Wavepools Are Not The Future of Competitive Surfing

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)
Swellnet Dispatch

It's been a month since the Rip Curl Pro, held in Tullamarine's URBNSURF tub and historic by a few measures, was run and it's passed almost without notice.

Did you watch?

One of the main selling points of a wavepool comp is to make it easy for you to do so. No fumbling around with time zones and date differences, or endless on hold calls finishing in 'competition off for the day' because the wind came up.

You just clock in at the appointed time and tune in for the action.

In this case a Saturday morning; glorious in Melbourne.

Billed as historic, the first QS in a wavepool, and the first WSL contest in a non-KSWC pool, the Rip Curl Pro was won by Xavier Huxtable and Nyxie Ryan

My thoughts on wavepool comps are easily summarised and well documented. In short: dire, disgraceful, boring, a blight on the sport. Which is well matched to the tenor of surf fan commentary, and even inline with Rip Curl's Marketing Manager for Australasia Angus Forrest who said the Surf Ranch comp at the KSWC “lacked excitement”. You know when a marketing guy says that the situation is terminal.

But he also assured us Rip Curl was full bore into the “wavepool space” and that the URBNSURF comp would be different, more exciting etc etc.

Jessi Miley-Dyer, the Wozzle's SVP of Tours and Head of Competition assured me prior to the event that, “wave technology is at an inflection point”.

I don't normally take marketing guys or Wozzle spin at face value but after Forrest's candid assessment of the Surf Ranch debacle I tried to watch the Rip Curl Cup with an open mind.

URBNSURF charged $10 for spectators to get in and watch the action. That will have to be scrapped. Free entry will have to become a baseline for these events. No-one is paying to come and watch a wavepool comp. They'll have to rig up a free bus from the domestic terminal at Tullamarine and offer a courtesy drink to get bums on seats.

The atmosphere was dismal. The lowliest club cricket game will get a slow clap from a boundary or a bouncer. I swear the heats I watched lacked even that. Just a few random people wandering around in the sunshine like stunned mullets totally oblivious to and disconnected from the action.

The commentary was perhaps the hardest propaganda job in world sport. Parsing one three-turner and a weak finish from the next one over and over and over must have tested their mental fortitude to the limit. I hope, because it is a modern workplace, there was a debrief and counselling session available to them.

You think I'm over-egging the omellete here? You think, Oh, I'm sure at least a fair chunk of the millions of global surf fans must have enjoyed it?

The Official WSL stream, which is still playing on YouTube a month later, has only clocked 56K views. A minute and a half highlights package featuring Olympic Bronze Medallist Owen Wright was watched by 1,400 people. World-wide.

That's after a month.

By contrast, the latest Surfers of Bali clip featuring unknown people surfing Bali in the off season captured 23K views less than a day after being uploaded.

Nathan Florence's latest clip of him getting banged up at giant Jaws – 99K views a day after being uploaded.

Five years into the wavepool-as-competition-venue-era we can now definitively say this: Wavepool comps are not a draw, they do not attract eyeballs, and this problem is getting worse not better. The fans have spoken. The reaction now to wavepool comps spans the negative space from dull rage to complete indifference. Even the most optimistic marketing guy or smoke and mirrors Woz top brass can now no longer ignore the signal from the market.

Yet they will. Such is life.

It's not going to change. Wavepool technology is not at an “inflection point” because physics and material reality have not changed. Waves, as we see them break every day, are an emergent property of solar energy striking the Earth's surface and atmosphere.

That we live on a mostly watery planet filled with waves is one of the great miracles of existence. Wave generation is an incredibly energy hungry process, but luckily for us solar energy from the sun is an abundant source of this energy. Across the globe, 173,000 Terrawatts (trillion of watts) of solar energy is, at any moment, striking the Earth, heating air masses and ocean basins and creating revolving bands of wind, interspersed with intense storms. The friction of this wind on water creates waves.

The hallmark of this process, like all bio-physical systems, is variation. Variation creates the uniqueness of swells, of surf spots, of individual waves. Variation creates a difference between what we expect, what is modelled by even the most advanced algorithms, to what we see, ride, and experience.

What magic there is in competitive surfing lies mostly in the mystery of this variation.

It's why, despite a dismal Pipe forecast a week out from last year's comp, a compact storm that ran exactly down the right pathway created some of the best Pipe ever seen. Why we thrilled to see Kelly Slater pick off an insane buzzer beater ride on the hooter against Barron Mamiya. That variation, which creates anticipation, can never be modelled out of existence.

And it's why the wavepool comps became so boring, so quickly. The variation of a purely mechanical, human created and mediated wave basin is not sufficient to create anticipation.

The other material reality which will always impede surfing in a tub is the physics at play. Water is incredibly dense. A cubic metre weighs a ton. Shifting this mass, whether by plough or compressed air or plunger takes immense amounts of energy.

“Wait till we get six or eight foot waves,” has been a common refrain.

Scaling up wave size is not linear. Creating a six foot wave does not take twice as much energy as creating a three foot wave. It takes eight times as much, and you can make fewer of them.

Short of tubs building their own mini-nuclear power plants, that kind of energy expenditure on a warming planet where energy use is more likely to be constrained than expanded defies plausibility.

Some things scale easily. A snowboard half-pipe can be built twice as big with little problem. Same for skateboard half-pipes and parks to use two common examples from similar board sports. Waves do not. And the great and insurmountable problem for wavepools is the ocean, with its essentially limitless energy inputs and wave heights and infinite variation. By comparison, the tub is always going to seem lame.

No, wave technology is not at an inflection point. It has reached its current limits according to physics and those physical laws are brutal, expensive, and inflexible. Even more so when the audience rejects the product they are producing.

How long the WSL decides to walk down this road, accompanied by slow claps and awkward silences and embarrassing numbers, when even industry marketing people can't produce a kind word for it is anyone's guess.

We've learnt that the Woz, with its deep-pocketed benefactor does not conform to the usual laws of business and sport.

But even billionaires can't beat the laws of physics.



gavin007's picture
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gavin007 Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 1:32pm

I was able to book a surf session in the evening after the comp had finished. The fact that there was still openings shows how enthusiastic the Melbourne surfing community was towards the comp.

Le_Reynard's picture
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Le_Reynard Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 1:43pm

Wholeheartedly agree. Didn't even know the Melbs pool event happened.

The future path of all these wave pools has been walked by that one in Japan from years ago that closed because of energy costs. Even if the physics can be overcome, the economics of producing that energy is unviable/unsustainable.

All those Terrawatts and even the Ocean can still be flat for months! (SEQLD...not recently)

tylerdurden's picture
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tylerdurden Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 1:47pm

Hold your horses Steve, just wait for the Webber wave pool, that’ll blow you away with both wave quality AND variety, due to arrive any day now

ducatiman89's picture
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ducatiman89 Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 5:52pm

The Webber wave pool website predicted nearly 1000 people per day.......

"The opportunity planned to bring huge tourism revenue with over 350,000 surfer per annum visiting the park"

would use the Boganholme wave pool every day of the year - 350,000 people per annum! Well thats a good start to getting the point breaks less crowded - bring it on - imagine queing up with that amount of people.

udo's picture
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udo Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 2:31pm

Greg WebberFRIDAY, 2 OCT 2020 at 8:27PM

Mate you probably won’t believe it when you see it.
Investors $ Return be interesting ?

aahgee's picture
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aahgee Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 4:03pm

Was thinking about the plunger concept and wondered what would happen with two plungers side by side. the water between them could be deep and perhaps have a swell reflecting wall to prevent energy from one plunger affecting the performance of the other.
unless i,m mistaken when two swell pass through each other the peak is the sum of each height. now there is three swells (with the reflected one added) on the move. Mix up the timing of each plunger (or not) and the mind boggles at what size and shape of wave can result. So all you math geniuses. what do you think

seaslug's picture
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seaslug Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 2:52pm

"But even billionaires can't beat the laws of physics." haha Steve, never let the truth get in the way of a good story Jessi

suchas's picture
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suchas Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 3:32pm

This was posted by TBB in another tread- an insight into the minds of developers- https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/wave-pools-australia-developm...
After watching KL do airs at 30' Jaws, its time they added Maui to the World Champ tour.

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hamishbro Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 3:52pm

Another classic critique Steve.

Stok's picture
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Stok Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 3:58pm

I mean, it was a QS event, do people really watch those anyway?

Regardless, I'm just in no way interested in stadium style sporting events. Much more of a doer than a watcher. I'd imagine most surfers are in a similar boat. They'll click on to a webcast comp, when its on and is exciting due to conditions or whatever, but they aren't booking tickets in advance to travel to surf comp XYZ, brining their jerseys/flags/air horns/flares to celebrate their country or favourite surfer.

I just think the WSL has been operating in fantasy land the whole time.

Or maybe that's just me.

(p.s. yes, the Tullamarine tub is very unspectacular to watch, the turns mode is soft, and the barrels mode whilst hollow, slows you down to almost a dead stop as it tubes)

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juegasiempre Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 12:49pm

The circus is coming to town this year where I live and I'll wander down for a look after I surf, it's only a few minutes away, but yeah, I'm not super excited about it and if it didn't come this way I wouldn't mind at all. I definately wouldn't spend a dollar to attend.

mpeachy's picture
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mpeachy Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 4:11pm

Agree with the above comment. There was a QS event in the US last year where guys were taking off on one footers onto the sand. They can knock over a whole QS event at the tub in a quarter of the time, and nobody is going to watch regardless. It kinda makes sense. The CT event at kellys pool is awful, so the broader point is valid.

plops's picture
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plops Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 5:07pm

The wave pool to me is like masturbating. It’s kinda fun but it’s nothing like the thrill of the real thing.

tyzee63's picture
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tyzee63 Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 10:26am

I actually likened it to sleeping with a sex-worker vs a normal sexual encounter. It's quickly accessible after paying a chunk of money, yet very inauthentic and no where near as good as the real thing.

farkenkook's picture
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farkenkook Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 12:01pm

Unless they let you proceed unsheathed...then it feels kinda real.
Unfortunately the herp is definitely real.

Bnkref's picture
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Bnkref Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 5:25pm

Too kind there plops. Good for a novelty once in a blue moon and that's about it.

Worth noting the Tulla tub is now $100 a pop. Not many that can afford to fork out that on a regular basis.

Anecdotally, it seems like the attendance has suffered with the price hike. Lots of sessions over summer with availability.

haggis's picture
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haggis Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 5:36pm

Can’t wait until Greg Webber’s pool is open. It’s going to be awesome.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 6:31pm

Where is it going to be ?

Plasticspastic's picture
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Plasticspastic Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 5:41pm

Fuck Steve you are a legend. As an engineer, and understanding the physics around scaling I agree 100% with you. As we move global focus on reducing energy use (reducing emissions/climate change etc). surely, due to, the massive (non-linear) energy requirements will limit wave pools to the sideshow that they are.??

mattlock's picture
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mattlock Friday, 27 Jan 2023 at 6:41pm

The waves are always the star[or not]of any comp.

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Johan Wohlleben Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 12:03am

Plops comment spot on. As usual excellent analytical writing

andy-mac's picture
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andy-mac Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 7:11am

I think I lasted for 2 waves watching Kelly's comp, then done. Urban surf would not even tune in. Quite happy to watch SOB or Raw clips on YouTube for a stretch. Have never had a surf in a wave pool and would think it is fun, but cannot compare to ocean and definitely not watching comps in it. Bring back dream tour with final comps in Hawaii.

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sean killen Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 7:38am

Plops Sumed it up perfect mate ..

benjis babe's picture
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benjis babe Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 8:20am

Hey Steve just wondering if you would know the cost difference between running at a beach or remote location compared to running at the tub.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 8:51am

No I don't.

it would vary enormously depending on what tier of competition you are costing out.

Komodo's picture
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Komodo Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 9:24am

Hey FR,
Any chance of a feel good story soon?

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 10:25am

The eddie story?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 10:56am

Cheers LD.

SurferSam's picture
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SurferSam Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 11:52am

No one watches QS events anyway I reckon. Too many surfers and heats to make sense of. But agree would be even more boring in a pool.

The pool makes sense to have us places with limited surf and lots of surfers, somewhere like Perth.

I understand some of the new ones are going to be 100% solar powered? Wouldn’t have thought that’s possible but am sure I read that somewhere.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 3:31pm

The only QS comp i watched was in Lampung sumatra, at a spot called Ujung Bocor or translates to Leaky point as while on the discovery mission, bimo or driver always stopped every 20 minutes for a piss, found this point break and they called it ujung bocur- leaky point.

Anyway, they scored for that comp. 3-4 foot, Rides over 150m up to 300 metre rides with trade winds not cross shore like usual...where when i stayed there for 4-5 months only some days broke that well. And most days trades blew it out or monsoon winds ripped it up once a fortnight or swell direction was always wrong making it sectiony....Sometimes swell was 10 -12 and only spot there in Biha ridable was the bombie to the NW outside corner with rideable boring lefts or closeout rights into ujung bocur.

Anyway have said it before but maybe a strike mission tour could be possiblle some time in the future.

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Saturday, 28 Jan 2023 at 9:21pm

They'll go the way of Amazons and Wild Waters eventually.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Sunday, 29 Jan 2023 at 4:22am

Surf Comp Entry fees already dictate current market Surf Comp pricing in Australian Dollars.
This Comp Price List will not surprise the crew...all know the prices before looking.
Reason to share is 'only now', we have a rush of 'Premium' price models to compare.
We can then establish Price Limits that may restrict Beaches / Pools.

Surf Comp Price list is exclusive to #1 swellnet (Freeride76) Salute!

(Free) WSL CT Finals

$3.50 The Wave UK Adaptive Open (Wave Pool-Standard Entry)

$7 (Standard) Alaia Bay Swiss Winter Cup 2021/22 am/pm Wave Pool ( WSL Format) Crowd 500

$10 ($5 Standard) Urbnsurf Rip Curl Pro WSL QS (Crowd 200) See feature!
Viewers saw a lack of Shade kept spectators away & has since been slightly improved...(Lesson learnt!)

$10 WSL CT Bells Beach ~ (Ltd) Crowds (Quoting) 3-5,000/day recorded at Vic/NSW/WA WSL events.
Restrictions are due to Covid Safe Plan & Unstable Foreshore amenity.
Crew know Oz beaches hold more but also that WSL Comp sites share restricted Wave erosion sites
(Read Next) #1 Foreshore Amenity

$28 Fairy Penguin Party Wave is rated as World Surfing's Holy Grail.
Phillip Island $60m Beach Arena draws 3.5m surf fans to 365 twilight surf exhibitions / year.

$49 ~ Olympic Surfing Japan (Cheapest Games Ticket!) Covid 50% Venue Cap > 3,000 / 6,000

$58 ~ 2019 Stab High "Waco Pool"

$70 ~ 2018 GC Com Games Cooly Beach Volleyball (Finals economy seat) 4,000 seat cap'
tbb included this example re: Cheapest CG Volleyball = Premium GC WSL/Olympic Surf Comp

$80 ~ 2018 GC Com Games Broadwater Aquatic Centre (Finals economy) 10,000 cap'

Similar CG foreshore arenas compare with Olympic Premium Surfing...that's a strong indicator!

................Line in the sand for Surfing Events is also the base price for Premium Wave Pool Events................

Important! WSL premium wave pools are hosting similar 5,000 + crowd size...(Nothing unusual here!)
These prices perfectly reflect similar "Premium" Olympic Surfing Arena / CG Foreshore Arenas

$140 ~ 2018 Surf Ranch Pro WSL CT - w/e Crowd 5,000 (Longest Wave on Tour = Premium)

$ 77 ~ 2019 Surf Ranch Freshwater Pro WSL CT

$173 ~ 2023 Surf Ranch WSL CT (May 2023) 5-8,000 crowd (Proposed 20,000 Sunshine Coast)


2024 ~ Teahupoo (Crowd: 1,500 capacity 'Standing') Q: Are we talking about Club Med SUPs?
Check this site for projected Olympic Standing numbers.
France Olympic Sports tickets draw ends 31st Jan 2023 > "No Surfing Listed or Promos"
As with Japan's cheapest seats...Surfers try extra hard to boot themselves outta the Olympic Games.
No Ticket Sales = No Surf inclusion in France 2024 Olympics Promos that are now, near finished.
Surfing shoots itself in the foot again...no one gives a fuckin' shit about Surfing in Olympics!
Simply vanished it did...just the start...ISA/WSL have heaps of time to wipe Surfing off the Map!

Crew can be right in thinking fewer tickets = Restricted VIP Club Med Hodad Package Tours.
tbb reckons they're aiming to clock GOAT's Tickets...Not for the crew...Not these tickets!

Price List is what it is!
We all see World Beaches have a current $70 economy entry limit for best ever sanctioned Surf Event.
Crew can see the current line in the sand is set at 4,000 spectators paying $70/seat
Here the Price List has outed a base price code that resonates as standard WSL event hand out.
Govt's hand out the same (above) price deal for a WSL 10 Day event = Base Event return pricing.
Govt Handout pays WSL to forgo $70/day premium entry fee by returning $70/day base tourist spend.
Crew forever hear this tired anchor line of Tourism spend returned... it pays for the free Event entry!
So each Stadium or Comp entry must equally return the visitor Spend...here / now = $70.

Premium Wave Pools rising above Govt ceiling will automatically bid for WSL CT / Olympic Events.
That's a given...Surf Business is Surf Business!

(freeride76) is brave enough to air this topic which stoked this real time exclusive comp price list.
Recapping that only now do we have a large enough sample of Surf / Foreshore / Aquatic Event Prices.
tbb has no agenda & is happy to share research in real time so it's equally news to all.

PS : thanks suchas...agree, that's a pretty good current Wave Pool market article.

sam_2's picture
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sam_2 Sunday, 29 Jan 2023 at 11:35am

Cant beat surfing in the ocean. The time you take, people you meet, nature, wave chance, always refining, It's all of it. Its fun. Even just rockin up to the lookout. Waves on - cool a surf, waves not on, a fish? A walk, chat. Maybe check how the new plants are holding up. Time to stare and think. Just cant make myself want to surf a wavepool.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 30 Jan 2023 at 3:08am

Urbnsurf Comp Calendar...(Variable)

Jan: *(Melbourne Pool Party) Surfing Vic Clubs Top Surfers (State)
*NSW Surfing Junior Coach Clinic ( 54 surfers) Interstate
Feb : Acoustic Jam & Diverse Sessions
March : Rip Curl Grom Finals (Winners > WSL QS ) National
Vic' Police / Fire / Emergency Surf Games. (State)
Surf Aid Cup ( Raises $50,000) International
Women/s Day & Week (Local)
April : Stab High (Pending) International
June : Cruiser Classic (Local)
July : (Pool Cleaning)
Aug : Winter Jam Comp > $50 entry Crowd ( 1,500 ) (Open)
Sept : Spring Break Comp (1) Local
Tradies Tools Down Comp. (Open)
Oct : Spring Break Comp (2) Local
Nov : Acoustic Jam (n/a)
Dec : WSL Rip Curl Pro QS (International)
MBC Xmas Slayer (Local)
*Oz Boardriders Battle (National)

International 3 > National 2 > Open 2 > Interstate 1 > State 2 > Local 5
Urbnsurf is certified AIS Olympic Training Pool + WSL Junior / QS Wave pool
*Subject to change (vs) Surfing Vic + others have locked in 3 year contracts
Surfing Vic Boardriders score Free Spectator Entry to Pool Comps + Session discounts

Very reason that tbb shares Urbnsurf Comp Calendar...again it's news to all as of right now.
Not even Urbnsurf nor Surfing Vic share this...only ever in parts. (Again! It's ever changing!)
However! Research shows the Comp numbers are growing & adopting WSL Format / Tiers.

tbb has unravelled 2 years of jumbled WSL promos into a Tiered Format to gauge progress!
This took some time & wasn't easy...but it's worth the effort to reveal the accidental truth.
Research seldom rewards the effort but tbb can display a concerted start to end game hierarchy.
Crew might recall a proposed Urbnsurf League ... none spoke of WSL integration as here!

Pretty sure the crew can relate to this WSL format...here goes...

RipCurl WSL Surfers judge > Wild Card Juniors to compete in Rip Curl Gromz Wave Pool final
Only Wave Pool christened Gromz can qualify for WSL Rip Curl Urbnsurf Wave Pool QS
Each year QS surfers will be more Wave Pool compliant in number when Qualifying for CS
Currently there are just enough Wave Pool compliant CS surfers to example the merge into CT
(Example 1) 2x CS m/w Urbnsurf riders just qualified for WSL 2023 CT
(Example 2) Both WSL CS Men's 2021/22 Winners are Wavegarden team riders Kanoa + Leonardo.
Just saying to get used to Wave Pool Gromz climbing up the Pool ladder into the CT.

Meaning! Only now, can we freeze frame the Tiers to track the Wave Pool ladder into the WSL CT.

CS that climb higher to become CT #1 / #2 Champs Qualify as Wave Pool Ambassadors = (Job 4 Life)
Again...just take it slowly...tbb will introduce our current National "Urbnsurf" Wave Pool Godz.

Urbnsurf Promos feature these WSL Champs...
WSL #2 Riders : Sally + Taj + JW.
WSL #1 Women's Champs : Layne (Ambassador) + Tyler (Next in line to the throne)
WSL #1 Men's Champs : Tom + Kelly + Joel + Mick + Filipe (Current WSL Champ)
Olympic Surfing Medalist : Owen is Oz wave pool King.
(Note this is because these above listed WSL #1 / #2 Champs already rule other Wave Pools)
It's also because Urbnsurf is a certified AIS Olympic Training Pool for King Owen!

Can add that other Teams of all sort invade the Pool...reason why ya need a King!
Recapping not to freak if all WSL Grom > QS > CS > CT titles come from the same Pool.
Crew can easily see WaveGarden could Boast a pair of CS/CT Champs right here & now! Shh!
See how how it's already getting ahead of itself ..most would exploit dual WSL Champs to sell pools!
But if you were too stupid to know how much that is worth...just saying, all trip over the Holy Grail!

Just in case ya missed the memo...tbb will intro the higher other Worldly Wave Pool Godz
#1 Champs 1973 Ian + 1976 Peter + 1977 Shaun (These Hodads lord over all Pool Comps)

Again! tbb is not trying to prove a point...but to draw attention to the rapid state of play.
Some other time tbb will share Pros / Pools / Brands...that's another chapter...

Clear to see Wave Pool christening is mandatory to attain WSL Hodad Sainthood.

WSL best Boardrider Clubs / VIP Beaches can't match Urbnsurf Comp access & progress!
tbb has also observed other Wave Pools are equally Surf Comp crazy...this is a new wave.

Seasonal access aside...(eg) Sweden held their National Titles in a Texas Wave Pool! Yep!
Can see they'll need to advertise for judges or run WSL clinics...(Sounds a bit much?)
Wave Pool proposals now all pride Surfing HQ...can start to see these plans have merit.
Talk of bigger waves or less concrete is water off a ducks back...
Surfers have voted & shining their Wave Pool trophies...Wave Pool Comps are all the rage!

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean Monday, 30 Jan 2023 at 9:08am

Sure a few comps have dud waves . For the most part though, the ocean provides.
Chlorine barrels yeah nah !

gsco's picture
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gsco Monday, 30 Jan 2023 at 9:46am

Until there is pools generating 6-8ft borderline unsurfable grinders that snap boards and bodies at will driven by nuclear reactors, it’s just boring.

dez's picture
dez's picture
dez Monday, 30 Jan 2023 at 4:53pm

Was there too, briefly. Completely agree with the article.

Would I watch an air comp at that pool? Absolutely. Or Julian Wilson trying to grind a box? You bet. Or some crazy expression session where anything goes, it's for fun and there's great surfers riding weird shit? You bet I would.

Would I watch the same fucking turn over and over? No. It was astoundingly boring and I cannot understand that anyone in charge can think 'yep, this is great content'.

Sucked the life dry out of surfing.

andy-mac's picture
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andy-mac Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 7:53am
thermalben's picture
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thermalben Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 8:08am

Interesting re: Apple Watch sponsorship. Cheapest model (without 4G) is $400. Top of the range is $1,300.


Rip Curl's Search GPS 2 Watch is $500. Garmin's watches look even more expensive.

I'm curious on how many surfers - actual, real surfers who might use it day in, day out - will indulge in such an item.

icandig's picture
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icandig Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 9:14am

WSL are clearly looking beyond just the technical capabilities of the watch and it's cost.

" Apple also commissioned the Make or Break series for its Apple TV+ streaming platform. The first season was released to acclaim last year; a second season will be released in mid- February.

Produced by the same company behind Netflix’s Drive to Survive, which substantially boosted the popular appeal of Formula One, WSL are hoping for a similar effect. With behind-the-scenes access during the year-long surf calendar, the series combined stunning aesthetics at waves across the globe with heartfelt personal tales."

andy-mac's picture
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andy-mac Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 9:34am

Here's one that won't. :)

Ben Elvy's picture
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Ben Elvy Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 11:23am

I use a Garmin Fenix 6X Pro. Got it for multi-sport events initially. Now it's trained me to use it for ski paddling, swimming, running, snowboarding, golf, biking, gym, step counting and yes, even surfing.
Maybe I'm a gear-head but it's kind of fun know what I've done and keep track of energy expended.
I guess Apple (& by default Strava.com) are looking for a newer, wider market?

icandig's picture
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icandig Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 2:34pm

I also own a Garmin, dunno which model. I got it to tell the time (true). The menus are confusing, I can barely see the icons and I keep forgetting my password (why does a watch need a password)? Same thing happens with my iPhone which I usually only like to use to text and phone home. Maybe it's the luddite in me but it's probably more cos I'm too old and gadgets confuse me; I can't see and I'm not as sharp as I used to be. The watch keeps good time though.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 2:38pm

Only thing I need to know in the surf is the time.

So I got a Kalenji W500 Waterproof Fitness Watch from Decathlon for $29, and it worked a treat for a couple of years until I recently lost it. Handled all kinds of surf from 2ft to 4ft with aplomb.

They don't make 'em anymore so I'm on the lookout for something new.

bdp's picture
bdp's picture
bdp Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 4:35pm

Can recomend some of the smaller Casio G-shocks there are some solar powered ones with a double buckle that are sealed for life that don't have the massive bezel the 90's models used to rock. Do the basics well.

gingeryeti's picture
gingeryeti's picture
gingeryeti Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 2:57pm

"Only thing I need to know in the surf is the time."

Citizen EcoDrive. Bought online 8 years ago for about $180. Never lost time. Never need to change a battery. Only need it to tell me when to get out of the surf and go to work.

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 3:31pm

Thanks Ginge. They're exactly the style of watch I prefer - and powered by light.....Keep an eye out for a Garmin watch going cheap on market place.

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haggis's picture
haggis Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 8:45pm

Ok. So I have both the rip curl search gps 2 surf watch and I also have the Garmin instinct solar 2 surf edition.

The rip curl surf watch is way more accurate than the Garmin. This surprised me. On the Garmin I get registered speeds of 49 km/h or 76km/h. On the rip curl it is always realistic, say 16 km/h up to 23 km/h when I’m at the points and have generated speed. The Garmin has better gps connectivity. The rip curl takes time to find connection with gps. I think the surf aspect of the Garmin is pretty crap. But luckily I run and I have a hrm belt and so it is excellent for that. I use my rip curl watch for surfing as well as my Garmin. Two watches in the water!

As for the apps themselves. Rip curl have given up. Their stars like mick fanning haven’t logged any waves in a while. The app also needs updating but it is always nice to see your rides on the app. It looks better on the rip curl app than the Garmin tbh.

Rip curl have stated recently you can earn points on your rip curl account if you document surfs. So that is an interesting turn of events.

One last thing. The Garmin will upload your surfs automatically whilst the rip curl 2 annoyingly has to have the watch sync manually to the the phone and then it takes a while to upload the info.

The rip curl watch 2 is fantastic as a resource. The longest wave I ever got on it was 346 m. Stoked.

Ben Elvy's picture
Ben Elvy's picture
Ben Elvy Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 3:51pm

Interesting how different the results can be for 2 GPS units Haggis.
Mine is actually a bit crap for GPS in the water. Doesn't really like being covered by a wetty and isn't much good counting waves or being underwater.
Speed can also be an issue (75kmh+ - wish I could surf that fast!)

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 9:39am

What a blight that pool would have been on Perths foreshore. Cheeky thumbnail.

guysoceanharmonics's picture
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guysoceanharmonics Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 9:11am

That location would have been fantastic, there is no surf for around 8 months of the year in Perth. A surf sports facility would have been incredible for kids, families, access to the sport itself, health and fitness, social aspect and tourism to name a few elements. Surfing has the same right as the plethora of yacht clubs that line the Swan river and those clubs include private business's, every hull has a toxic hull treatment, they pump fuel out onto the jetties, the clubs have restaurants, bars etc. There are golf clubs right next to the river and a range of other sports, surfing deserved the same.The location shown was an old rubbish tip and includes unused weed covered land.

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Remigogo Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 2:10pm

I can agree with you on principle and I'd say the new proposed location is idealish being closer to freeway, rail and buses. I have a soft spot for Melville bowling club as I've had a blinder there on a couple of occasions for greenkeeper days and pennants. Would be a shame to lose such a long standing club for any reason including a sink hole. Also I believe golf courses suit being built atop old tips. Why not.

MrBungle's picture
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MrBungle Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 10:18am

So much of surfing is wave selection and the excitement that comes from an approaching set, and how the surfers take them on which isn't really a thing in a wave pool. I can see pools only really being interesting now for novelty events like big air comps. I guess if/when pools start producing amazing waves of consequence, like Teahupo'o, Pipe or Shark Island style slabs with a big bowl at the end, that might be a bit more interesting, surfers and bodyboarders could really start pushing the limits with critical moves and it might start being more like an X-games style vert ramp contest.

Dan87's picture
Dan87's picture
Dan87 Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 9:16am

Awesome article, Steve!
I completely agree regarding comps. I reckon they'll be make a profitable business but I won't watch comps there!

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warddy's picture
warddy Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 2:30pm

The wave pool they’ve got in Brazil now looks fun.
There’s video of the usual suspects out ripping.
Looks like a different setup to most …
A comp would work there ?

Stephen_mckay's picture
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Stephen_mckay Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 3:57pm

The WSL using wavepools, where every wave is pretty much the same, fits well with the modern professional sport of surfing, where everyone surfs pretty much the same. It will only get worse.

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Kym Wright Thursday, 2 Feb 2023 at 1:17pm

Being older and to keep surf fitness to a level needed Wave Pools look like a training gym for surfing . So i have booked a week at Urbn Vic.at the end of Feb. Then travel round the coast to surf . I can surf but used as training could be good for starters or old improvers . It will never replace the ocean for the experience , knowledge and memories . Salt water has a positive feel . Clorine pool we shall see ?

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truebluebasher Sunday, 5 Feb 2023 at 7:56pm

Accessing direct Ocean access is fast becoming premium.
Councils expand wheel chair access while Surf Clubs deny wheel chair minding service.
Meaning...an ocean goer needs carer or [P] to lock up their chair which denies another.
Surf Resort Cities have Scarce [P] resource for Comps + Alert Volunteers of strength & skill.

Way out to sea...few can spot their disabled surfer from a clump of seaweed.
Disabled often say they come ashore and only then do others notice...Oh! Shit mate...I never knew!
Many disabled don't need tricks but access to a simple ramp...err! Nothing is ever that Simple is it!
Sure...some NSW Ocean Pools may offer default risky ramped detours to Line Up access...
But ya still gotta haul yer arse up the rocks or the long walk back up the shoreline! (Problem!)
Plenty of Riverside boat ramps but Oceanside are rare apart from Ocean Pools/Clubs @ King Tides.

tbb has exampled Recreational Boating / Fishing Licence buys Reefs/Ramps where others are denied!
Meaning if Disabled Surfers wish to pay for Surfcraft Licence...they'll get their Ramp with [P]

Wavepools offer a slight short ramped beach to nearshore Quality Waves...simple as that.
Level short walk to a Municipal Pool with easy return Wave access.
Wave Pool operators invite Adaptive Surfers to lay out their parks.
As a result...these Wave Pools also accommodate disabled contestants...Win! Win!
UK wave pools run successful annual adaptive comps + OZ/US wavepools run adaptive camps

Organizers & disabled swear these Wave Pool comps share the best vibe because of comforts!

But mostly the disabled can feel human in accessing the Line-up without being a burden.
Wave Pools afford Carers a coffee break > Lifeguards a toilet break...all are more at ease!
Also offers Family to see their disabled loved one fly free as a bird...perhaps for the first time!
Without beach risk / access bossing the day...competitors are now naturally free to form bonds.

Disabled say Pools will assist injured surfers to regain confidence to return to the ocean.

Often groups will test the waters for Novelty Value Wave Pool Comps then move on...
Adaptive + Charity + Rip Curl Groms + Locals...run continuing Wave Pool Comp legacy.

Lastly, there is still surprisingly much 'able body stigma' about Wave Pools.
Many Wave Pool operators & Patrols forbid natural Bodysurfers into the Wave line-ups.
That's right...disabled tbb finds it difficult to access the ocean but impossible to access a wave pool.
Not sure if or when, able or disabled bodysurfers are to be treated as fairly or equally...one can dream.

Adaptive Wave Pool Comp / access reviews...crew can see there is much resource online.

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truebluebasher Thursday, 16 Feb 2023 at 4:10pm

Continuing on with this wave pool Comp research is healthy by revealing Wave Pool origins.

Part 1. Why invent Wave Pools before a surf market existed?

Doesn't anyone find it peculiar that Wave Machines were not invented to surf.
They were invented to Aerate water for Health Spas...(All are still in operation + additions)
1912 Bilzbad Sanitarium +(Movies) > 1934 Gellert Baths > 1939 Palatinus Baths +($23/hr Surfboards)

However the Wave tech was quickly adopted by a fast growing water sport.
Nope! Not Surfing but bodysurfing does feature front & centre in most early Wave Pools.

tbb noticed the original > Early larger German / UK Wave Pools had a few things in common...
1. The Health Spa > Cosmetic Industry Billboards (Hi Society health advocates)
Parading of Healthy Bodies led to prime displays of Muscle Men that morph into extreme Daredevils.
2. 10m High Diving Towers for Comps / Exhibitions & Extreme Acrobatic Troupes
3. All these Pools had ultra deep sections beneath Towering structures.

tbb thought it was odd seeing these G String Gym Junkies parading as Pool Bullies.
Also recap that "Big Tam" Sean Connery was a Lifeguard at Portobello Wave / Dive Pool.
These early Wave Pools are extreme Apex Predator Parks...plenty of Jock straps bossing photos & film
tbb also recalls a few actually bodysurfing & flip rolling in ankle deep waves...very acrobatic crew.

After some alternate but parallel research it slowly but surely all fell into place.
These wave pools are born from Health Spas & advertise such but ramp extreme sporting upgrades
All feature State of the Art Dive Towers + Extravagant night Lighting + engaging as Music Venues.
Germany : 1905 Starnberg 1927 **Luna Park
UK : 1934 *Wembley 1936 Portobello (1st surfboard Wave Pool)
*Original still exists beneath stage floor + ** New (Therapeutic) Wave Pool rebuilt in same town

These Dive Towers grew in stature & design as the overarching main pool features.
The wave pool was secondary but necessary to support these Grandiose Dive Towers. (How so!)

None of these Wave venues were ever called Wave Pools.
They were Bathing Pools with (Wave Machines) that ruffled up the pool water.
The Wave Machine's main purpose was to break the surface tension for #1 Dive Attraction Venues.
Sure...the earth shattering Brownie's Beastly Backwash bossed the pool like Roary's beast.

Here are are the reasons why the Divers needed a wave machine or similar to ruffle the water.

*Divers were pushing Higher during this era.

*10m Platform Divers hit the Surface at 60km/hr (Above Wave Pools feature 10m Dive Towers)
Divers often tape their wrists to avoid permanent injury > Head / Shoulders are also at risk!

* When a Diver hits the surface off centre in higher density flat cold water...It causes injury & pain.
By ruffling up the water, it not only breaks the surface tension but turns over the cold water.

* Some Pools started out with Salt Water to also Cushion the Divers but their pipes rusted out!

* The effect is like diving onto a soft cushioned mattress (vs) an unwelcoming rock hard Ice Shelf.
(Over time > Pneumatic Bubble curtains or Fire Hoses are used!) re: Red Bull High Dive Vidz.
Now the Red Bull Divers instruct 4x splashers for personalized ruffling of the water surface.

* Another safety aspect is that still water reflects the Sky or indoor Ceiling!
In Municipal Pools it's hard to gauge the Flat still Surface from the Flat pool floor.
Add a Wave / Bubble curtain & the 2 surfaces are now distinct & Diver can gauge depth of a swimmer.

*Noting the waves needed to be large enough to swash & mix into the deeper Dive water Pit.
Some of these Wave Pools record 3ft Waves returning half way back up the pool.
The aim of this, is to ruffle up the surface but also to stir up the deeper colder Dive water.
If the bodybashers get Slabs...lucky them...but this was not the main gig!
Hence why Brownie's Beast needed to shatter the Blue Planet to please the Dive Jocks to pull in Chix.

Diver's first hand account will shed light onto the physics of water tension. (Salute!)

Recapping that Health Spa Wave Pools ramped 6-12,000 seat High Dive / Acrobatic Stadium Gigs.
Even Aussie Divers performed in Portobello Wave Pool...all played gigs on top of Wembley Wave Pool
Many Uni Gyms slide to reveal Pools.

Portobello Photos > Rescue Row Boats / Raft / Surfing with Kickboards
Stand Up Surf Boards seem to be a one off novelty Colour News Reel Promo item in early 60's.
Vid link was wiped from blog but tbb recalls the surfer pulls up as 2 pool chix wrestle over the Mal.
Similar to Gromz fightin' over a Coolie. (Anyhow...hope the "Surf Flick" resurfaces!)
Aside from earlier Kickboard / Surf Mat surfers it does register as first surfboard in a Wave Pool
Portobello Surfboard Promo precedes the next 1969 Japan's Surfatorium US Surf Safari Exhibition.

Part 2 (Intro)
Recapping original therapeutic wave pools have immense staying power...100 years on & much loved!
Pioneering 10,000 seat wave pool gigs make way for next gen 40,000 Wave Pool - X Games gigs
The real Wave Pool Comp pulling power lies in World's biggest after hour Beach Parties.
Wave Pool bathymetry plays a vital role but for reasons best left unsaid...maybe tbb can share that secret!
Crew are better off not knowing, but if yer going to a wave pool Beach Party...it pays to know!

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truebluebasher Saturday, 18 Feb 2023 at 1:20am

Part 2 continues with (Above) re: Luna Park > Water Parks.
Very few if any Wave Pools opened during 40's > 50's
1969/70 saw 3 water theme park Wave Pools open...
These shallower Wave Lagoons ruled out Dive Towers > paving way for Surfing.

So! Yes we can draw a line as it reads...Healthy Athleticism gives way to whimsical Wave Riding.

Although not built for board riding...prone craft riding was envisaged. (Tubes / Inflatable Rafts or Mats!)
tbb is not just saying this...Park owners insist that wave riding / Bodybashin' was ever the main game.
Within the first year, 2 of these parks > Surfatorium / Big Surf held Surfboard displays & comps.
Can't say for certain...but it seems as if Surfboards were accommodated a/h where possible.
That then rewrote the a/h Nite Surf Market wave modes.
Ironically...better Surfboard waves were strictly prohibited to Bodysurfers & sadly, most still are!

Gonna label these Show Bag fillers exclusive to #1 swellnet.

Displays in Water Park Wave Pools are mostly held in a/h Private Hire for Media Packages.
This gives control to set their narrative...their version of reality.
Red Bull usually webcast a one off Promo as each Wave Pool opens or expands.
Examples...(Approx Crowd)
1960's Portobello (500) This was impromptu.(Casual)
1969 Surfatorium (1,500) Also impromptu.(Again...a casual affair!)
1970's Big Surf ran Pro Surfer Promos (These established Comps / Club)
1970-80's PT gave exhibitions > Judged > Commentated + advised on US Wave Parks
1993 Roaring Lagoon (VIP) Sun City Displays / X-Comps require VIP Club Entry.
Sun City ULTX Games are purely for a handful of Rich Kids...A shame, as waves are half decent!
1995 Ocean Dome (5,000) Featured Juggling Surfer on hourly rotation with daily Swim Crowd.
2012 WADI (Strictly Private) Electric Blue Heaven is a blue movie for all the right or wrong reasons.

There are countless current & former #1 Pros signed to any one or more Wave Pool Promos...
New Brazilian Pools run many Promos > Aiming to run Comps
tbb has a growing list of said resident Pros that is now as long as these here lists...another time!
Can say that the biggest #1 Surfers are highest up the Wave Pool Line-up & that's a defining fact!
Not only that...they 'all' speak as if Wave Pool comps are the only end game...Surfing's Honey Pot!

tbb hasn't drawn that conclusion & is bewildered by Pro's absolute resolution!

Crew may now see why tbb shares original Wave Pool scriptures...before they're classified!
Classified in the sense that already Surf Sticker history is claiming false Wave Pool prophets.
Reckon tbb has laughed off 200 more Wave Pool Firsts...all ridiculous & by the best in the game.
Any caring to claim such would surely know double wotz written here...in that case - it's a scam.
Our Surf History omits pioneers to promote partner's version to corner the market...just like that!

Extra Promos (Listed with or as Comps)
*Night / Comps (Prize $ in 2021 AUD)
1970 Big Surf International won by P. Drouyn (No detail on many follow up comps)
1977 W&W Orlando (Live to Air/TV) Local Celeb Wave Comps
1985 Wildwater Kingdom ASP $110K (Crowd 5,000) won by T. Carroll (WG Ambassador)
1987 W'n'W Oasis won by (m) J. Hogan / (w) L. Anderson
1988/89 Wild Rivers PSAA $17K - '88 K. Slater / '89 C. Brown + Bodyboard Comps
1997 *Typhoon Lagoon (Invitational) ASP $42K ~ won by (m) Kelly Slater (vs) (w) L. Anderson
2006/08 *Sunway Lagoon Revolution Comp / Air Display
2009/14 *Typhoon Lagoon (Due to lack of surf) Disney Wave Pool 'completed' 2 surf events
*Quiksilver (2009) Gromz won by E. Geiselman (AWM pool boy)
*Oakley (2014) Surfshop Teams challenge.
2013 *WEM SUP Comp
2013 *Wadi All Stars (SUP) Live Webcast
2013 *Siam Park Volcom Gromz (VIP)
2014 *WEM Boardriders Club / Comps
2015 Snowdonia RedBull Unleashed (Crowd 2,000) won by A. Layer
2018 Surf Ranch CT (Crowd 5,000) $155K (m) G. Medina / $100K (w) C. Moore
2019 Surf Ranch CT $155K (m) G. Medina / $155K (w) L. Peterson
2020 *Surf Ranch Classic Long Board (m) J. Quintal / (w) S. Errico
2021 *Surf Ranch Classic Long Board (m) E. Delpero / (w) H. Blomfiend
2021 Surf Ranch CT $100K(m) F. Toledo / $100K (w) J. Defay
2021/2 *Alaia Bay Cup $110K (Purse) (Crowd 1,000) Upper terrace > Lower is Competitors
2022 *US AWM Mall Gromz *SK League *Japan Surf Stadium Cup
2022 Urbnsurf QS $10K (Crowd > 500 > 1,500 ~ 21/22 Winter Jam Comps (see more above...)

WaveGarden / AWM run Grom + Nipper's Comps / Local Comps
Inter-National comps in Wave Pools UK -The Wave / Sweden -WACO Texas + Olympic Teams
Some run live Webcasts others release post comp Media packs...(Above lists notable Comps)
Gotta draw the line somewhere...if crew are seeking a particular Wave Comp result then ok!

Best companion Sports for Wave Pool Comps
Many Wave Pools claim "Firsts" but they usually link to originals
Original Examples: (Gigs / Film / Xtreme / Tower / Lines / Ropes / Rollers / Oars / Rafts / Boards)

1990 *Europe / Windsurf League adds Indoor Wind-fan Pools (Crowds 15,000)
2000's *Bayswater Waves WA host Canoe Certificate Courses...(re: Portobello Oar Rescue)
2006/8 *Sunway Q Revolution/s ~ BMX / Skate / JetSkis (Crowd 40,000)
2009 Darwin Wave Lagoon Arafura Games SLS Surf Races (Crowd 700-3,000)
2011 *Siam Park Red Bull Xtreme Jetski assist Wind Surf Jumps (VIP)
2013 *Wadi All Stars SUP Comp (VIP + Live Webcast) + WEM SUP Comp
2013 WEM Zip Line over Blue Thunder (Attraction) Later in Snowdonia also.
2013 Big Surf Cable Wakeboard Surfing (Promo / Attraction?) Very Compact set up!
2015 Snowdonia Surf Skis / Kayaks (Oar Craft) re: Portobello Rescue Boat.
2016 Snowdonia Giant 8 person SUP Board (Promo) + Tower / Bounce Cushion > Ropes
2017 Snowdonia Adaptive Surf Craft Comps also merges with Oar craft. re: The Wave.
2017 Caribbean Bay / S Korea Fly Board world Champ (Demo > 2022 Crowd > 20,000)
2019 Snowdonia Snow Skier (VIP Media Promo)
2020 Urbnsurf Ramp (VIP Media Promo)
2022 Urbnsurf Snow Board Comp (Crowd 1,500)
2022 Surf Lakes Qld Foil Boarderz (Media Promo)

Can't say for sure when Drones entered which Park first, but they do hug the surfers pretty close!
Also noticed more not less, toys & gadgets on wave faces...just sayin.
All saw the recent Cladding hanging and falling off Wave Walls...no idea if that's a cool thing also!

Spring Break / Summer / Beach Parties / Open Air Festivals / Speedway Gigs
Water Parks / Wave Pools tick all these boxes
Wave Pool Gigs
1934-2020's (12,500-seated) *Wembley Wave Pool ( Staged ) #1 UK Venue (Set the Standard)
1940-50's (6,000 seated) *Portobello - Rollers / Acrobats / Lines / Balancing / Dive Troupes / Gigs
1974 (12,000) *Big Surf ~ Deep Purple Gig > recent (20,000) EDM > Punk Festivals
1980's (500) *Wet'n'Wild Florida / Gold Coast > Dive in Movies (Tube Seats) re: 1912 Pool Movies
2006/8 (40,000) *Sunway ~ Quicksilver Revolution X Games / Surf / Gigs
2006 (4,000) Typhoon Lagoon ~Hannah Montana Gig > 2019 (3,000) *H2O GLOW gigs.
2009 > (20,000) WEM Soundwave (Originally with Surfboard Riding Demo + (Grom Chix) sessions)
Early years had Boardriderz carving thru the Clubberz then getting bogged down in dregz...outta here!
2017 > (20-40,000) Massive Asian/Global Beach Parties...(EDM) Bikini Chix hosing down Huge crowds.

Global en-masse Spring Break Beach Parties in Wave Lagoons...now even China!
Ok! So how & why this Globalization of City sized Beach Parties in Wave Pools.
70% are Big Port Cities ramping their Tide regime & erosion...wiping out any future of Beach Parties
Speedway shut down/Parks upset toffs/CBD no amenities/Stadiums-costly/Swim Pools too deep!
40,000 Beach Party goers pay $200 to be hosed down while peeing in (3ft) deep wave pools.
Got a better idea or a bigger city toilet..then ring yer local council or just go with the flow.
Might wanna dodge the morning after Dawn Patrol Beast!

Ok! So we now got 100 years of Wave Pool events...
Can now establish just how long these Promos or Comps survive after the novelty wears off.
Most only run comps for a few times! How to gauge if any Wave Pool Comps can survive...
Obviously need a Part 3 to work out if any of these above formulas can go the distance.

Can already have a crack at 2023 Ranch CT Comp...
Note: Tickets are expensive + 3 > 2days + Kelly just ran some nite comps + Surfed Urbnsurf at nite.
Also noted some big wheel pros nite surfing during the break...just sayin'...we're lookin' at a Part 3.

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truebluebasher Monday, 20 Feb 2023 at 9:20pm

Part 3a ...that's starting to sound a bit drawn out...tbb can't help that.

Q: { Are Wavepools the Future of Competitive Olympic Surfing? }
No shortage of top brass WSL Pros over longest time are pushing this!

Olympic Ideal (Fair & Competitive Athleticism)
WSL/ISA/IOC refuse to endorse highly athletic competitive Surf Lifesaving & Bodysurfing
Instead they endorse seated stiffs tethered to Surf Branded Pontoons.
Resulting in Surfboard riding with cheapest spectator seats > 2023 No tickets sold for 1,500 stalls.

IOC Refuses Wavepools on these Olympic Ideals.
Priority Claim : Too many Olympic Venues sit idle or go to waste.

1. [ No Wavepool has been economically Viable ]
Over the last century most wave pools still operate while all else in town has tumbled down.
(Empire Wave Pool) 1934 Empire Games (4 Sports) 1948 Olympics (4 sports) 2012 Olympics (2 sports)

2. [ Proven sustainable business model ]
Empire Wave Pool Stadium is longest running most successful World Sporting / Entertainment Venue.
Hosted 18 Inter/National Sports events + Millions of Concert goers to world's biggest entertainers.
Wembley Empire Wave Pool hosted 11 International comps before 1st International 1953 Surf Comp.
It's written that Surf Comp's long history overruled staging Olympics in a Wave Pool.

3. [ Promoting Universality over Exclusivity ]
Most nations offer affordable access to Family Wave Pools or Olympic Pools ($5-$10/day)
ISA/ILS twice held Arafura Games (40 nations) "Surf Events" in ($5/day) Darwin Wave Lagoon.
WSL/ISA/IOC consistently rule out universally accessible athletic Bodysurfing and Surf Life Saving
WSL/ISA/IOC are guilty of sanctioning least athletic exclusive Boardriders lounging on designer toyz.

So! This is how it reads...one lie after another blatantly ignoring Olympic''s own Wave Pool milestones

All Olympic ideals can be met & bettered with an Olympic Surfing Wave Pool...proven, time again.

1912 Duke Kahanamoku bodysurfed his 100m Gold in a wind chopped open swell Swedish Bay Pool
Calling for inclusion of Olympic Surfing whilst bodysurfing chop in an Olympic Wave Pool...well durr!

#1 Pro Surfers push for Olympic Surfing in a wave pool to elevate Surfing's Athletic exposure.
Naturally every step towards the arena enhances past legacy as elite athletes worthy of Centre Stage .
[Factcheck] Seated & tethered Surfers are Judged on 2x 10s rides in 30m heats or 1% of Olympic ideal.

Surfers sit idle being lapped by racing Kayaks / Rowers / Canoeists / Sailors.
Crew know why boardriding is the cheapest Olympic seat...because it appears as least athletic sport!
Olympics can't force surfers to walk the plank or look excited...but!
Wavepools can recover 98% of 99% idle time to have spotlights wake them up from naps.

WSL/ISA/IOC care more for brown paper bags than Surfing's Olympic Ideal.
2024 Reminding how WSL/ISA/IOC acting together wiped surfing off the Olympic Map...
See: Anyone still think they give a shit about Olympic Surfing Comps?

What about 2028 LA : ISA are campaigning for inclusion of another Olympic surfing event.
Nope! Not Surf Lifesaving & Not Body Surfing...
It's Long Boards (More of the same problem > sitting on arses thru 99% of Olympics) Wow! Exciting!

LA 2028 Santa Monica (vs) Huntington Beach (vs) Long Beach (vs) Trestles (vs) Surf Ranch?

Hosting Olympic surfing at night would rate well against boxed in boring Swim / Dive / Gym Sports.
2023 WSL has dropped Ranch 3 days down to 2...possibly to intro a 6,000 seat night surfing Arena
2023 Ranch could possibly showcase a live prime time evening Surfing Event as Olympic Trial.
Planning to offer 2028 Prime Time Olympic Finals option to harness max Surfing viewers.
US surf destinations can't match a Primetime network package affording extra Olympic day sport.

Kelly is touring Wave Pools at nite to best highlight Ranch nite surfing as dark dims out the ugly tech.
Night-time naturalizes sunsets, shimmering twilight, moonlit waves & stars framed by City lights.
The Ranch by Night sold as the natural 2028 Olympic ideal...Beach breaks don't shine in prime time!
The ranch just run 2 Night time Longboard events & ISA just called for 2028 Olympic Longboard.
Vans is dumping Huntington.

What about as far off as 2032 Brisbane.
Sunny Surf ranch just called off 2032 Olympic Ideal so 2028 is the best shot at Olympic Wave Pool.
Unless Surf lakes set up comes on line for a 'back up' Prime Time Olympic Surf Final.
But we're getting ahead ourselves here as Surfing was only promised 3 games Trial.
To date no 2032 Games site is promoting Surfing & it's not on Games Venues / Maps.

Ok! Fair enough...anyone still reading this deserves a Goldie Medal...but it must be kept a secret.
2032 Olympic Surfing Scoop comes with a Translation...well durr!

"Meanjin" is local Turrbal dialect for a spike or spit of land that defines Brisbane's Moreton Bay.
Crew will next strangely Read : { Meanjin Games 2023 News } Surfing at the Brisbane Olympics
Kinda stoic, like Stolenwealth Games...well here comes yer scoop!

Scoop : Goldie will host first official Olympic Surfing > Short/Long/Body/Stand Up Paddle boards.

Checking the Authenticity of Scoop... (Could be that First Nation are first informed & camp on info!)
Otherwise...where the hell did such descriptive Games Surf info spawn from ... Anyone?
tbb is a local & never ever heard any news as far advanced...this leap frogs 2028 LA Games longboard?

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truebluebasher Thursday, 23 Feb 2023 at 4:07am

Could Wavepools be the future of Competitive Surfing!

First we must establish if Competitive Surf Comps are even viable in wave pools

From 1920's Marine creatures were penned as tidal Estuary Zoo exhibits...100 yrs on...
2009 Vic Govt bankroll a fortune for $20m Melbourne Zoo Wave Pool then $58m Penguin Centre!
Zoo Wave Pools can vary natural encompassing tides to grow Coral & run trials for repairing Reefs.
Human's Feed Animals to surf Wave Pools to restore animal's Reef homes destroyed by humans...Ok!
Just so we know that we surfers are not the focus of wave pool tech!
Can't see Dan stoking $30m for a Comp Wave Pool...Surfers are not as important as Seals / Penguins!

*Rank of Wave Pool facilities (Lifeguards aside)
Shallow Lagoon > Waves > Lighting > Sound/Stage/Screen > Seating > Shade / Bars (Not all)
Deep Lagoon > Diving (Original) > Waves + Extreme / motorized / surf craft Demos

*Rank of wave pool activities...
Wading > Treading water > Tubing > Belly boarding > Gigs > Surfboard riding

Shallow largest wave Pools are CBD accessible & pull 40,000/day = WSL Saquarema 40,000/day
Deeper Surf Comp wave pools rely on Airport / M1 access (Ok for gigs but pool is too deep for crowds)
Summary : WSL comp waves are too big for CBD access > reducing crowds from 12,000 > 6,000 WSL.

Top Olympic Events run 30s-1:30m between plays > Paralympics 3m > 100m Semi-Finals 6min
(Comparison) Wavegarden lull (1:30mins) > The Ranch Lull (3mins) > Ocean Comps Lull (4-8mins)
Olympic Surf Final > Champ Smashes board & we learn he can't surf, so he wades ashore...10m later!
Brazil's Olympic Bodysurfer > Wave 1 [0] Wave 2 [0] Wave 3 [0] > Wins a Gold Medal (Go figure!)

Olympic Surfing "Official" Wave Pool Training Venues (Exclusive to swellnet)
WSL surfers claim The Ranch lulls are to long & waste valuable Olympic training time...Kelly's thoughts!
The Ranch (Test only Oz + USA) Official - Brazil
Wavegarden (Test only USA / Japan / China) Official- Oz / England / Scotland / Germany / France / Spain
WG Wave Factory : Swiss
AWM : US (Official) / Japan
QES : China (Official)

1st Wave Pool Comps / Formats / Series
1955 ~ Extreme Games Night Gigs
1970 ~ Inter/national Wave Pool Comp / Big Surf > continued 1986 PSAA
1977 ~ Celeb Events W'n'W Florida
1985 ~ Surf Tour Event Wild Kingdom
1997 ~ ISA/ISL surf events / Darwin (See White Water Pools > Swift water certificates)
1998 ~ National Body Board Comps / Wild Rivers
1999 ~ Flow Promo Tour Comp
2006 ~ Extreme Aerial Surf event + Power craft Jet Skis
2010 ~ Flow League World Tour continues
2010 ~ Euro River / Flow Wave Tour continues
2011 ~ Windsurf Aerial Comp
2011 ~ SUP Comps
2013 ~ Grom Comp
2014 ~ Night Surfing Club / Comps (WEM) > 2016 Oasis Mall Flow Barrel Comp
2018 -2023 Longest run of WSL Comps -The Ranch 3x CT + 2x Long Board
2019 -2023 UK National Adaptive Comp/s Snowdonia / The Wave
2019- 2023 (Grom Series) Rip Curl Search/Finals (US AWM + 2020-23 Oz Urbnsurf)
2022 ~ National Series 5 fortnightly Comps > Korean Wave Park Surf League
2022 ~ WSL QS Comp / Urbnsurf

2018 -2023 Wave Pool Comps span WSL Tours SE > LT > JT > QS > CT
eg: JT Wave Pools > ( CS winners also market Wave Pools ) > CT Wave pools)
Most if not all current WSL surfers have surfed in Wave Pools or market Wave Pools
Most former #1 Pro Surfers promote Wave Pools / Comps / Olympic Wave Pool Surfing

2010 -2023 All World Surf / River / Flow / Adaptive leagues compete in or market Wave Pools
This continues to present day.
Max crowd of Wave Pool Event on Tour = 6,000/day (vs) 40,000/day Peak CT Event in Brazil beach.
Max crowd of Extreme Wave Pool Aerial Gig in a wading Lagoon = 40,000/day
Sounds doable for a CT comp...but it's not..

Most popular Olympic Sports are showcased 360 degrees > Diving / Gymnasts / Tennis!
Note all #1 Athletes / Judges run quick turnovers between scores...everything is an Olympic Ideal.

Viewing a Surf Comp at sea or a Band on Stage is limited to 180 degree view shed...
Strike one! Dead from the waist down & yer already Surrendering 50% to flipping twisting Jocks.

Stop & consider an empty Wave trailing thru an Arena that all can view the sweet spot as it flows.
Ask! Where does that wave Start or End?
Is the Wave Pool centered 360 degrees or running from a 180 degree dead zone?

Twist yer brain & yet none here can promise a view as good as a 180 degree ocean/stage!
Even if you could offer one Quadrant a half decent glance, then sell them the arse end on reverse run.
Basically not one spectator can remotely view or even half judge an Olympic Wave Pool Surf Comp.
If surfing continues down this path it falls further behind needing more sponsors for for media packs.
As it stands now...all can view each ocean Surf comp L/R equally.

tbb can inform...all the best pros know this...but also that...
Ocean surfers ride toward the beach with wave face breaking & sounding closer L or R.
Larger CT Wave Pools equally deliver 180 degree pretend beach view but...
Waves break toward the ugly Wall, each & every second disappearing from sight & sound.
The majority of crowd see only the arse end of waves that hide the arse end of vanishing Competitor.
Pro's pretend drone showcases that best views are toward each end with least viewing facilities.
The slime line on the Pool Wall always has the best seat in the house!

#1 Big time Pros know this & can't change it so are over designing around the problem.
All recent & next gen Pro Wave Pools feature Amphitheatres (Grassed Mounds).
This raises the bulk of Spectators just enough to peer over arse end of vanishing Wave...Happy now!

WSL Judges Verdict. { QS Urbnsurf (vs) CT Pipeline }
QS Rip Curl Pro Urbnsurf > Average Scores Women 11.8 (vs) Men 11.48 = (11.64) {1st prize $1,695}
CT Billabong Pro Pipeline > Average Scores Women 7.95 (vs) Men 9.07 = (8.51) {1st Prize $117.340}

WSL Judges ruled QS Urbnsurf Comp was 37% more competitive than CT Pipe.
QS Competitors say urbnsurf wave pool was super competitive...
[Factcheck] Urbnsurf M/W heats scored higher each round thru to final (True!)
W 9.49 > 12.11 > 14.23 > 14.89 (vs) M 10.39 > 11.41 > 13.89 > 15.58
Competitors had to surf better each round just to scrounge for some crumbs.

2022 #1 Surfer Toledo Easter session @ Urbnsurf
"Wave's been really small at Bells & Winki, it's really hot & windy. So we just figured it would be the best option to come here to the pool & actually surf, when there's no waves. We're actually gonna try new boards for the event!"

After the session he speaks about racing to get back out in the Urbnsurf line-up.
"It's perfect... every one minute...it's perfect!"

Perfect it was...Toledo improved his surfing & Won Bells & 2022 CT Championship.
Enjoy the #1 Pro Urbnsurf Session!