Twenty wave pool technologies and how they work

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

While not strictly news, the crew at Wave Pool Mag have gathered all the existing wave pool companies and their tech into one concise read.

From one or two visionary pioneers, there are now two score companies in the industry, each powered by different technology - sometimes the difference is slight, other times wild.

Click to check them all out.

Comments

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 8:38am

Turned out, making waves was a relatively easy engineering project.

The physics of making anything bigger than head high though, as far as energy requirements go, is still brutal and unrelenting.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 8:59am
anthony.olsen's picture
anthony.olsen's picture
anthony.olsen Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 11:12am

Brutal on the boards that one.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 9:03am

Spacecadet's picture
Spacecadet's picture
Spacecadet Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 10:27am

Stu, in your opinion based on being a decent surfer (non-grom), which is the best wave pool currently in existence?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 10:42am

I've only surfed one, that being Wavegarden, so it's hard to say which is best, at least from a performance point of view.

In terms of viability, however, the best would be Wavegarden or American Wave Machines, simply because they've shown they can scale their technology and fit the pools to various size lots, while retaining large wave counts.

When the shakedown comes and pools start going broke, I expect those two companies at least to still be standing.

Stok's picture
Stok's picture
Stok Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 10:45am

I often think that URBNsurf Melbourne will effectively do it's self out of business by the opening of multiple pools around Oz. They'd get a fair chunk of revenue from interstaters and events (20%+?), which will taper off significantly if/once they get more pools around the country.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 3:09pm

Might be right there Stok.

One thing for sure: the novelty factor is dead. Any iterations will have to be improvements or they'll be greeted by a very indifferent public.

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 3:18pm

I think from photos wavelake looks the best and most authentic waves. Don’t know how keen I would be to pay $100 for an hour or whatever it will cost to then paddle out with 200 other people - could surf the Gold Coast for free.

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 11:56am

The video for Surf Lakes in Stus link is the one for the punters, this one from their website lays out a clear eyed argument about what it is really all about.

“A developers dream”, “more people more money,” “multiple revenue streams”, that sort of thing.

wallpaper's picture
wallpaper's picture
wallpaper Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 1:17pm

so what exactly were you thinking it was all about?

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 5:02pm

fun and frivolity?

wallpaper's picture
wallpaper's picture
wallpaper Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 7:21pm

you thought there was no fee in freedom

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine Saturday, 24 Apr 2021 at 6:31pm

but there is reef

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 11:58am

Strike me pink! I had no idea there were that many out there. I'm exhausted...

Luke02's picture
Luke02's picture
Luke02 Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 12:26pm

I'm uneducated in this area but does anyone know why some of the water in the pools is a milky like colour and then some is clear?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Sunday, 25 Apr 2021 at 12:01am

Luke02 ~ Wave Pool Water Table almost drowned in tbb's wishy washy Deep End!

1936 Portobello -6,000 seat Surf Stadium > Desal > Power Station > 20* (Concrete base)
Brownie's 3ft beast ran 100m & 50m back for 10/30mins-1st Surfboard / Oar craft Wave Pool
1970-2 (7 Seas Lagoon) 1st natural Wave setting in 100 yrs (Gatorade Flavour) Paddle harder!
Proved too powerful & wiped out Walt's Polynesian Village! Oops! Pressed the wrong button!
1986 Canada- Blue Thunder - Springwater naturally 31* Chlorinated (Rubber base)
Boardrider's Club > Hydraulic 8 > 6 Panel > see (Loch) soon switching to pneumatic
1989 US Typhoon Lagoon has textured base scrapes that Life Guards Mop Up (Blood Red)
True Story! tbb mentioned this to a Typhoon Life Gaurdess in B'Hds & she went Spazz.
1993 Japan Ocean Dome -Desal > 30* (Micro Pebble Base) 90's Pneumatic Pools (re:WA)

2000's
Spain -Wave Garden HQ is river fed (Filtered by WG Secret Herbs & Spices) Secret Base.
Tip! WG will slot extra Wall Panel Boards to ramp extra Corner pocket Grunt.
Wales -Snowdonia Dams > Hydro Power Stn heated (WG secret herbs) Fin Slash Base (Brown)

US Nland -On site Dirt Ponds (WG secret herbs) Fin Slashed lining base (Brown) re: > WSL
Here the water got under the fin slashed lining & flooded the Neighbourhood
US The Ranch taps Bore Water Co-Op -Now with Ultra thick lining- (Brown)
Skimmerz / Loggerz all get Lassoed & roped in! Get drilled & cuffed! Stick to the Rails...Punk!
US Waco (Milky) Clay aquifer Brain Bugs >1mT of Chlorine for Tests > Now Lined & Filtered

Oz Urbnsurf - Tulla Air Covid Backwash (WG Bio security Herbs) + Dust storm Mud baths!
tbb points out obvious, but Urbnsurf do clear Water /eco/recycling challenges! (re: Deep end)
Oz SurfLakes- Mayor's 1/2 Price Townwater (re: Pacific Water Technology)
Note: Surfers put feet thru base & Wave strike zone wore thru the lining...redo.

UK Bristol Townwater (WG secret Herbs) with site runoff top ups

(These last 2 are guesses)
South Korea - Part Wave Powered Desal + (WG secret herbs)
Japan AWM Olympic Pool (Note foreground in photo) Deep narrow tidal canal (Likely Desal)

tbb wades into 'The Deep End'

Oz (New) U'Surf x2 Recycle / AWM x2 River+Dam-Ck / ES x2 -Town water+Ck / SL upgrade.

Most large Lagoons advise No Swim (Immersion) / Preggo / Infants due to pathogen risk.
Kelly lobbies for all Calif' pools smaller than his "Basin" to comply to strictest Town Pool Rules
Recreational Water Bodies (Oar/Paddle/Ski) Can skip Water Quality as with Federal Precincts

(WG secret Herbs) = UV / Ozone / Bio-Carbon Filter are said to tick local Pool standards.
New Cove / AWM designs also moved into self contained bases shielding out slime.
Urbnsurf did make it clear they favour Fed Precinct feather dusting of local laws...(But!)
Urbnsurf are fair dinkum for allowing bodysurfers a go! That bucks the Go Pro era!
Bodysurfers grooming a wave pool gives the ultimate tick that laws & money can't buy!

Grander natural Spring Water fed wave galleries & have stoked VIPs for over a century.


History shows that 1920/30's was the Glam Wave Pool era for Style & Mega Stadiums.
https://porty.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/mm_pc_441.jpg?6798f8&6798f8
https://porty.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/mm_pc_476.jpg?6798f8&6798f8
WSL Pros can only drool of parading stickers around heated Wavepool Coliseums.
100 yrs on, surfers lost stadiums, got cold baths, milk crates & cheapest Olympic ticket.
Can always unbox some more of them stickers!

Luke02's picture
Luke02's picture
Luke02 Saturday, 1 May 2021 at 8:01pm

Cheers TB

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 1:18pm

WOW

lilas's picture
lilas's picture
lilas Saturday, 24 Apr 2021 at 7:08am

Take my money! I just want to surf everyday and the ocean won't provide me with that, so it's time for option "B"
If the science is true then my money is on the Wave Prism to be a winner. 80% less energy is the main reason there, along with larger wave heights. [Compared to current tech]
Seems a really flexible system as well which is huge selling point.
Looking forward to that 8ft wave in a wave pool one day.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 24 Apr 2021 at 8:38am

80% less Energy is a huge claim by Wave Prism - Ridiculous even.

seahunt's picture
seahunt's picture
seahunt Sunday, 25 Apr 2021 at 9:11am

They say they can produce waves up to 6 foot, but no video to prove it..They cant do it...lol

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Sunday, 25 Apr 2021 at 9:43am

Kellys still easily looks the best wave wise, but overall vibe/environment not great.

Surf lakes looks like the most natural in both the actual environment and how the wave comes to you in a swell and how it breaks.

But after my Urbn surf experience, i don't have much interest in it all, my first surf back in the ocean in average waves of the same size even with a light onshore was so much better.

I have much more interest in artificial reefs, but can't see too much development there with no real money to be made and often opposition even from surfers.

damota's picture
damota's picture
damota Sunday, 25 Apr 2021 at 10:43pm

See Air wave for artifical reef tech if this guy gets it right will simultaneously sink thewave pools. Alot of Beaches out there!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Sunday, 25 Apr 2021 at 10:52pm

AirWave 1 = $250K Failure...Troy says to the Investors lets cut our losses and try again
WTF ! ? ?

damota's picture
damota's picture
damota Monday, 26 Apr 2021 at 2:00am

Yeah ,rome wasn't built in a day hence "if he gets it right " time & money will tell i guess?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 26 Apr 2021 at 8:08am

A small rise in cost now for Air Wave 2 - $350 -400,000 USD

lilas's picture
lilas's picture
lilas Monday, 26 Apr 2021 at 6:05am

"I have much more interest in artificial reefs, but can't see too much development there with no real money to be made and often opposition even from surfers."
You hit the nail on the head there mate. There is so much potential for more [Proper ocean] waves with Coastal Improvements. I suggest we all stop using the term "Artificial Reefs" as these days it implies something fake or less-than-nature. [Even though it really means Man-Made, so you are all actually surfing Artificial Surfboards!. Sounds odd doesn't it?

I also dispute that there is no money to be made out of them. There is a 2 fold financial benefit from Improving coastlines. One is the massive amount of money to be saved by not having to continually Fix the beach erosion and stop buildings falling into the sea. The money already spent on this ridicules scenario over the last 30 years would have given the Gold Coast 50 new Reefs by now. But alas, they keep pumping in millions of dollars worth of sand that just gets washed away in the next big swell.
Sounds completely reasonably to spend a few 100 million on protecting Billions of Dollars worth of realestate as we are already doing it. Just incorrectly.

The other benefit is that people love safe and good surfing beaches and tourism would do really well out of that. Imagine the Gold Coast with 20-30 new world class Reefs! People would come from all over the world to surf these world-class waves.

and another benefit is the general health of the population. This counts towards billions of dollars. as every person surfing is going to be much more healthy both physically and mentally. [Shit I would be dead by now if I didn't surf...lol]

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine Sunday, 25 Apr 2021 at 11:00am

Indo-dreaming, I agree that nothing betters ocean surfing, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Urbnsurf experience.
I went by myself and my expectations of the place were exceeded. Friendly vibe, fun wave (on advanced mode), couldn't figure out the barrel mode, but then again only had one session. Would definitely go again when up in Melbourne.

I wouldn't mind a couple of artificial reefs on the MP. Portsea would be a good place to start.

andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt Monday, 26 Apr 2021 at 1:40pm

anybody have an update on the reef sunk off Palm Beach, Gold Coast?
Can't see any salient on the shoreline. So has it been effective in the goal of beach widening?

Current Affair's picture
Current Affair's picture
Current Affair Monday, 26 Apr 2021 at 8:12pm

And the Webber pool... Has anything happened with one of those yet?

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco Sunday, 2 May 2021 at 8:02pm