Soar and surf

Keep reading if the last time you experienced the exhilaration of freefall was when you were six and rolled out of the top bunk of your bunk bed. Likewise, keep reading if the last time you went surfing you had to pause the video game for a bathroom break.

The Salomon Center is at the heart of Ogden city’s new development known as "The Junction." Within the 125,000 square foot Salomon Center is an indoor climbing wall, a Gold’s Gym, a bowling alley, an arcade, glow in the dark miniature golf, and several restaurants. But the most exciting activities at the Salomon center are the iFly and Flowrider.

iFly is an indoor skydiving experience. Flyers float in a large vertical wind tunnel simulating freefall. Beginning flyers have an instructor with them to help them maintain control, but experienced flyers can do flips and spins as well as team up with other flyers to perform tandem maneuvers.

The cost for iFly is $49 for beginning flyers, which includes a training class, gear rental, and two one-minute flights. iFly is open Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm, but has limited hours during the off seasons. Call (801) 528-5348 for the current hours of operations and to make reservations.

Flowrider uses high powered pumps to force a three inch thick sheet of water up a padded slope, creating a wave that can be surfed using specially designed boards that are similar to a wake skate or a modified body board. There are video clips on the Internet of riders on the Flowrider. Search YouTube using the keywords "Flowrider" and "Ogden."

The cost for using the Flowrider is $30 for the first hour, which includes a one-time registration fee of $10 for new users. Additional hours cost $20 each. Flowrider is open Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 11 pm.

On a recent visit to the Salomon Center, Outdoor Recreation students toured the facility and met with management to learn about operating such unique facilities as iFly or Flowrider. Some students like Katie Neilson took time to try the activities for themselves. "It felt as if someone was lifting me up off the ground, but I could not feel them lifting me. I was just levitating," said Neilson of her iFly experience.

The Salomon Center’s iFly and Flowrider can be expensive. But compared to the cost of skydiving lessons or a trip to the coast for surfing, the prices are a real bargain.

Besides, bunk beds now come with bars to keep you from rolling out of them, and no one plays surfing video games any more. The Salomon Center is located in downtown Ogden, approximately an hour and a half north of campus.

More information about the Salomon Center is available at

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