast and affordable feedback is really important, particularly at the beginner to intermediate phase, so that we can help progress people from that awkward stage of nose-diving and falling off a lot into something where they’re enjoying themselves and wanting to make this new surfing activity part of their regular health and wellness routine. Feedback in the beginner to intermediate phase is going to be fairly repetitive, “you need to stand up a little bit more or bend your knees and stop hunching over.” That sort of thing that should be automated.

We know that wave pools are just one element of a surfer’s journey, so one of the big features about to be released is being able to upload your own content and leverage the platform for all of your surfing. Flowstate is your new digital wallet with all of your surf content. So wherever you go surfing in the world, even with a photographer on the beach, you’ll be able to upload that content and easily relive the moment through our playlists functionality.  

In 2023, Flowstate won the Surf Park Summit Award for Innovation. This category recognizes those who are shaping the future of the surf park industry by continuously exploring new possibilities and striving for excellence in technological development, enhancing the guest experience, and operating practices. 

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