Raze The Plunger

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

Five years ago, Aaron Trevis, the Founder of Surf Lakes, built the first full-scale version of a Surf Lakes lagoon. The pool, which was built at Mulara, just outside Yeppoon in central Queensland, was actually the fourth version of the Surf Lakes idea.

Beginning in 2013 with a 1:25 model, then in 2016 when both a 1:10 and a 1:5 size model were built on farmland, the idea was scaled up to full size in 2017. The proof of concept worked and Surf Lakes subsequently fielded enquiries from interested parties around the world.

(Surf Lakes / Andrew Shield)

Then, earlier this year, Surf Lakes announced they'd been granted development approval to turn the Mulara site into a commercial facility. Wave-starved local surfers rejoiced and began counting the days till they too could paddle out The Slab or Occy's Peak. Yet nine months after the first announcement the site is seemingly no closer to hosting paying customers.

What's happening up there in Yeppoon?

"What people need to understand," explains Brad Hutchins, Surf Lakes' Marketing Coordinator, "is that the site was only ever meant to be an R&D facility." In that sense, it's just another model like the previous ones - albeit full-scale and able to pump out multiple head-high waves.

"When it was constructed," continues Brad, "the specifications were for a limited lifespan; just enough to serve its function, and it's done that well."

Indeed, recently Aaron Trevis spoke to Wave Pool Mag detailing the life cycle of the plunger and the pool.

“The current system was designed for 150,000 cycles,” said Aaron, “and it wasn’t even painted because it was deemed not worth it because of its short shelf life."

If you've heard stories about mechanical downtime with the plunger, then this explains their cause.

"The commercial one will be far stronger, far more robust," continued Aaron. "So same concept. But it’s a totally new model, designed to have fifty million cycles at full stroke.”

So long story short, the current plunger will be razed, the pool emptied, and the whole lot built back to new specifications. Also, Brad said the park aesthetics will be different to the current setup. "The machine noise will be attenuated, and the steam - which is actually compressed air and which some people have grown to like - will be significantly reduced," explained Brad, adding, "the plunger will also be covered, though we're not sure with what yet."

Coby Perkovich inside The Slab (Surf Lakes / Andrew Shield)

The reason for the delay between the announcement and any action is that, first of all, there's a considerable amount of ducks that must be lined up, and secondly, COVID scheduling woes have exacerbated those difficulties.

"I can't give you a date we'll begin work", admits Brad. "But very soon I hope. Once we begin it'll take 18 to 24 months till it's finished."

Once the turnstiles are spinning, Surf Lakes foresee a number of projects dropping soon after. Right now, they have 22 projects around the world at various stages of the process - some mere agreements to work together, others zoning approval, while Mulara is on the cusp of construction.

“The hold up for us has been getting the first one commercialised," Aaron Trevis told Wave Pool Mag, "which then de-risks it for everybody else, because everybody wants to be a fast follower. They don’t want to go first."

Just as the current Yeppon pool is a proof of concept - proving that waves can be made - the first commercial pool will also prove that it's a viable business.

The R&D doesn't stop, however, with Brad suggesting Surf Lakes may hold onto some land near Yeppoon for yet another proof of concept: making XXL waves in a lagoon.

Comments

flollo's picture
flollo's picture
flollo Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 4:13pm

So much talk over the years. Will it ever be fully operational?

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 4:58pm

can't believe there is a wave pool magazine

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 4:58pm

Empty the Pool - Raze the current Plunger and build a complete new setup to new Specs
Holy Fck $$$

SPITS Steering Team Jindabyne :
i have been prodded by the community and by friends of the Surf Lakes executive team to sign and get on with implementing the Surf Lakes processes and product.
This is an encouraging sign for the expectations of the local community.
But watch the video linked below carefully....
Around the 4m:55s mark in the video, you hear the narrator (Design Engineer Kit Sidwell) say "its just an engineering exercise to turn a compressor shaft".... but what he does not say is how noisy it can be during operation. Also all visions in that video, show the effort of those large noisy compressors to lift the plunger for only one stroke and bounce back. This current released video no longer shows the distinct discharge cloud from the noisy mechanism. This is why we need an independent proof of concept report which they do not offer for any eyeball scrutiny which would encourage a QnA session and visitation of their test pool sight in Yeppoon.
On several occasions, i have offered to sign a Confidentiality Agreement to preserve their intellectual and product integrity, but the only agreement on offer is to lock us into a not so intelligent silencing contract that restricts any discussion to develop our fit for purpose situation. After reading that contract (which i had sent back for specific amendments), we note that (SPITS steering team members) have already breached that agreement before we have had a chance to sign.
When i pointed that out, Aaron Trevis (Surf Lakes CEO) said "if we do not sign, then there will be no further discussion"... (that is a not so cleaver and belligerent response from a CEO)... so there you have it.
Please Note that i am experienced with many discussions had with legal teams where the unaware just see it as necessary jargon and then leave the responsibility in the hands of solicitors.
Solicitors are pressed to put together words that are usually chosen from “off the shelf” contracts that wont come back and bite them. So the contracts are usually over the top and shoots every one in the foot, so to speak (at least the solicitors are in the clear, you would think). But what is not usually understood is that this then restricts most entities to diligently move forward. And the solicitor still gets paid for it. Also, in many ways it heavily restricts the process and implies unintended duplicity. Not very smart ay. So now we wait for further suitable developments from the world at large.
Summing up... if you want to buy and expensive vehicle or machine... the sales team would allow you to test drive and discuss the important features before you buy… don't you think..! Otherwise there just may be a case of duplicity.

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 6:58pm

This info above appears to be private business.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Friday, 9 Sep 2022 at 10:45pm

Thanx Stu & thanx udo...dovetails nicely to update the Jindabyne surf site timeline.
https://www.swellnet.com/forums/surfing-reef-designs/546867#comment-856678

Dx3's picture
Dx3's picture
Dx3 Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 5:01pm

So a few more years of a select few pro's surfing it and pumping it up on their socials for no real reason as us ordinary plebs can't get near it. Sweet.

sacash's picture
sacash's picture
sacash Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 6:42pm

Probably end up in the history books along with Webbers ideas

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 6:42pm

Thanks Stu, Steve & Ben for all the great swellnet surf stories, insights, forecasts & reports.

Delivering effective new projects always needs alot of $ for research & development.
Your car engine for example....

"Humans have been building cars for well over a century now, and under almost every hood has sat an internal combustion engine. For the past 100 years, its principle has remained the same: air and fuel go in, an explosion happens in the cylinders, and power shoves you onward. "

"But every year, engineers hone the internal combustion engine to go faster and farther, developing it to be more efficient than before, producing the kind of power you used to only see on supercars. "
Reference
https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/car-technology/a19854205/the-evolu...

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 7:05pm

Yep, and despite all that innovation the absolute maximum energy efficiency engineers can get from an internal combustion engine is just 50%.

An F1 team did it recently. Most cars driving around the streets have just 35% efficiency - the rest of the energy is lost to friction, heat, and noise.

Point being: lots more room to improve. Though EV's will probably put an end to all that.

sacash's picture
sacash's picture
sacash Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 7:22pm

Just stick to surf reports mate!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 7:31pm

Which part of that is incorrect?

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 7:23pm

"the plunger will also be covered, though we're not sure with what yet."

Well the Eiffel Tower is considered phallic & hotspot by many ....
"The 320 metre high iron tower is the world’s most visited structure, attracting roughly 7 million tourists each year. A study last year estimated that the iconic structure is worth €434 billion to the French economy, the equivalent of 25 percent of the country’s GDP."
French feminist are heated, organised & want the tower pulled down.....
Reference
https://www.survivefrance.com/t/is-the-eiffel-tower-an-intimidating-phal...

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson Friday, 9 Sep 2022 at 9:42am

It will more than likely be covered with 4 different angled TVs pumping out high volume advertising. Surf Lakes T-Shirts! Buy! Offset the pumps emissions and buy an electric surf lakes car! Buy!! Love Surf Lake?! Buy Surf Lake House! It has views of houses that have views of Surf Lake! Buy Now!!! Buy!! Buy!! Buy!! Surf lakes season pass going for low price of only $25,000 a year! Buy it! Come and enjoy the crowds at Surf Lakes!
I for one am excited and have started savings.

conrico's picture
conrico's picture
conrico Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 10:02pm

that massive plunging pumping out XXL surf would be terrifying! (but awesome)

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 8 Sep 2022 at 10:17pm

At least go out in an exponential blaze of death slabs.

Chipper's picture
Chipper's picture
Chipper Friday, 9 Sep 2022 at 9:44am

I'd be keen to surf a Lakes machine, in the hope that it is better than the tullarmarine bath tub...it does appear a better shape wave...

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler Friday, 9 Sep 2022 at 12:10pm

Yeppoon would be good option for family holiday in Sept school holidays. Do it as a 2 week road trip from SE Qld easy. Camping accommodation- surf in morning while wife gets massage / goes for a wander etc. kids do their thing. Head back for evening surf after doing family time lunch / arvo.. ie water park, driving range or explore local region. Hard to get guaranteed waves in Sept as winds are normally variable between north & south as it is normally change b/w winter & summer.

scrotina's picture
scrotina's picture
scrotina Friday, 9 Sep 2022 at 12:55pm

that occy got to surf it is criminal. despite his ability, he is such a c___. deserves no waves

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 9:55am

Cook

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 9:55am

Cork?

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 11:37am

.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 12:20pm

Yes have heard he doesn't like to share.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Tuesday, 13 Sep 2022 at 11:47am

that's putting it nicely.
He's a champion by name only, as a real champion has substance.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Tuesday, 13 Sep 2022 at 12:03pm

Spill the beans Jack I love these stories about surf heros. I was speaking to a mate who was on the CT a generation or two ago and he was philosophical about it saying they earned to right to take the best waves whereas I was still under a democratic illusion of he who takes off inside is king.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Tuesday, 13 Sep 2022 at 12:17pm

for starters, the way he (who shall not be named) treats his community is always reflected in these comments whenever he's mentioned.
In my view, that speaks volumes as to the quality and substance of his character not being that of a real champion. And I get that we are all just getting through life, so, I'm not casting stones in a glass house, however, mark puts himself out there as a champ, and so logically, that is the standard he needs to be held to, and that is the standard, according to his community, that he continually pisses on.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Tuesday, 13 Sep 2022 at 12:33pm

Pity, very myopic view of his own importance which Kelly for all his idiosyncrasies doesn't have.

scrotina's picture
scrotina's picture
scrotina Tuesday, 13 Sep 2022 at 6:27pm

in an age of sport stars and media saturation, fans are often fans because of someone's sporting ability. we should be a fan of someone based upon how good a human they are, not how good a surfer / footy player etc. for example, i follow koa smith on insta. koa rips and i love his surfing, but more importantly he is also a good human. watch his youtube channel and its not only surfing - he regularly undertakes environmentally beneficial activities without expectation of payment or reward. when he was in aus earlier this year surfing the superbank, i was out there every day he was, never saw him drop in or snake, he was polite and friendly to everyone regardless of gender or which surfcraft they were riding. i grew up in byron around rippers like danny wills and kieran perrow - same deal. they were humble guys who got their fair share of waves because they were fit and had ability, not because they dropped in whenever they felt like it. if only the same could be said for most pros. imagine a bunch of kids kicking a footy in a park which is public property, then a bunch of nrl pros rock up and kick them off the park and take over - imagine the outrage - they would be crucified in the media. yet a similar thing happens round the world everyday when pro surfers snake and drop in, despite the fact they are good enough to get the best waves anyway without having to resort to being assholes, yet we regular surfers, for the most part, put up with it.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Tuesday, 13 Sep 2022 at 6:35pm

Doesn't happen down here you wait your turn or get sent in but for the other part of your comment:
"imagine a bunch of kids kicking a footy in a park which is public property, then a bunch of nrl pros rock up and kick them off the park and take over - imagine the outrage" - more than that there would be a riot.....NRL......that weird marginal sport from up north......in Melbourne....Faaaarrrrrk Oooorrrrfff.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 12:16pm

The New Plunger
50 Million Cycles at Full stroke - Thats some Heavy Duty Costly engineering going on there..

KON's picture
KON's picture
KON Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 7:40pm

The KON doesn’t froth on wave pools. Salt water only.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 7:48pm
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 12:22pm

A movie star can move amongst the surf cognoscenti.

Dx3's picture
Dx3's picture
Dx3 Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 3:04pm

As per my comment above…surf lakes has another few years of just being for those with the connections to surf it and rest of us watching on from online. 8 year old son of a movie star this time. Good on the kid getting barrelled.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 3:28pm

Here's some Approx [old] on your Land Build Pricing in $USD ...ETC
https://surf-lakes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/surf-lakes-standard...

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 8:56pm

Looks good when set Hong Kong harbour!?! What a really bad sad and unsophisticated that image is of a contrived soulless modern city in Anywhere Asia. They are all class.

Eggman's picture
Eggman's picture
Eggman Sunday, 11 Sep 2022 at 9:41am

yawn

northeasterly's picture
northeasterly's picture
northeasterly Wednesday, 14 Sep 2022 at 4:29pm

50 million full strokes. That's some impressive stroking. Take note boys.

Boda's picture
Boda's picture
Boda Sunday, 18 Sep 2022 at 12:54pm

Your first barrel in a wave pool seems like losing your virginity to a working girl. No judgement but maybe not as special as it could have been.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Wednesday, 28 Sep 2022 at 12:47pm

Raze the Hammer...THORCCY unleashes the Thunder.
God Of Thunder stalks Bob's Dingo Den in search of the buried deep Chosen Grom!

&t=3s