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Float Tanks Solutions

Back to the Basics

Published by Ashkahn Jahromi on October 07, 2013

I arrived in Paris a few days ago for a little workcation. Naturally the first thing I did was hunt down a float tank center and book an appointment. Surprisingly, floating seems to be almost entirely missing in France: noticeably more obscure than in Germany, Spain, the UK and almost every other European nation in every direction.

However, everyone I talk too seems genuinely excited by the idea. My conversations have consistently led to people wanting to fly out to Portland just to try it. After we discuss all the logistics and benefits of floatation, people always seem to reach the same question, “Why isn’t this more well known?”

I arrived for my float today and began to get the spiel from the woman at the front desk. Apparently the only way to book the float tank (which is delightfully enough called a “cocoon of floatation”) was to book the entire spa room, which includes a vibrating water massage bed and an acoustical therapy chair in it as well. You can book the room for up to 3 people, so all the services can be used simultaneously.

Now I suspect if you have been through the process of soundproofing your float center, this will set off the same alarm bells for you that it did for me. Vibrating water massage bed? Acoustical therapy chair?! We have enough trouble keeping out the vibrations of passing cars, and here was a giant 2-ton machine designed to fiercely shake itself sitting just feet away from the float tank.

Dylan Calm

Float Room Essentials (video)

Today I want to walk you through some of the items found in our float rooms. When Sandra and I first decided to open the Float Shoppe, we would buy floats at various float centers simply to investigate their float rooms. Of course having a float was a very nice perk. While in the rooms we would snap pictures of each item as well as the tables that held those items to get an idea of the functionality and layout of where items were located in relation to their purpose during a float.

While the best thing to do is to visit other float centers, that isn’t always possible. There are those who are interested in starting float centers in very small American towns and those who are working to open the first float center in their country. As a float center that has been open for about two years, we feel like we have a great selection of offerings in our rooms and idea of where our items are located.

Take a tour of one of our own float rooms in the video below:


Float Tanks Solutions

Think Big and Start Small

Think Big and Start Small
Published by Ashkahn Jahromi on April 04, 2013

Deciding on how many tanks to have is a big question for anyone starting a float center. Answering that question can depend on factors ranging from the philosophical to the inescapably practical. It really depends on what you want out of a float center. If your vision is to have a float tank perched atop a mighty redwood, overlooking to bountiful beyond, well then you probably only need one (and some sort of salt elevator). If your goal is to float the entire football team right before the big game, you’re going to need considerably more.

Within these extremes are where most people lie. I think it’s always nice to have at least two float tanks. As ironic as it is, when someone wants to experience an isolation tank, they often want to come with someone else. And it actually makes sense. You get to go out afterwards, eat dinner, talk about your experience, and feel all floaty together. Having a partner in crime also seems to be key to getting a lot of people in the door in the first place.

With 4 tanks, you can handle 95% of requests from groups that want to come together. The more tanks you add above that, basically the crazier stuff you can do. You now have a bunch of spare float tanks that you are trying to fill, which is an invitation to launch interesting programs, and run great events. Float an entire cast of ballet dancers before their performance. Have entire boards of organizations float before their meetings. The opportunities really start to open up, but obviously the costs start to pile on as well.

Most people’s answer will come from financials. How many float tanks can they afford to start with. I think it’s best to always leave room for yourself to grow. Rent a building that you can put 2 tanks into, but has room for 2 more. Or 10 more! 

Float Tanks Solutions

Hanging Out

 I like to think of our float center’s lobby as a sort of no-man’s-land. It sits between the nothingness of the float tank and the everythingness of the outside world. A place where people can attempt to merge these two realities, and let them both simultaneously sink in.

What we have in our lobby is a novel environment in its own right. People are put into a context they have not been in before, and in my opinion, that’s the perfect recipe for having a great interaction.

I’ve talked to hundreds of people after their float, as they sink back into one of our cushy couches and wait for their tea to steep. I don’t know where these people live, what they do for a living, or how the weather was on their way over. But I know their passions. I hear about their hopes, their aspirations, their childhood dreams...

The float tank gives us a chance to interact with people after they have shrugged off their conventions and barriers. We get to talk to people, not strangers. I’ve thought a lot about the proper way to for me to talk to someone in this state. What I’ve realized is that any sort specific attitude I try to put on or any conversations I try to purposefully implement all end up feeling unnatural when speaking to someone who has just come out of a float tank. They are in the their most human state, and the only way I can really relate to them is to be a human myself.

So that’s what I do. I just act like myself. I treat them like I would a friend. We talk about anything and everything, from how their float was to how great it would be to have a house entirely made of trampolines. As a result, many of our floaters actually do become our friends. The distant customer-server relationship breaks down, and instead it just feels like we’re all hanging out.