Webber Wave Pools begin work on their first wave pool
Webber Wave Pools are on the verge of firing their first shot in the wave pool war. Their long awaited venture now has a completion date and it's measured in months not years.
"The structural and mechanical enginnering is already under way," says Greg Webber, "while the civil work, the excavation of the lagoon, begins in six weeks."
The finished pool will measure 300m x 150m with a central island
When complete the wave pool will be a 300 metre by 150 metre 'looped linear' lagoon with central island housing the hull drive system.
It's this part of the operation, the hull drive system, that Webber believes is most crucial. A few years back Webber and Kelly Slater, via his Kelly Slater Wave Pool Company (KSWC), engaged in some thrust and parry via the patents office, each vying for commerical rights over various aspects of the wave making apparatus.
The companies have since settled down and begun working with their allotted designs. For Webber that means a kelvin wave, as opposed to a soliton wave that KSWC and other wave pool operators use.
"Utilising the kelvin wave gives us much more capacity to customise," says Webber. "It's super responsive and it gives more of a cylindrical tube as opposed to a high, almond-shaped barrel."
The shape of the wave is a virtue of physics, says Webber, before describing how kelvin waves differ from solitons, the most pertinent aspect being that solitons are solitary waves - there can be no wave in front of them and hence no trough. Webber's says his design will feature "a trough in front of the prime wave that leads to water draining backwards towards it." It's another way of saying the wave sucks up, which creates a wider barrel for the same depth of water.
And the location of the first pool? Well, Webber is a little coy on specifics, he understands the cloak and dagger being played between operators, so all he'll reveal at this point is the region. "It's in South-east Queensland. It's out there, but not too far."
He's also reticent to divulge the Australian license holder but says the US licensee, Ocean Sports Development, have just signed an exclusive agreement with Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) with roll out imminent across the country. SFA's website state they "plan and assist in funding all types of indoor and outdoor sports complexes." While their sister company, Sports Facilities Mangement (SFM) "open and manages indoor and outdoor complexes, tournament venues, community recreation, and youth/amateur sports facilities."
Said SFA Founder and CEO Dev Pathik of his involvement with Webber Wave Pools, "We are thrilled to be playing such a major role in the development of surfing. This is one of the most exciting changes in sport that we've seen in decades."