Japanese Wavepool Open for the Olympics
As mentioned on Swellnet back in April, American Wave Machines (AWM) are constructing a pool in Japan to coincide with the Olympic Games.
The pool, which is located at Shizunami, 100 kms south-west of Tokyo, is now open, having taken just thirteen months to complete. Considering global supply chain disruptions during 2020, AWM think they can reduce lead time even further in the future.
Though it's open to the public, the pool operates as a proof of concept for American Wave Machines' ability to scale a pool for smaller or unusually shaped blocks. In this instance, the site measures less than 1 hectare - being approx. 75m wide x 150m long.
Fundamentally it's very similar to the BSR Surf Resort wave in Texas - of course, both are made by AWM - however the videos coming out of Shizunami show a greater range of wave profiles. The differences are owing to what AWM call 'temporal distortions' - the ability to alter the rhythm of displacement units and turn a perfect peeling wave into something more unpredictable.
BSR also has the ability to distort the waves it creates - see Red Bull Foam Wreckers for the random wedges and sections possible - however the march of progress has seen Shizunami unveiled with advanced distortion capability. The result is something akin to the surfers idyll of a wedging beachbreak.
“Temporal Distortion will lead to an entirely new selection of waves for both high-performance and learning applications,” said William McFarland, AWM Surf Programmer. “It will add shifting elements to the surf creating a more dynamic wave overall.”
See videos below for proof. In the first video, all the waves after the 25 second mark are distorted - i.e breaking out of sequence - resulting in oncoming air sections.
“Surfing is in the Olympics for the first time only once. This is a watershed moment for the sport,” said Bruce McFarland, AWM Founder. “Shizunami provides a consistent platform for athlete training, exhibitions, and events leading up to the Olympic Games.”
Whether Olympic surfers think pool surfing is the ideal training for the vagaries of real beachbreaks remains to be seen. To date, no chosen surfers have tested the pool.
POSTSCRIPT: There's been no further news on the AWM pool planned for the Sunshine Coast.