How Boarding a Wave led to the World Flowboard Title

by 1074

We recently loosened the reins a bit as it relates to the tricks guests are permitted to perform on our FlowRider® surf simulators.  You can always look forward to having a great time on the FlowRider while onboard our Oasis, Freedom and Quantum class ships, however in an effort to find the right balance between excitement and safety we had tightened up our rules in 2012.  Maybe a little too much, we heard from a number of aficionados.  As of this summer, guests are able to try various types of fun tricks such as 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.   If that sounds a bit intimidating to you (it does to me!), you may want to read this story by Xana-Kai Nash, a teenager who learned how to surf on our ships and is now a World Flowboard champion.

– Adam


My name is Xana-Kai Nash and my 2008 family vacation on Liberty of the Seas changed my life!  One of the days the ship was in port my family remained onboard to check out the ship.  We watched the staff practicing on the FlowRider, a surf simulator located on several Royal Caribbean International cruise ships.  I didn’t think I wasn’t brave enough to try stand up flow surfing until a man with an interesting accent named Helmut, who I later found out was the Hotel Director, called me over and asked if I had completed my activities waiver.  After making sure that I was properly checked in, Helmut took my hand, and before I knew it, I was riding the FlowRider!  Within minutes we were both laughing as I, not so gracefully, landed upside down and flopped onto the feet of the ship’s Captain.   I was 10 years old at the time.

Once I realized my passion for Flowboarding, my father who is a firefighter, my mother who is a teacher, and my brother, and I began taking all of our vacations on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.  This led me to becoming a Diamond Plus level in the Crown & Anchor Society by the age of 14.

My family quickly realized that in order to spend time with me, they were also going to need to learn to ride, which they did.  The FlowRider is a popular activity onboard, so I spent a fair amount of time in line waiting for yet another chance to ride a wave.  I’ve even been known for skipping meals if necessary in order to get more time on the FlowRider.  There were many times when my parents would bring breakfast to me while I was waiting in line to ride.  I must admit that I met some of the most interesting people while I was in those lines, some of whom have become long lasting friends of mine.

Xana Flowrider

Everyone always asks me if I do anything other than Flowboarding on my vacations.  The truth is that I love the entire sports deck, teen activities, and of course, the Cupcake Cupboard.  My favorite cupcake flavor is Red Velvet, but every time I go on another cruise I discover a new flavor masterpiece that I have to try.  I suppose it is a good thing that I love to rock climb, play dodge ball, soccer, and volleyball.  And that’s another thing that I like about cruising – there is always an activity going on that I can participate in.

I am now 15 years old and live on the west coast of Florida.  The closest FlowRider is over 4 hours away. My family has been incredibly supportive in many ways, including driving me four hours each way to training sessions.  Because of the vigorous training schedule and traveling required in the sport of Flowboarding, I have chosen to attend Florida Virtual School.  I am grateful that my former public High School allows me to continue playing soccer and run on the track team.

I am currently in the process of competing in the 2013 Carbon Flow Tour, which began on May 31st in Phoenix, Arizona to defend my National and World Titles throughout the summer and early fall.  So far this year I have won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prime events in Phoenix, Jay Peak, Vermont and Montreal Canada.  I am on my way to the 4th prime event in California later this month.  In between school, training and competing I am also starting a non-profit organization that I named, “Support Young Women in Action Sports”.

I have ridden on almost all of the Freedom and Oasis Class ships and can hardly wait for Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas!  Making friends throughout the world has been one of the best parts of becoming a Flowboarder.  Active flow riders become part of what we refer to as the “Flow Family”.  If you’d like to get updates on my progress while I am on the 2013 Carbon Flow Tour check out this website.  I am so glad that the Royal Caribbean staff originally encouraged me to “board the wave”, which began my journey representing my country and winning the World Flowboard Title for the USA.

  • http://facebook Philip Messina

    Hi, I live in the Boston area and I was wondering if any venues would be added. My wife and I just got back from the Canada & New England cruise on the Brilliance and would love to do a Boston to Bermuda 7 nighter, but it’s only offered by Norwegian’s Dawn out of the Black Falcon terminal. Any chance for the future???

  • http://AboutAdam Shan Jacobs

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, bring back your ships to the West Coast……

  • Jim Duffy

    Adam, my wife and I recently celebrated our Pinnacle cruise on Jewel. It would have been an excellent gesture on the part of RCCL to include seven nights points for the sailings. Small price for you to pay to help us on the way to 1050.

  • Mina Kodsi

    I too discovered my love of flowboarding aboard Royal Caribbean’s magical ships. And while I’m nowhere near Xana’s skill yet, I did make a fantastic friend in Xana aboard the oasis of the seas. I miss nothing more than spending all day in line with the world flowrider champ then testing her soccer skills at night on the sports court. #flowfamily 4 life

  • Justin Collins

    Awesome story on a great person and great rider. Love seeing that the rules have loosened up some on the cruises.

  • Mike Pappy

    This is the reason I will go on my first cruise with RC. I enjoy the Flowrider and I Fly sports and the best thing is the Flow and Fly families that support and enjoy these sports. They are all a tight positive group of people. I will be looking forward to seeing people like Xana Nash pushing the limits of this sport! I am 46 years old and my 3 kids in their teens share time with me on the Flow in Vermont at Jay Peak Ski Area. This is great practice for my snowboard season. :)

  • Jason

    I have personally ridden with Xana and I learned how to ride the flowrider on the liberty of the seas, keep up the great work!

  • Josh Kirk

    Please bring back the ships that give this young achieving sports enthusiast a chance. Obviously she is in this for the long haul. It is always refreshing to see a young spirited athlete outside doing a sport that they love. God bless a child that goes outside and finds something that they love. I feel blessed that my own kids love being outside and loves the outdoors. Please bring this boat back to the west coast. I would pray some day she could teach my kids how to flo-board on one of your boats in the future. Respectfully yours, a patron that cares.

  • Debra Volrolina

    I love the whole article about your cruise ships and the Flowrider. I never had any desire to go on a cruise until I learned that some cruises sport the Flowrider on it. Xana-Kai Nash is a great young lady who loves to share the love of the sport with people all of all ages. Flow boarding gets people of all ages together on the waiting line sharing ideas, tips and even tricks. This has been the only sport that have ever participated In where age is irrelevant and everyone cheers each other on regardless of age or sex. I look forwards to going on a cruise someday and enjoying the flowrider as well as the other amnesties’.

    • Ron Webb

      WOW ….well said and so true good times in line and on the water ………fan for life

  • Chuck Wright

    I ride with Xana all the time and she amazes me every time i ride with here. She put so much training and dedication to get where she is now. RC has really created something amazing for her with introducing her to flowboarding. I will only go on a cruise that has a flowrider on it and that allows the flowboarders to do tricks! Also, having 2 flowriders on it would be even better, one for flowboarding and another for boogieboarding! Sometimes boogie boarders take too long compared to the flowriders!!
    Go Xana!!

  • Paul Lehr


    Love this story! Like Xana, I learned on RCCL ships (Indy). And also like her, my wife And I quickly climbed to Diamond + status. We have now completed 5 trans Atlantic cruises and numerous Carribean cruises so I get my Flow On!
    I even started a fan page here on FB called the ” Royal Caribbean Flowrider Society”. Xana is one of our newest members!
    ( you might want to think about joining? Hint hint). Thank you and everyone at RCCL for keeping it real in Reguards to the Flow rules, it keeps us coming back for more, again and again. See you all next Cruise!

  • Thejchip

    Cant wait to Shred the flowrider i love this sport so much

  • Nathan Boykin

    I have personally meet Xana at many Flow Tour stops and she is a very hard working riding. She works & trains very hard and it has paid off tremendously for her! I love what RC as done and I believe it will help so many people to learn and to love the sport Flowboarding, I really do love what RC is doing and I for sure would like to give Xana some mad props!
    Way to go Xana!(:

  • Flow House LBI

    This is a great story Xana. Having the Flow Rider on Royal Carribean ships has been one of the greatest ways to reach so many who otherwise didn’t know about our sport. Partnered with your success story it can only continue the growth in recognition and participation in flow boarding. Congratulations and good luck at worlds Xana.

    Flow House LBI

  • Glenn Williams

    We are very excited about the RCCL’s new ship, Quantum of the Seas! Anticipation is mounting as we start the initial planning for our group cruise for the summer of 2015.
    As a frequent cruiser on Royal Caribbean, I have major concerns for the proposed ports for the new Quantum Ship. Since this is a new ship, we would love to see new ports of call!!
    We were all extremely intrigued when the initial Quantum of the Seas itinerary seemed to include new ports such as Barbados, St Lucia, and St Kitts. The 7 and 8 day itineraries are especially of interests for new ports of calls because they will probably be the most popular for groups and families.
    The idea of going to a new port such as Barbados or Aruba and spending two or more nights would also be great. Anything is better than going back to the same old ports.
    As we review the upcoming itineraries, the new ports seem to be quickly changing in favor of overnight stays in the same old ports and more and more sea days. This would be a travesty.
    Our Royal Caribbean cruising group of family and friends continues to grow every year. In 2011, we had 17 members. In 2013, we had 21 members. We anticipate well over 40 for our summer 2015 cruise.
    Our initial plans are to cruise the Quantum of the Seas, however, we are all in agreement that we would like to visit some new ports and that will be the determining factor in our cruise choice. We sincerely urge Royal Caribbean to add new ports to accompany their new ship.

    Glenn Williams
    Crown & Anchor Number: 313476835

  • Brian Housty

    This is why I think Xana needs to be Flowrider ambassador for Royal Caribbean right alongside Adam Wildman. She is a professional that treats everyone with respect. Since this article came out she has competed and won across the U.S. and the globe. There are so many of us who got our first taste of flowboarding on a cruise. We even have a Facebook page Royal Caribbean Flowrider Society,where we keep riders updated on new Flowriders being added to the fleet,who’s going on their next cruise and changes to policy and rules on the ships.