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Iconic Queenstown-based operator Serious Fun River Surfing has capped off a stellar summer season receiving a prestigious award from the world’s leading travel website TripAdvisor.
In TripAdvisor’s ‘Who’s Who’ of the global travel industry, New Zealand’s leading river surfing operator was awarded its first ever Certificate of Excellence.
The accolade puts the company in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, and is only given to those that consistently earn high ratings from the website’s community of savvy travellers and reviewers.
Serious Fun River Surfing managing director Neil Harrison said the team was “stoked” to receive the award which cements their position as one of the world’s ‘must-do’ adventure activities
“It’s been a great summer season for us and we’ve taken some amazing trips this year,” he said.
“We’ve always known that river surfing is the best fun you can have in the water and now, thanks to our awesome guests, the rest of the world knows it too.
“The award recognizes the team’s effort to exceed customer expectations at all times and provide people with a memorable experience they’ll never forget.”
Earlier this year the company received extensive international recognition when Lonely Planet author Ben Fogle raved about white water sledging/river surfing in Queenstown.
As one of only two New Zealand activities included in the book, he encouraged readers to get up close and personal with the white water activity so the river could “have its wicked way with you”.
Featured in the glossy coffee table book, Lonely Planet Great Adventures, Mr Fogle cited the activity as his “best” water-based adventure in the world, putting the Queenstown-based adrenalin activity on the world map.
“We’ve had such great feedback from the book,” said Mr Harrison.
“This summer more than ever we’ve had people from all over the world surfing with us, from countries such as South Korea, Singapore, China and Malaysia. When Lonely Planet says you’re the world’s best, people listen.
“The TripAdvisor award really is the icing on the cake. It’s been a fantastic summer of river surfing.”
In summer 2010 the company was also named as one of the top activities to do in Queenstown by the prestigious New York Post. River surfing is widely-known around the world as either hydrospeed, river boarding, river surfing or white water sledging, and Queenstown is thought to be the ‘holy-grail’ of the sport, offering some of the world’s best white water.
Serious Fun’s story began in 1989 when Jon Imhoof, a backpacker from Hawaii, started taking friends body boarding on the Kawarau River. The company has grown ever since and in 2010 became the first white water boarding company in New Zealand to achieve Qualmark status. Serious Fun now has over 16 guides and staff and takes twice daily trips offering the longest Grade 4 rapid river surfing experience in New Zealand.