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Meet Local Florida Pro Boarder
Eric Thomas

Crossover Bodyboarder/Flowrider

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June 4, 2000- New Braunfels, Texas
The 9th Annual World FlowRider™ Bodyboarding Championships
presented by World Class Bodyboards and Spunjah Wear

The Schlitterbahn Waterpark, in New Braunfels, Texas, was the first waterpark in the world to build a FlowRider™. The FlowRider™, which is a stationary artificial wave, was devised by San Diego, California surfer/inventor Tom Lochtefeld ten years ago and features a padded, wave-shaped incline that forms a wave when 100,000 gallons of water per minute is forced up it's surface enabling riders to ride continuously on a powerful simulation of an 8 foot ocean wave.

Kalaheo, Hawaii's Kyle Maligro pulled out all the stops once again to take home the gold in the 9th Annual World FlowRider™ Bodyboarding Championships at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Texas this past weekend. Maligro, 30, now living in California topped the field of nearly 20 of the country's top bodyboarders in both the Dropknee and Prone divisions, and placed 2nd in the Standup division to accumulate 290 total points, easily enough points to be crowned "Flow Master". Tara Higgins of Laguna Niguel, California upset 4-time winner Vicki Gleeson-Reale, a transplanted Aussie living with her husband in California to take the win in the Women's Open division over Gleeson-Reale in 2nd, with Imperial Beach, California's Erica Donaldson in 3rd and Brazilian Monica Dell'Amore in 4th.
Early rounds of the event featured a unique format in which riders "claimed" rides that they wanted to be scored, and working through the field were mostly experienced flow riders. The Men's Prone final featured Maligro, several time runner-up Jay Reale, 36, from San Clemente, CA, with New Braunfels local police officer and former Waterpark employee Heath Purvis in 3rd, and California's Jacob Reeve in 4th who all spun and rolled their way into the final. Maligro took the win with consistent, error-free riding and constant maneuvering.
The Dropknee final again featured Maligro showing excellent frontside form, as well as former winner Robby Crawford of Huntington Beach who threw big snaps on his backhand to take 2nd.
Pompano, FL's Eric Thomas ended up in 3rd, and Tustin, CA's Sean Manning finished 4th.
The Standup division was narrowly taken out by Lomita, CA's Chris Granone- the director of the FlowRider™ Summer Series, who, at 35 is one of the most experienced flow boarders in the world. 2nd went to Maligro,
3rd to Eric Thomas, and 4th went to Hawaii's Chris Johnson.
Also, to round out the competition, a "Best Air" division was held where competitors ran and launched themselves up and off the top of the wave for maximum height and radicalness, and Jacob Reeve of Santa Barbara, CA took that out in a final that saw some serious wipeouts and some extreme maneuvers.

The event can be seen on BlueTorch TV this summer on Fox Sports. Check your local listings for air times.

For more information, contact:
Jay Reale- event director
Jay Reale Bodyboarding shop...

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