Surf Lakes are coming

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Overnight the latest entrant in the wavepool industry dived into the deep end. In front of a room full of media and potential investors at Manly’s Novotel Hotel, Surf Lakes unveiled their version of artificial perfection.

To date the nascent wavepool industry has been dominated by the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC) and Wavegarden, who both have operating pools, and to a lesser extent Webber Wave Pools, who had the early vision but are yet to scale a wave up to full size. For the last 18 months Surf Lakes have quietly been testing a 1:5 scale model in a dam near Melbourne and have now begun working on a full size pool somewhere on the central coast of Queensland.

The original idea was formulated by Aaron Trevis, a mining engineer and frustrated surfer, who then teamed up with Axstra Capital to raise the necessary funds and provide corporate strategy. The Axstra team apparently assessed all available wavepool tech before settling on Aaron’s superior technology. Though we were also told they approached Wavegarden and were too late, the Australian license had already been sold to URBN SURF.

That nugget of information hints at what’s happening behind the scenes in the wavepool race: corporate entities are sniffing the breeze. Wavepools may be commercially unproven but Big Money is already making a play.

Thus the crowd got two spiels last night. The first delivered by Aaron Trevis who explained why he created Surf Lakes and it appealed to every surfer who’s looked at a perfect foot-high wave on a lake and wondered. And the second part was delivered by Reuben Buchanan from Axstra who made the economic case for Surf Lakes citing the increasing popularity of surfing, natural hurdles such as flat spells and sharks, and also the growth of theme parks. A significant part of the business case involved Surf Lakes being used as a loss-leader attraction at theme parks.

To shore up the argument the organisers ran short videos of prototype waves they’d made - a slabby right (“we want to make a wave that’ll break your board in half”) and a longer, softer left. Both were unquestionably good waves, yet Wavegarden’s test pool in San Seabastian also created ‘good’ waves which failed to scale up. Witness Snowdonia in Wales and NLand in Texas.

The pool itself is roughly rectangular and, unlike KSWC and Wavegarden, the wave propagates from a central spot and fans outwards. The circular swell line then hits various reefs creating the waves. There are eight waves around the lake, four lefts and four rights, including one section called ‘Occy’s Peak’ - Mark Occhilupo is the public face of Surf Lakes - assuring it of unfavourable comparisons to Nihiwatu.

The configuration means at least half the waves are always offshore and it also allows the organisers to significantly ramp up the wave supply. The figure that got quoted was 2,400 waves an hour breaking on the eight reefs, arriving in sets separated by 45 seconds.

For the economists that’s heady stuff, especially compared to KSWC and Wavegarden, which are eight waves per hour and 1,000 respectively. Yet the Surf Lakes guys not only have the power of conviction, they’re also breaking dirt as we speak. The full size pool in Queensland will be operational by the end of the year. They then have use of the land for two years, which, if it’s a success, they can then open to customers and run it as a business, or alternatively keep it as a test park or display model for the inevitable roll out.

This was the long game that kept getting mentioned last night. The untapped market of China that would flock to wavepools, the development of a new surf culture, the “99.5% of the world’s population who haven’t surfed but would like to”. All questions that warrant a long, ponderous squat. And thank heavens someone in the audience addressed the consequences of a vastly increased surfing population.

“This represents a cultural shift,” said Wayne Dart, ex-Tracks editor and Axstra’s Corporate Advisor, in reply. “We’ve all just been introduced to [wavepool] technology in the last few years. We’re trying to make sense of it...but the fact is the world is changing.”

Dart attempted to take the moral component out of the debate and inject it with pragmatism. For years now critics have opposed wavepools on philosophical, environmental, economic, even cultural grounds, yet there’s an inevitability about them. Wavepools are coming whether you like it or not.

But will they remain after the novelty has passed? If you think so then Surf Lakes are seeking investors prepared to stump up $20,000 minimum.

Comments

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 12:38pm

what a fucking sad and sorry corporate stool pigeon Wayne Dart turned out to be.

PKsswellnet's picture
PKsswellnet's picture
PKsswellnet commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 6:05pm

I dunno if wave pools will ever make it, kinda fun engaging in the dream. What I do know, as long as investors are prepared to fork out money there will be a hungry pack of spruikers happy to relieve them of the cash.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 12:29am

Here's a Poem
I broke my board in Lake and I payed money for it.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 12:33am

But, My board kept on going,
I knew I could be in trouble
I kept on searchin, Ok, I remember.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 12:33am

But, My board kept on going,
I knew I could be in trouble
I kept on searchin, Ok, I remember.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 12:35am

But, My board kept on going,
I knew I could be in trouble
I kept on searchin, Ok, I remember.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 12:38am

I am little bit distracted to make a decent comment. Who is Wayne Dart when he is at home?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 2:41am

Is he a Pigeon?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 3:02am

I will give them one cent for a dollar share.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 12:49pm

Surf Lakes 1:5 scale version of a slabby right:

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 4:37pm

That is sick! If they get that to 10ft somehow..... Wow. Thats The coolest thing I have ever seen it even flares up and out!

Matt Davies's picture
Matt Davies's picture
Matt Davies commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 10:03am

Absolutely, these will be great . We spend 5 to 7K travelling to Indonesia to surf mechanical waves.... with 20 other clowns scratching for the same waves. New things scare people. Even if these are just a novelty to surf occasionally, they will still be well welcomed.

blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 7:21pm

Looks to be what a <30cm face. 1:5 seems optimistic unless lids surfing novelties are their target demo.
1:10 would be good tho.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 12:52pm

thats nice.

But not as nice as the trawler wakes in the Clarence River that Webber used as proof of concept, what>?, 10 years ago?

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 1:20pm

" The figure that got quoted was 2,400 waves an hour breaking on the eight reefs, arriving in sets separated by 45 seconds."

That's the equivalent to a maximum 12sec swell period??? or am I missing something here?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 1:33pm

At a single break, 2,400 waves per hour is around 40 waves per minute. Or 1 wave every 1.5 seconds. 

Maybe they mean across all eight reefs? So 300 waves per hour at any one reef, which is five waves per minute, or one wave every 20 seconds. This sounds more plausible. 

Though the use of the term "sets" implies the waves will be delivered in groups. So perhaps a lower period (five wave sets, each wave 9 seconds apart), then a 45 second break between sets?

I am confusing myself.

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 4:39pm

Of more importance! How big a lake would you need to make that thing legitimate surfing 10ft?

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 1:49pm

How lame! Who wants to surf that.. Now we are going to have even more kooks in the line up therm! Crap look at that new urban wave all you can do it 3 little turns and a cover up.. Who will bother using that! When they can go to beach! The Beach's are already crowded enough!
Is that better therm?

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 1:43pm

Hahaha, yeah, I triple checked calcs before posting.

My guess was 2400 across 8 breaks is 300/hr. 3600sec/hour. 12 sec period. shorter if you put in a 45sec pause per set.

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 2:25pm

Might be worth while to wait till the proof of concept is built. But on initial review it does seem questionable on many points. Eg the number of waves is dependent on the size of construction. I don't believe this is aimed for the likes of Swellnets readership.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 3:26pm

Got to laugh that design and 3D rendering looks like it was produced by a 10 year old on a toy computer. God, gods, allah whatever help us if it gets built anything like this as it is looks an absolute dog with fleas. It is really amateur which makes you wonder if it is going to be really cheap and nasty. The history of planning regs in Queensland are not a shining example of careful and sensitive development. Somethings never change you can almost hear Bjelke laughing from the grave.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 3:39pm

bye bye dream world hello wave world

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 4:10pm

Shit this could be bigger than indoor cricket, though maybe the fad won't last as long! A few points.
Even if they get the physics right, the economics are the main game. If your business model is to be a "loss leader", it might need a bit more work.
Is there any market research to show that a vast number of Chinese are frustrated by their inability to surf and are frothing at the chance to have a splash? Probably not because, well why bother, we are so culturally alike.
Fascinating that Mr Dart should be so inclined to fatalism. Most of us have a rather different view. Things like wave pools are not inevitable. They require a huge input of imagination, engineering and cash. We could very easily choose not to build them. But no doubt the investors are all free marketeers and will therefore accept the verdict of the market when they fail to generate the anticipated wealth.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:42pm

"They require a huge input of imagination, engineering and cash. "
Vast amounts of natural resources also !

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 3:06am

No shit.

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 4:44pm

You can feel it! They are going to make waves like Chop's and cloudberries! The tour will be in pools! It will always be code red! And the wsl will feel like the hunger games! Wow....

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 4:51pm

Anybody who thinks China is going to be surfings saviour is tripping. The Chinese are conspicuous consumers insofar as they prefer to spend their money on goods that they can take back to their homeland and display to others their increased status as a result of having the ability to buy these goods.

Number one tourist destination for Chinese travelling abroad? Paris. Most visited site in Paris (numbers including time spent)? Galeries Lafayette, stocker of high end fashion labels and accessories.

Chinese people don't want to flounder around in an 'effing wave pool, they want Gucci loafers and Louis Vuitton hand bags. The more conspicuous the label, the better.

Ignorance is Zen

suckin-sand's picture
suckin-sand's picture
suckin-sand commented Sunday, 4 Jun 2017 at 1:07am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LNGvDQafrlQ
I dunno about that. But seriously it's one thing to float around in a tube and another to catch a wave get to your feet and get hooked. It only appeals to certain people. The dream of surfing and the reality of getting worked. Skate parks are a good example of demand fluctuations too, one year there's a crew and the place is buzzing. Next year it's deserted with a few 5 year olds playing with their mums. Perfect 3ft waves are still just 3ft waves. I guess surf school and training could keep them busy?? Interesting times.

thomas11's picture
thomas11's picture
thomas11 commented Sunday, 4 Jun 2017 at 6:18am

I can already see the Chinese kids standing around the pool with their Hyptos, ripcurl tide watches and full kit.

If its trendy, they will be there in the thousands.

I don't mind this at all, won't pull me out of the ocean, but as a Melbourne resident if there was one close to me and I could go get a few on a Tuesday night after work, fuck yeah.

People go to the gym/train so they perform better on game day or whatever, so why not treat this as a bit of training, especially if your in a living situation that doesn't allow potential everyday surfs.

P.s. Don't give me the "move somewhere" BS.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 5:08pm

Whilst I have no doubt that corporate investors are enthusiastically assessing wave pool technologies and the possible business opportunities that lie beyond a simple service model, it's interesting to note that Aaron tried to fund this via IndiGoGo back in 2015.

He was asking for $500,000, but only reached $1,127 AUD from 18 backers. And this was after quite a bit of media too (national and international - just search surf+lakes+indiegogo).

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/surf-lakes#/
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=surf+lakes+indiegogo

Does this correspond with the level of enthusiasm from regular punters? I mean, everyone's keen to give it a go once it's up and running, but will people be willing to put their money where their mouth is up front?

prawnhead's picture
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prawnhead commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 5:30pm

No mention of bottom construction type in any of these pools Stu ...Just hazarding a guess that anything that can produce a slab type wave ....will have to be .....a slab ....and a hard one at that, if the wave is to be duplicated on a regular basis ....without the bottom failing !!

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 5:59pm

If they are aiming this at the 99.5% of the world who doesn't surf they might like to rethink what is a suitable wave type.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 6:04pm

Ben, I would take that as a very reliable assessment of the likely return on any investment in a wave pool. I am always amazed at the kind of glassy-eyed extrapolation from their own, very limited, experience that leads people to believe that their own obsession with surfing must be shared by the rest of the population. It's a kind of narcissism I suppose.

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 9:10pm

Who cares if they fail in time! This has been a dream of mine since the first time I watched north shore the movie!
Let them build the mega surf pool resorts so we can at least for- fill our destiny's!

many-rivers's picture
many-rivers's picture
many-rivers commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 10:25pm

Are these spivs flogging this pipedream china experts?
speak chinese? have lived there 20 + years and been involved in commerce thus learning about and building the necessary guangxi?
shit , Quik was there in a big way through the 1995-2012 period , joint ventures with a corporation that was many times larger than Quik and hey what a surprise , that company is larger than ever and still in business.
it also has a gigantic highly profitable property portfolio and extensive connections through the mainland businees world.
So as early adopters , the chinese love new things but only for so long.
What makes these spruikers think these corporations have not already run the abacus over the potential in these developments?
Perhaps their experience is telling them it will be like surfing in Hainan- at one stage aiming for a WSL event , now running a longboard comp and that itself being subject to wide variety of inconvenient protest movements.
Jeez , was aiming for glitz and glamour , got a weird log singlefin carrying a noseriding hipster.
So this is from their 2016 annual report.
"
Although Quiksilver US managed to walk out from Chapter 11 after its debts re-structuring exercise, it was no longer in the position in the foreseeable future to provide its expected services and supports to Quiksilver Glorious Sun. In view of the prevailing arduous retail market environment in both the Mainland and Hong Kong, the Management decided to consolidate the operations of Quiksilver Glorious Sun in the Mainland by closing down gradually all directly managed stores upon expiry of the leases or upon conversion into franchised stores. In future, franchising and wholesaling would be the only operations. The Management also consolidated the business in Hong Kong. Under-performed stores were closed down and new store opening plan was on hold. Inventory clearance was the focal point in the year under review."
There are now only a few stores left, the idea that the surfing lifestyle is not able to attract clothes buyers surely suggests few are yearning to down the noodles and chopsticks for the pleasure of flopping around in a crowd of kooks most who cannot swim and who have loads of enthusiasm but little staying power.

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 6:06am

What is it with surf companies trying mogul the market! Especially after what happened to billabong? I was blown away at what surfstitch did,it was almost like deja vu! And still with the aftershock of bong and quiky you would think one would have learned.
Do you think stich and bong would still be mega companies if they had of just keepet to there foundations instead of trying to monopolies?

PCS PeterPan's picture
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PCS PeterPan commented Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 11:26pm

Zenagain nailed it with modern Chinese sociology lesson 1 . Zen you are bang on dude ! Anyone thinking of investing in this tech , with the hope that it gets traction in freaking China is dreaming. Having worked regularly for the past 10 or so years with Chinese clients , you get
to understand where the Joe av Chinese persons head is at .
Most can't swim , and they just don't get the great outdoors. Fark , one guy I know won't let his kids outside at the park.....I asked him and why and his reply was,"Ah there are too many leaves on the ground . There may be spider in leaf ".
Mabey there are long term markets for this folly , I wish them luck , but please don't assume too much from the Chinese , all they want is expensive goodies , and somewhere trendy to show 'em off.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 6:21am

Well thank God for that! .....too crowded as it is now.

simba

Bambam101's picture
Bambam101's picture
Bambam101 commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 6:52am

Put something new up swellnet!
I can multitask articals this is to slow.
I am a paying customer now I want more!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 6:53am

WTF?

many-rivers's picture
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many-rivers commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 7:27am

New customers good but just like kooks they need to learn their way through the new environment .
This comment maybe more of a reflection of how people new to surfing might have expectations that are novel in the current surfing world?
"I paid to surf and catch waves but didn't so refund! Compensation !"

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 7:50am

Write an article yourself.

Part of the fun.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 7:33am

Breaking dirt..and the full size pool will be operational by the end of the year they have use of the land for two years ? So the land is leased ?
Theres over 5 mill [ very conserv] in construction costs for a full size pool ....big outlay on leased land

Phil Jarratt's picture
Phil Jarratt's picture
Phil Jarratt commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 7:36am

Good piece, Stu. I fear wave pools almost as much as I do Trump and North Korea, but it's damn funny how the subject sends so many people bonkers, bringing out the haters and the cultural imperialists, and even the racial vilifiers. People, get a grip. Look back over 50 years of failure, since Arizona's Big Surf in the '60s, as potential investors doing their due diligence surely will, and know that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Phil Jarratt

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:46am

Detroit , USA - July, 1920

Jed : "Those goddamn motor cars ! They're going to take over the world one day . All that smoke and noise . They're too convenient and fun for people to refuse. Our days of riding our horses quietly down the trail are numbered i tells ya !"

Cleatus : " Stop being such a darn fool , Jed ! Those things will never take off. They're not economically viable for one . And who is going to want to be paying for gasoline whilst your darn horse can eat grass for free ?

They ain't nothing but a noisy , loathsome fad . You mark my words ."

batfink's picture
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batfink commented Tuesday, 6 Jun 2017 at 5:11pm

:-)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:10am

In addition to Central Qld, they appear to be moving forward at a second location too - in the Nambucca Shire (Mid North NSW Coast, for those who aren't familiar - south of Coffs Harbour, north of Crescent Head).

From the minutes of the Nambucca Shire council meeting in January this year, it notes a "Closed Meeting" with Mr Aaron Trevis and Dr Chris Hawley re: "Economic Development/Tourism Inquiry".

Although the details of the closed meeting are not available, the minutes note that the council resolved:

1. Note the economic development/tourism inquiry.
2. Provide its owner’s consent to a development application for feasibility investigations and a renewable 12 month licence agreement for the proponents to enter upon Council’s land for the purposes of undertaking those investigations.
3. There be a further report to Council when there has been some substantive progress in the matter or in 6 months’ time, whichever occurs first.
4. That Council’s seal be attached to any licence agreement as may be required.

https://www.nambucca.nsw.gov.au/bps/Open/2017/01/CO_12012017_MIN_WEB.htm

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:27am

Nambucca Shire wtf ??

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:32am

'Monorail, Monorail, Monorail!'

Ignorance is Zen

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:36am

Given Aaron's long stints in Mackay with his previous work (in mining), it'd be a pretty safe guess that the primary Central Qld location is in that neck of the woods.

I imagine it'd have been a relatively easy pitch to the Council too, seeing the downturn in the mining and resource sector over the last few years (Courier Mail reported in 2015: "Mackay is ground zero for the national mining bust as unemployment hits double figures and a mass exodus crashes the real estate market.").

Rick Arizona Kane's picture
Rick Arizona Kane's picture
Rick Arizona Kane commented Thursday, 8 Jun 2017 at 10:09am

Check out the colour of the soil, it's the same as Baffle Creek. Townsville and Mackay looks nothing like that. Plus Townsville and Mackay are in North Queensland. And the hills in the background are also an indicator.
As for the earthmoving company, confidently cause.
Why doesn't swellnet get a drone up there, and solve the mystery.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:47am

It'll never happen at Nambucca.

The economy is already booming - what with locals selling $25 dollar bags of pot to each other . Not to mention the odd bag of frozen prawns for bait from the servo.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 12:39pm

hahahahhahahahaha

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:50am

Looking at the artist's representation of the Surf Lake, if they can resolve the problem of turbulence, they will deserve the Nobel Prize for Physics.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 8:55am

Is it just me, or is the artist's impression based on a development at The Spit? Looks like it's in at Doug Jennings Park, with an aspect view back across the Broadwater to Southport. 

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 9:04am

It is. If you look extreme top right there's text that says 'Len Fox Park'. When I saw the presentation live I went 'A-ha! They've slipped up. I know where the first pool will be!' and quickly Googled it only to find out Len Fox Park is in Labrador and that is indeed the Broadwater.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 9:07am

Wow. I didn't see that text.. and it's exactly where I thought it was (that little sandy hook inside the Spit is unmistakeable).

So they're using a screenshot from Google Earth 3D as their background, eh? 

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 9:29am

Wonder how they'll address the backwash, which, judging by the concept image, is going to be going in every direction one could imagine. One idea could be to do this:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214241X15000310

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 9:32am

nah, it'll never make money....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM_rITupT4A

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 11:39am

Any News from the Webber camp Ben/Stu/Freeride?

Go deeper Taylor, go deeper!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 12:41pm

Yeah but nah. He's active but he's also keeping mum on progress.

innatube's picture
innatube's picture
innatube commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 1:15pm

Pretty sure this was pencilled in for the back blocks of Agnes Waters a few years ago.
That's sort of central QLD.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 1:56pm

Baffle Creek/Rosedale area. It's being kept very quiet.

Mackay is known as "North Qld" for some reason, even though it is smack bang the middle of the Qld coast.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:17pm

I would like to see them emulate the left at Winki uppers. Anyone think this could be done?

Chipper's picture
Chipper's picture
Chipper commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:21pm

Bring on the wave pools, leaning to surf in a wave pool doesn't mean that surfer will know how to read the ocean, without this knowledge I'm not sure how many (new "Chinese" surfers) will make the step into real waves!!!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:30pm

Righto Fitz, now I am confused. Is this Surf Lakes or Greg Webber?

From the Gladstone Observer in 2014:

A PLACE where you can hang 10 in perfectly formed two-metre waves may sound like a dream for surfers.

But it will be a reality when the Discovery Bay Lifestyle Park opens at Baffle Creek in early 2016.

Mark Wilkes from River Island Property Group said the park was being built because there were no waves in the region.

"It will be the best surfing training facility in the country," Mr Wilkes said.

"The park will be targeted at beginner surfers who can learn how to surf in a safe controlled environment with no sharks and stingers.

"This park will generate tourism in the region. In NSW alone there are 750,000 backpackers that try surfing every year.

He said Mt Maria at Baffle Creek was chosen as the site after an exhaustive search.

"We looked up and down the eastern seaboard for a good parcel of land and settled on Baffle Creek because it's close to Agnes Water and Bundaberg and is in the middle of a large tourism sphere," he said.

"We will be offering 130m-long rides per wave for around 20-30 seconds, equivalent to the best waves in the world."

He said the idea to build the park came after watching the wake made by oil tankers.

"People have been riding those waves for years," he said.

"We then hired a trawler and started making artificial waves in the Clarence River and since then we've done a lot of field testing."

Mr Wilkes said planners had indicated it would take six to nine months to gain council approval and that construction would be subject to how much rock would be encountered during construction.

https://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/baffle-ck-chosen-as-surf-site/2381679/

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:34pm

Jeez, they scored $250K in federal ARC grants to test the system too.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/swell-idea-for-a-90m-surf-...

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:37pm

GW teamed up with David Baird didnt he ?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:46pm

31st Oct 2014:

THE world-patented technology earmarked for a $75 million surf project at Baffle Creek is now a source of envy for surrounding councils.

The benefits are far reaching, as the head of Baffle Creek Tourism Tony Bridges will attest.

"I have heard that a lot of other councils have tried to poach the idea, which would be horrible.

"Baffle Creek does not want to lose this investment."

The CEO of River Island Property Group, Mark Wilkes, confirmed that other councils had approached the group to try and steal the development from underneath Gladstone Regional Council's feet.

"Other councils have expressed a lot of interest in the project and some have even tried to take it away from Gladstone Regional Council.

"But, the good news is we believe in the site and we think it will have enormous benefits for the local community."

With as many as 1000 local jobs on offer in the development of the site and an enormous long-term boost to the economy, opposition to the development now seems unlikely.

"From Hervey Bay to Yeppoon, there is this massive influx of travellers and almost no tourist attractions," he said.

"The science is behind us and the Baffle Creek community seems to be behind us too.

"It's going to change the face of the community as far as Gladstone."

https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/town-set-to-catch-big-wave/2438048/

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 2:52pm

Actually, media coverage for Baffle Creek goes back to Aug 2013: 

https://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/75m-recreational-mecca-proposed...

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 3:08pm

I have spoken to a majority of earth moving companies here indirectly (both big and small)over the last few years and no one has let on about any major earthworks in the area.
So they maybe keeping tightlipped under confidentiality clauses or it's just not happening. I choose the latter as this area is pretty tight nit community and gossip would be high about truck movements etc. Even if someone is building a giant sized dam everyone knows about it.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 3:15pm

Or I could be misinformed and they have one ready to open in a matter of weeks!!! :)

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 6:22pm

You in McKay , Fitzroy ?

Mate just invited me up for a bit of fishing / diving / maybe surfing on the next neap , weather permitting.

Maybe catch up for a beer after ?

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 6:11am

Hey Blowin, I'm currently in Darwin but Agnes/1770 is home. If you're ever down that way, get in touch and will catch up for a beer/fish/reef surf (conditions permitting).

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 1 Jun 2017 at 9:07pm

Even the Scots are beating us to it - Wavepark Scotland just lodged an Planning application for a wave pool...10 miles out of Edinburgh.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 6:18am

Perhaps it's Townsville? This article's publish date (Dec 2016) fits in with Surf Lakes' discussions with Nambucca Council (Jan 2017). No mention of who it could be either.

http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/water-theme-park-with-surf-wav...

thelostclimber's picture
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thelostclimber commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 9:46am

I live at South Narrabeen, why would I pay money to have my board snapped in 1/2, when I can do it over the road almost any day of the year for free.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 11:15am

That's an awful lot of investment dollars only to have to close when inexperienced people start breaking their necks on this overhead slab.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKDZRcUVHoE

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sanded's picture
sanded commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 2:10pm
jaunkemps's picture
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jaunkemps commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 3:03pm

Ok OK Ok, how is the wave produced from a centre tower, I would understand that there would have to be a large hydraulic screw type mech that comes up and turns 180 deg hmmmmm maybe ???
Wave pools have max wave size really don't they, think about it for a set or two, if bigger swells are produced less waves can be riden at wider intervals betweens waves.

The rider has to position his/her self in the zone to take off so they have to paddle into the take off zone, this takes time true, if a rider falls then there in the spot for the next rider to run over so @ a 12sec period thats going to be sketchy possibly, maybe not but no one really knows how all this is going to affect the wave count , I think I know ; }
Giddup........

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 2 Jun 2017 at 8:31pm

Most Gold Coast Spit surfers can be mistaken that this is a whiteshoe surf resort.
C'mon! How is that not Gondwana skyline with Southport Towers fronting the Broadwater.
Wavebreak Island across to Spit finger there's Bums Bay and Doug Jennings Park....
For visiting surfers that's Sea Word in background(top left).

Whiteshoe resort is just taking the piss as Spit kiosk lines up with resort bar.
Breach of 3 story height resort towers .(Whiteshoe trait)
The weirdest fact being these wave pumps are same locale as our sand bypass pumps.

Ok! So it's whiteboard...Perhaps Airport/CST/Sand pumps/power(similar) dictate locations.
Look at photo ! Surfers can smell a decent beachbreak near. So why this location?

Spit surfers can't catch wave it powers up saltwater wavepool. Flick the switch for nightsurf.
Hooroo!

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Saturday, 3 Jun 2017 at 2:11am

Swellnetonians are onto this Spit set up!
Carpark has gone missing !
Gold Coast Mayor has lifetime ban on booger bus to Seaway/TOS...(outta frame bottom)
Only last month he backed out of his own Spit tram bid & fizzled his Ferry stop (away right)

Zero transport would rule out this location. Why choose local surfers protest ground? (right)

Elephant in the room is the proposed Death Alley CST(outta frame top left)
CST has only 8 coaches for 2 x 5,000 passengers ...Glitter Strip is screwed at that rate.
Cruise's invest in closed shop Water Resort Ports & cut out the town. Thanks for the fish!

Hibernate in heated barrels thru winter at endless summer resort until next ship rolls in.
In essence, if experiment fails it still sells Cruise tickets as Saltwater Healing Ponds Retreat .
Year on-Wipeout Wavepool. Rezone Park to Public Utility.. (paperbag).. Whiteshoe holy grail.

Toss up! Mayor hates surfers but loves part time hobby of offloading seaside parks....
El Rortica de Consortia landgrab at 10 Broadwater parks.(pretty much everything in photo)

(Closed shop cruise ship surf resort) One pass - Spit Star/ASF Casinos SeaWorld/Wavepool.
Princess & poodle skim the honey pot...spray'n norovirus over barb wired jelly stung crew.

[Please don't surf dolphins down water slides]

( PET PORPOISE NEEDS WAVEPOOL) GoFundMe

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Saturday, 3 Jun 2017 at 2:46pm

I shouldn't have to comment in triplicate.
Swellnet is NOT at fault! Apologies to fellow Swellnetonians.

World champion Surfers are involved front page or otherwise in neighbouring Oceanfront proposed Spit developments .(shown here about)
Only that's not true! One development is FAKE Development.
Some twisted fool has kicked sand in the face of local surfers busy as always trying to ward off Whiteshoebrigade.

Both developments clearly breach Gold Coast Spit Height restrictions.
There just there... lies the park where we surfers meet and bring to account.....well best you
see for yourselves google image and you have 1000 plans to destroy our last slice of paradise. This is just brownpaperbag no. 1001.

I must tell you guys many surfers round here have lost patience.
Myself truthfully... still now and most days fighting the neighbouring CST with Mick and 1/2 the town. Believe me... we got little time for 1,2,3 comments- on more unlawful resorts.

Some explaining as to why Lake surfers would torment the local surf crew .
One step further if local pros new of this sick perverted deception?

Repeating we are the last people that you flick this shit on. No ! Not a game. Not funny!
You wanted attention you got it! (Just the Apology) lucky we're a cool crew. This Week.

PS: News Vid shows bulldozers. They say it's near coast blah blah blah! (Not here OK!)

tomdo's picture
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tomdo commented Sunday, 4 Jun 2017 at 11:45am

It'd be good if CO2 emissions were put front and centre in reporting on the Wave Pool Wars. I know one particular wave pool technology uses an obscene amount of energy even for the small wave version. The other versions would be no different. If these developers aren't focussed on producing emissions-free pools then i'm just not interested. Real waves are renewable.

blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999's picture
blow-in-9999 commented Sunday, 4 Jun 2017 at 6:43pm

Sure but transport emissions sure isn't. Think about how much energy it costs to drive to say Ballina and back from Noosa when the later winter / spring flat period sets in. My nearest wave is currently ~ 2.5hr hours away I drive 5 hours or more every single time I surf.

tomdo's picture
tomdo's picture
tomdo commented Sunday, 4 Jun 2017 at 9:37pm

I think you'll find that wave pools won't drive CO2 emissions down if that's what you're suggesting.

blow-in-9999's picture
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blow-in-9999 commented Monday, 5 Jun 2017 at 5:40pm

I'm suggesting that the difference probably isn't that much given how far a number of surfers chase waves. Maybe I'm atypical. Dunno. I certainly see enough surfers on garbage looking beachies on the SC.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 5 Jun 2017 at 6:56pm

Is the sunny coast really so fucked ?

blow-in-9999's picture
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blow-in-9999 commented Monday, 5 Jun 2017 at 7:53pm

Kinda? Like lots of fun waves (reefs, ledges and a few hollow beachies) when there is swell. But I see so many people keen on 2-3' fat beachies so I get super confused.

tomdo's picture
tomdo's picture
tomdo commented Tuesday, 6 Jun 2017 at 11:04am

Can't really see wave pools reducing the total amount of driving that surfers collectively will do to get waves. For every surfer driving five hours to a more exposed coast there'll be many times that driving five hours to surf a wave pool.

Timm-Dah's picture
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Timm-Dah commented Sunday, 4 Jun 2017 at 8:23pm

Whats the big dealio,

In the end it's less randoms at the breaks you love on the coast.

It'll be sold as a 'safe' ride (no sharks) with guaranteed conditions day or night.

It's just like people who used to swim in the ocean and now swim in pools and all those whom do the 'ocean swim' are considered hardcore tri-athlete types.

I'm not fussed...more power to em. Let it go.

timmeh's picture
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timmeh commented Tuesday, 6 Jun 2017 at 1:26pm

I think I'd still prefer a hover board to a wavepool! Wonder which one we'll get first?? Hover board to your favourite secret surf spot!

batfink's picture
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batfink commented Tuesday, 6 Jun 2017 at 5:29pm

Soft fall, like they use in kiddies playgrounds will have to be the bottom surface, assuming they find one that will stand up to the wave action.

Liability will be covered by either signing off all rights and privileges if you enter the water, given the known risks (which you and I take every other day) and/or selling insurance as you enter the park as the price of admission.

Wave refraction? Not a physicist, but isn't that what infinity pools manage?

Size of surf - at a guess, that middle bit that creates the waves is going to have to hold some significant amounts of water to make anything reasonably ridable. I think the picture under-does that by a factor of about 3 or 4, and scaling up requires an exponentially larger size. As with others scaling up presents a whole new batch of problems.

Likelihood of succeeding - who knows. Capacity of human beings to predict the future even when looking not that far out - Zero! Historical precedent for people accurately predicting anything to do with human behaviour, business, technology - none!

Given that, I don't think there is any reason to predict whether it will be viable. I tend to side with the idea that someone will eventually do it, and then we will find it if it is viable.

Skate park usage seems to me the most similar activity, and they were largely done by councils etc for unpaid use. No money in them.

Rick Arizona Kane's picture
Rick Arizona Kane's picture
Rick Arizona Kane commented Wednesday, 7 Jun 2017 at 10:07am

Arizona Rick here, if everyone knows inland surfing its me. And I've been to one of Axstra's presentations. And I see nothing new, it's old technology. Sure, they mention Kelly, Greg and Wavegarden, but their is nothing about the others. Tells me they don't really understand the industry.
I own shares in a company (Qbiotics) that Axstra where selling. I listened to Reuben Buchanan say things like "it's a no brainer'. Ten years on and I'm still waiting for it to list. The closest Reuben has been to the surf is when he gets around on his jetski.
Finally, the test pool is being built at a little town called Baffle Creek.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 7 Jun 2017 at 10:34am

Nice to hear from you Rick. As for Baffle Creek - that was mentioned earlier, but evidence would suggest that it was related to yet another wave pool company, which now ceases to exist.

That is, unless these guys have taken over the development of that site?

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Rick Arizona Kane commented Wednesday, 7 Jun 2017 at 1:29pm

It's a real estate agent at Baffle Creek, he's being trying for years. He used to be mates with the other wave pool company. But there must of been a falling out, hence the old newspaper articles. Plus the wave pool company has no money.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 7 Jun 2017 at 1:35pm

But according to Surf Lakes, they "have now begun working on a full size pool somewhere on the central coast of Queensland."

So, if it's in Baffle creek I assume there'd be some earthmoving activity, which Fitzroy mentioned above isn't apparent.

So all signs suggest this latest wave pool ain't in Baffle Creek. 

My guess is Mackay (due to Aaron's association with the town in previous emplyment) or Townsville (as per the article I linked to above).

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 16 Jun 2017 at 10:25pm

Sadly I was right! On back of this proposal comes Breakwater CST proposal on exact same site only a fortnight after Surf lakes. So someone tell anyone this was a joke in poor taste.

Major Community Spit Reserve Plan centring on this site is in progress right now.
Qld Govt guidelines are no Development north of Sea World including oceanside.
So why do we have 2 CST proposals and a fake wave pool resort on protected Reserves?
As Spit study is being cultured..our pet whiteshoes cry tears,wave writs & Casino brochures.

What the hell did Cando feed them? Count the torsos we raft the whiteshoebrigade.
CCC Operation Belcarra has Council tongue tied..nope can't remember a thing ?$ =XXXX$
Re:(Operation Belcarra is Council version of Moonlight State coming soon to 4 corners)

We tried and tried 15 years more the properway & looked the otherway. Now 3 steps back!
S.O.S. SAVE OUR SPIT Swellnetonians. Thanks for caring. Hooroo! Protect your waves. Now!

Stj's picture
Stj's picture
Stj commented Saturday, 17 Jun 2017 at 8:53am

Just had a friend visit who works for Townsville city council so i asked have they heard about wave pool. Turns out my friend got a call from some one who was enquiring how easy it would be to get approval etc but refused to even say their name or who they represented. this was a few moths ago. Geez if they build one i might have to go and visit the in-laws in the Ville and give it a crack!

Sunny