By:   Michael A. Winkleman

flowrider-on-royal-carribeanWhen you go on vacation, part of the fun is to try new things that you don’t get to experience at home. On cruises, shore excursions, and sometimes the ships themselves play host to all manner of unique activities to try. Most of the time, you get a fun experience and go on with your vacation, but for some unlucky people, these activities may lead to permanent injury or even death.  In our fifty years of experience, there is perhaps no other shipboard activity that has caused as many injuries as the Flowrider.  We have successfully handled numerous catastrophic injury flowrider cases.  In our view, the Flowrider attraction, primarily found on Royal Caribbean ships, is simply too dangerous for an inexperienced rider to safely handle.  Sadly, Royal Caribbean does not do enough to properly warn its passengers of the dangers of this activity, and as such, many more passengers will be unnecessarily injured.    

Severe Injuries Are Common With Flowrider Surfing Accidents

Flowriding is a relatively new sport that was invented in the 1980s, a mixture of surfing, skateboarding, bodyboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding, and similar sports. A FlowRider is a machine that uses an approximately three-inch high sheet of water to create an artificial wave designed to mimic an ocean wave, but on the FlowRider, the wave is stationary. Many flowriders are novices, but there are also world championship events in the sport, where riders perform tricks similar to surfing competitions.

The FlowRider is capable of a full capacity flow of more than 100,000 gallons of water per minute, creating waves up to six feet high. Water flows at a speed of 20 to 35 miles per hour, with a much higher flow rate than a real ocean wave.

While flowriding has the potential to be fun and harmless, it can also be quite dangerous, particularly for amateur riders who have little to no experience with the activity, such as the typical cruise ship passenger. As a water sport, flowriding carries the danger of accidental drowning, and the speeds and energy involved in the activity mean that falls are common. Consequences of FlowRider accidents may include:

  • Broken bones
  • Sprains, strains, and bruises
  • Dislocations
  • Lacerations
  • Head, neck, and spine injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Drowning
  • Death 


Cruise Lines Are Liable For FlowRider Accidents

As the venue hosting a dangerous activity, cruise lines may be liable for injuries resulting from accidents onboard, including FlowRider accidents. Although a cruise line will attempt to shield themselves from liability by making you sign a liability waiver before allowing you to ride a FlowRider or similar activity, this does not absolve them of liability in all cases.  In fact, Federal law actually voids any such waiver!  If a cruise line is found liable for your injury, you are likely eligible to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If I Was Severely Injured From A FlowRider?

What If I Signed The Royal Caribbean Liability Waiver?

Contact Our World Famous Team For Aggressive Legal Counsel

If you think you may have a case against Royal Caribbean or another cruise line on which you suffered a FlowRider accident, it is important to contact a qualified lawyer to discuss your case. Since every accident’s liability depends on the specific facts of the case, talking to an experienced attorney is the only way to know whether you may have a valid claim.

At Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., our team of experienced attorneys is ready and willing to aggressively defend your rights against cruise lines. Cruise lines hire the best attorneys money can buy, so if you want to beat them, you will need to hire lawyers with the experience and skills to win against these powerful companies and their powerful legal teams. LM&W, P.A has the honor of being named “Lawyer of the Year” in Admiralty and Maritime 2020 (Miami) by US News & World Report, and three of our attorneys were named “Best Lawyers” by US News & World Report as well.

Our firm was founded in 1971, and for 50 years, we’ve fought to help victims get the compensation they deserve. Our specialty is maritime and admiralty law, and we have a reputation as America’s leading maritime lawyers. We’ve appeared on over 100 nationally broadcasted programs because we are trusted by leading news organizations for our expertise and insight into cruise ship law. Our team has successfully handled more than 3,000 cases and recovered over $300 million for our clients. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience that we can put to work for you. Call us today at 877-233-1238 for a free consultation.