Social Talent Pool

Dan Dobbin picture
Dan Dobbin (dandob)
Swellnet Dispatch

"It's supposed to be hard. If it was easy everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great.

- Tom Hanks as Jimmy Doogan in 'A League Of Their Own'

I’m standing up on a raised platform dubbed “The Lookout” trying to find a quiet spot to escape the sun. The perch offers a somewhat panoramic view over the URBNSURF facility in Melbourne. A young woman resplendent in a very small bikini set is followed by who I assume is her partner up the stairs to the platform. Said partner dutifully snaps image after image while bikini girl rolls through her repertoire of mirror-perfected Insta poses with a rented soft board under her arm and the artificially generated sparkling blue waves rolling through as the backdrop. I assume they’ll edit out the giant Toll warehouse and sprawling industrial area that surrounds the URBNSURF compound when they post the shots to social media. 

It’s my first trip to Australia's current premier wave pool. I’ll put all my cards on the table now and admit the reason I’m so late to the pool party is, frankly, the waves it provides didn’t look worth the effort and financial outlay to visit. The day before our departure we joked amongst the crew that we had actually dropped a couple of hundred dollars to go and surf a wave half the size and probably a third of the intensity then what we regularly enjoyed for free. The trip was hatched as a convenient way of corralling a friendship group scattered across the country, but united by a love of surfing for a friend's 40th birthday celebration.

I won’t bore you with the play by play of what surfing the pool was like because there’s probably a better than average chance you’ve visited and had your own experience by now. I will say it far exceeded my expectations and the excitement and stoke generated by the night time expert session within our group will be hard to top. Much hooting and hollering and incredibly fun.

Anyway, back to bikini girl...

I've got an unprovable theory that a big part of the rise in uptake of surfing as a recreational activity amongst broader sections of society in western countries is linked to the rise of social media.

The physical act of surfing is now for many a backdrop to a lifestyle representation, a gateway to a cultural cache of associated cool. Take some surf lessons, buy a fun board or mid length, get some waves when the conditions suit your ability, get in the way when it gets a bit more serious and use these experiences and associated imagery as socials fodder.

There has been a huge cultural shift in numerous surf lineups over the past decade or so on the back of this changing demographic. This has created an erosion in the traditional territorialism and patriatrical nature of many surf breaks, seemingly making them more inclusive and friendlier spaces to occupy. Whether this is a positive or negative development will be up to the individual to decide. 

The URBNSURF experience feels like peak surf egalitarianism, a 21st century surf experience coupled with a 21st lineup to match. The old coastal paradigms do not apply here. No one is a local, no one has legacy priority, everyone is utilising a service they're all relatively new to and have equally paid for. No one’s special in the pool. 

Everything about the experience of surfing at URBNSURF is geared towards ease of use and accessibility. Shuttle bus pick up from the airport, accommodation directly across the road at Ciloms Airport lodge. Food and beverage on site. Gear hire. Free Gath helmets. Lifeguards for safety. Instructors in the water. Your session begins now. Safety briefing. Paddle out here. Take off in line with the designated marking on the wall. X number of waves in a set. Everyone waiting their turn in an orderly line. Hot tub post surf. Peruse and purchase your surfing shots straight after your session. Hell, the quote that sits on their website explicitly states: "Surf more without the dangers associated with deep, ocean waters". This is a service-orientated venture selling the act of experiencing surfing in a controlled environment.

This is typified by the new subspecies of surf creature our group derisively christened 'Pool Dorks'. These were the crew who obviously had a few sessions under their belt in the pool and had developed strategies and idiocracies to make sure they got the best waves for their spend. 

As other visitors to the URBNSURF facility have noted, there are variations in the waves that come through in each machine generated set, depending on which number wave it is. The first wave of a set was invariably the cleanest and most picturesque of the bunch, with the following two or three providing the best barrels or steepest wave face depending on the setting. Wave quality then declined as their numerical position in the set increased.

The pool dorks would ensure that they were always on the first handful of waves. Take off, ensure they make the wave, kick off hard into the rip running alongside the wall and keep their place in the top tier of the line up no matter what. 

If they did happen to find themselves at the end of the rotation on the worse waves, they'd simply let other less clued in riders go in front of them or let waves go unridden to put themselves back at the head of the line up.

Now you could argue they were just doing what we all do in the ocean and trying to ensure that they were on the best waves. The thing is, it all just looked so repetitive, so samesy, the predetermined determination to just make every wave and ensure your place in the rotation so you can simply do it all over again next wave, a surfing paint by numbers.

Almost all of the above stands in direct contrast with the culture of surfing I was brought up in. The need to pay your dues in the line up, to respect the established hierarchy, to put in time and dedication to earn a wave from the pack. It took commitment and dedication to reach the point where you were eligible to even try to catch the best waves, in the wave pool all you have to do is just wait. 

All of the hard won knowledge and experience, the understanding of conditions, swell angles, bathymetry, crowd management, the positioning and jostling to pick the best waves is all but neutered by the controlled nature of the pool. With the potential magic in variation of what you might get on a wave and the unscripted reaction it might spurn in your surfing removed, I'll admit to even being a bit bored halfway through the second expert session. It was so ridiculously unchallenging to get barreled that the act itself began to lose meaning. 

A few days later when I’m approached for advice on how to get into the line up of a local reef by a middle aged guy. He's wearing webbed gloves, a surf hat, a springy suit and a high volume fun board that he has tucked wax in against himself with the fins facing outwards. He does not look ready to take on the fast breaking, shallow waves in front of us. Still, I dispense the best tips I can: hug the big boulder to the left, let the waves surge in, then throw yourself into the run out and paddle hard right. My cousin, a lifeguard, who was with me quipped semi-seriously, "Quick, let's go before I have to rescue this dude".

By the time we'd reached the top of the hill our new friend had been dragged all across the inside shelf before being unceremoniously deposited into deeper water and was floundering to get back on his board as a set of waves washed him deeper into the bay. I couldn't help but think that he’d probably enjoy a session at URBNSURF a lot more.



Major kong's picture
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Major kong Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 1:00pm

That guy in the last pic stole my patented move...I call it the ballerina.

hoody's picture
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hoody Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 8:16pm

Already patented.
The Reverse Patrise Lamumba
Endless Summer,Bruce Brown

lucky-al's picture
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lucky-al Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 7:09pm

Brown really said that in Endless Summer, just a few years after Lumumba's assassination? Outrageous!

david 24's picture
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david 24 Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 1:10pm

There' s no thrill of the chase, courtship or love involved. I guess it's like visiting a prostitute (umm.. so I hear )

Garryh's picture
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Garryh Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 10:31am

Perhaps it's worthwhile to think of the pool as a surfing gym rather than an alternative to natural surf. In the gym one can practice paddling and hone surfing skills and what is practiced here will help in the ocean. Seen this way it's super helpful to those of us not lucky enough to live close enough to surf daily at a local break.

The surfing gym is also very helpful for competition level surfers who (for example) are looking to iron out a particular weakness by practicing over and over under the watchful eye of their coach.

Of course there are problems with the surfing gym. There are many real world surfing skills that can't be practiced there, like reading breaks, duckdiving, positioning, nabbing waves in a crowded lineup and much more.

One personal addition.
Close your eyes and imagine this.
Step 1. Do session after session after session at urbn to practice backside tube riding. Do this until this mysterious art becomes easy and I'm able to easily make all the tubes in my session. (note at this point it can start to become a bit boring). I now know how to position my body, grab my rail and keep balance and even slow down and speed up and correct my position in the tube.

Step 2. When I book my annual overseas surf trip to a reef break that I hope will have barreling waves I'm now far more confident that I might actually make a few extra waves and be safer doing just that.

Step 3. Try and fail to imagine where else I could have practiced backside tube riding to gain such confidence. Seriously where else could this be done in the same period of time. I think this is my best example as to why the pool is such a gem of a "surfing gym"

Step 4. I'll continue to dream about moving to a location where I can surf everyday at a real world break. Sigh.

(post script....david 24...your suggestion might have similar benefits perhaps dangerous to think of the parallels)

.cylinders's picture
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.cylinders Monday, 13 Mar 2023 at 4:46pm

I went recently at the end of an East Coast work trip. Coming from a well known left hand reef in Central WA, I wasn’t expecting to be too blown away by it. I wanted to see if I could bodysurf it and play around with a few variations in barrel riding technique. Low expectations were a blessing because I left thoroughly stoked on the session (Expert Left). Got 12 waves in the hour, 4 of them 1st of the set. Made 3 waves and got plenty of opportunity to play around with things like taking off on my back, switching the planing hand, and using the wall to backdoor into the tube. Probably the amongst most powerful 2ft waves I’ve encountered.

It had been on my mind a while since Ecto handplanes had organised a full day bodysurfing event back in 2021 to “tune” the slab and make it bodysurfable. Having the opportunity to sample it I flip flopped on it until I became convinced I would kick myself later on by remaining in ignorance.

I probably would go again given the chance, but it’ll never replace the things I’m chasing in stand up and bodysurfing.

surfer1971's picture
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surfer1971 Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 1:40pm

This deserves the comment of the week.

spinafex's picture
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spinafex Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 1:48pm

I think you're right on the social media thing - like many activities the traditional pathways have been replaced by YouTube lessons, Facebook groups etc and the old guard are ruffled by the arrival of outsiders like pool trained learners or Russian chicks in Bali.

I'm one of the old guard, but as a cube monkey in Melbourne with family, my surfing had been going backwards for years - this La Niña would probably had me giving up. The pool has saved my surfing - fitness and flexibility have returned and with coaching and repetition I've levelled up and am surfing the best I ever have and continue to improve.

Stok's picture
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Stok Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 2:19pm

It is what it is.

Surfing is a lifetime passion for some, a passing interest for others, or even a one off activity.

Tell me you've never dabbled safely in activities such as rock climbing (maybe at an indoor gym?), skydiving (with someone on your back!), skiing/snoboarding (within a resort) etc. etc. You don't have to approach everything with a 'got to put in the hard yards' mind set. Surfing is the same for most people.

The increasing accessibility of it isn't going to ruin your core experiences of it - that's just you getting old.

Lineups becoming more equal and less localised is also a good thing - stopping unecessary violence, and recognition of priviledges associated with lucking into growing up close to surf are a sign of progression.

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Dannon Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 6:24pm

Hi Stok,

Surfing has been a life time passion for me and yes, im getting old.

here's a couple a points to mull over champion.

When line ups become more equal and less localized:- they lose order.

Without order:- 'line ups' become 'free for alls'.

Free for all :- Adult kooks clogging up the take off spot and every wave becomes a party wave with plenty of carnage.

I dont think line ups becoming more equal is a good thing mate.

Adult learners/beginners dont deserve to butcher set waves. (Insert image 2)

When a core crew of locals maintain order and enforce the rules of a line up.
It is in fact is a much safer place and enjoyable place for everyone to be.

But yes, it is what it is....

I could go on for hrs, but im sitting on the brasco and its time to wipe my arse

bonza's picture
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bonza Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 9:16pm

Spot on Dannon.

Stok's picture
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Stok Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 10:46pm

Maybe Dannon, maybe.

I've just seen more abuse and selfishness by locals than reasonable lineup policing.

I've also got little issues with who gets set waves, if you're in position for it and you can paddle onto, it's yours. If you kook it, then next time I'll be ready to take it once you blow it again.

Anyway - this is more of a pool discussion, and how its giving people easy access to surfing in a new way.

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benjis babe Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 6:36pm

thank you dannon, thank u, thank u.....the good old days

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lost Sunday, 5 Mar 2023 at 1:58pm

I’m with you Stok.

Nothing shits me more than just because I grew up here I’m entitled…..

If you grew up here you no the best spot to sit, no when to sneak out, no when the winds turn etc etc - you don’t any special rights other than knowledge.

Dannon's picture
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Dannon Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 6:19am

Beautifully articulated piece DanDob,

"Almost all of the above stands in direct contrast with the culture of surfing I was brought up in. The need to pay your dues in the line up, to respect the established hierarchy, to put in time and dedication to earn a wave from the pack. It took commitment and dedication to reach the point where you were eligible to even try to catch the best waves, in the wave pool all you have to do is just wait. "

This is the paragraph, that struck a chord with me.
Each and to their own.
Live and let Die.

Dx3's picture
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Dx3 Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 2:32pm

Yeh I dunno, perhaps surfers take themselves too seriously with all this 'pay your dues' attitude. For 99% it's just about enjoying themselves and taking pleasure in one of life's truly great activities.

The pool has given more regular and accessible, user friendly access to many city based surfers, good for them. As someone based on the coast I rarely venture there unless there's a long period of shit conditions on the coast and I get fed up. For those without the ability to surf heavier waves, they'll find their place naturally enough in ocean lineups once it sorts them out.

Someone else commented here about the vibe in the pool and it's spot on, it's generally so good there. Me personally when surfing in the ocean, I love it when I sense some stoke in a random and have a quick chat about a wave just caught or whatever, so if that's the pool influence coming through then that's great. Much better with good vibes in the water than too much aggro serious "I've been surfing here longer than you' attitudes.

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Dx3 Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 2:43pm

I should add to the above, this is all provided people are showing the required etiquette in the ocean. Long time local or not, some decent level of etiquette should be shown and where it's not, a quiet word to remind and then if still not shown, then they can be given the respect they deserve.

Stok's picture
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Stok Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 7:54pm

I haven't seen any agro in the water in ages. Can't remember the last time. Maybe I don't surf winki enough?

p.s. haven't been to the pool since moving down the coast! Was thinking of doing a session a few weeks back but couldn't justify the spend!

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Dx3 Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 9:26pm

Yeh haven’t seen agro down our way either, even with some very questionable or lack thereof etiquette shown. Most of it is just blatant disregard for positioning in lineup. Very common people are happy to paddle past you just to sit 3 metres inside. Always find that odd. I have no doubt they then take issue when I drop in on them or paddle 4 metres further out to get back inside them..:

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Fed Wednesday, 8 Mar 2023 at 12:31pm


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Fed Wednesday, 8 Mar 2023 at 12:27pm


peabo's picture
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peabo Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 2:21pm

The best thing about the pool is it keeps me in practice, being a Melbourne resident who doesn't get the chance to hit the real thing too often. It's fun, but it's got nothing on the ocean.

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GuySmiley Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 2:58pm

Been once and despite my view that so much about it is wrong, as highlighted above, I would use it regularly if I lived nearby.

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bbbird Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 9:18pm

The ocean & mother earth is better; though what values really matter now?

Hard work, experience, respect & wisdom has benefited society & surf we in Oz enjoy today.
Some are free living obliviously in this momentary golden age; where the influence of western culture of bling prestige media; often distracts, overides & ignores, litters or abuses the foundations of this civilisation of luxury achieved by our our families (or the convicts aka slaves, indentured blackbirds, servants, etc)

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batfink Friday, 3 Mar 2023 at 10:02pm

A really good write up Dandob, astutely observed, providing your opinion but allowing room for others to take their own perspective.

Well done, really worth the write and the read.

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juegasiempre Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 7:02am

Sounds shithouse. Apparently very expensive as well. I have absolutely no curiosity or desire to surf in a wave pool.

Honestly, as a daily surfer, sometimes when I'm floating around in the surf and it's average I think, what the fuck am I doing with myself? Usually the beautiful sunrise, jumping fishes or something else in nature brings me quick smart back to gratitude. I don't think I'd be able to after forking out hundreds of dollars to float in a pool, in a line, with a bunch of lemmings, to surf a pale imitation of the real thing. Fuck that.

My wave pool is free, warm, open 24/7 and sends waves with long period power from the Pacific Ocean in a beautiful setting.

Each to their own though.

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AlfredWallace Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 8:51am

Juegasiempre. Hi. Well, lucky you, others are not so fortunate. I hope you appreciate what you have and take great care of the environment in which you live. AW.

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Fed Wednesday, 8 Mar 2023 at 12:37pm

Most surfers don't live by the beach and don't surf every day. You are privileged, in this context.
For instance I pay petrol for each session. 30 to 40 dollars depending on the price (and not counting all the other expenses). Surfing is not free for most surfers.

Dannon's picture
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Dannon Thursday, 9 Mar 2023 at 12:50pm

sell ya shit box Landcruiser and buy a swift champion.

it'll suit ya shit attitude.

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Komodo Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 9:13am

You had me Dan!
Until getting barreled lost meaning!
All the best!

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Lukas_Z Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 10:43am

For once you can put a dollar value on a wave, so $12 per wave if you include tolls and petrol. Been once it exceeded my expectations and was impressed I was able to catch 10 waves in a session on intermediate and not fall off. I would go again but a long drive to nowheresville and paying to surf doesn't have the same vibe. Maybe if I lived in Depreston I might become a regular.

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Kym Wright Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 5:37pm

Drove from Adelaide to Melbourne last week in Feb. surfed 2 and 3 sessions a day for 6 days stayed over the road (easy walk) felt like i was at a beach . Great for training good people everybody is relaxed not agro and surfed 125 + waves . I am retired so i will do a yearly trip with The Great Ocean Road on the way back with ocean surf. If we had one at West Beach i would use it as a gym . Worked hard all my life now is when i get to spend it on me . Keeping surf fitness up surfing in a wave pool works for me .

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Fed Wednesday, 8 Mar 2023 at 12:39pm

Well said, and good on ya.

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tubeshooter Saturday, 4 Mar 2023 at 6:20pm

To locate the Social Talent Pool head towards the shallow end of the Gene Pool. You can't miss it.

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gavin007 Sunday, 5 Mar 2023 at 12:02pm

Speaking as a Melbournian who surfs both the tub and the coast on a regular basis -
..."This has created an erosion in the traditional territorialism and patriatrical nature of many surf breaks, seemingly making them more inclusive and friendlier spaces to occupy...." One thing with the tub that I enjoy the most is the positive vibe in the water. Everyone are happy chaps and very chatty. I'm noticing this on the coast as well. Whether that's because of the tub or surfing is experiencing some other change in social attitudes, I will let others debate.
One thing you can't knock back about the tub is you get as many waves in your hour session than what would probably take two hours on the coast (in my case anyway, as I'm too old these days to out-paddle the gromets and longboarders!)
I think the only real criticism I have is the damage bill to the hip pocket. Unfortunately it is becoming very expensive, to the point (in my case) where it's hard to justify the spend.

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lost Sunday, 5 Mar 2023 at 1:53pm

That ride half a wave and put yourself back at the front of the line shit drives me nuts. For duck sake just surf the whole wave and paddle back out. The waves are not that much different and you are not entitled to more than others.

The best pool sessions are the ones when you load it up with mates and just enjoy it. Laugh, hoot, pay out.

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MGB Sunday, 5 Mar 2023 at 4:47pm

If you dont come in from a sesh at the pool with a smile from ear to ear, I think you need to get over yourself......

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samerubi Sunday, 5 Mar 2023 at 7:11pm

i got a new board last week. motivation for sure.
conditions were not accommodating but i went out anyway.
Wave was rippy and the rights were the best but into the rip.
lots of paddling - hard to remain in position.
i was essentially surfing alone. the three or four who came out couldn't stay in the spot.
lots of average ones, but the occasional gem.
i got my fill with a serving of frustration.
this is probably the counterpoint to surfing in a pool.
lots of work for little gain.
am i jealous of the pool experience? no.

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surf.rat Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 6:50am

Great article.
So many issues with the pools it's hard to know where to start. I will try to be unbiased in my thoughts as there's no point in saying things only to please one's self/ideas.

Wave pools can't ever be an equal to the ocean - That's just a fact based on the physical dynamics of both.

Wave pools are fun. - I went to urban surf with my son once and despite freezing my nuts off [9 degrees water temp] it was FUN.

Wave pools [current versions] are gutless waves and even though they are reasonably tall, they feel like surfing a 5-6 second wave period gutless windswell.[at best] Yes, you can go fast on these waves but they really lack any power.[Push-back]

Unless Wave Pools educate these Non-surfers about the OCEAN, I fear there will a lot more deaths and injuries. It should be spoken about in no uncertain terms that the ocean will drown you as quick as you turn your back. The ocean will also try and drown you whilst you are looking at it!. The ocean will basically do it's thing and drown you without shedding a single tear.
Same can be said for all the surf schools who take learners out in very easy conditions yet don't educate them on the real dangers. They walk away thinking surfing is FUN. Surfing is NOT fun, surfing is fucking hard work, it's dangerous, it's scary, it's frustrating beyond belief, and exhilarating like nothing else when it all comes together.

Wave pools are awesome for those who can't reach the ocean. Those poor souls.

I think over-crowding was happening long before wave pools came along. Considering how difficult and frustrating surfing is, I can't see people suddenly falling in love with the ocean after a few goes in a baby pool. Once they hit the reality of ocean surfing, most will give up pretty quickly....or drown

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dinnerdish Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 7:22am

Great article dandob ,. reading your name always brings to mind 'Slice of heaven' yea I enjoyed the tub even without the leaping manta rays

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:14am

The pool dorks phenomenon is interesting.

On the one hand you have this matey, jokey, we're all equal because we all paid money to surf here vibe and on the other this insidious snakey vibe to try and cut in line and get the "best" waves.

Same old hierarchical behaviour as in the ocean?

Seems that way to me.

I'm a one and done guy for now, but I do take the point about it being a good surf gym.

Helluva workout.

Solitude's picture
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Solitude Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:25am

One wave and done?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:29am

hahaha, one session.

Solitude's picture
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Solitude Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:54am

Gotchya. Never been myself. Would have a go, but its not really on the bucklist that's for sure.

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Ben Elvy Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 11:50am

Been twice.
First time was solo, second time was a family trip (kids can surf & missus).
Was hoping the second trip would be like the "surfing gym" concept. That makes sense.

I got bored during session 3 of a 2-day trip.
Would only go back for a session booked out with mates. And with a board that had a higher volume tail!

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truebluebasher Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 12:03pm

Thanx Dan that's a fun share & some great insight...
Wave Pool stats are locked up in Govt Vaults. (True!)
Surfline stows away 5m user stats & they ain't sharin'.

tbb is aiming for shock question what we think we know!

Urbnsurf Affinity Site : The winner is...swellnet 100% (r/u) Wave Pool Mag 93%

Return Visits > 12mths : The winner is GC Surf 47% > (r/u) Urbnsurf 40% (2x or more)

Women in Waves > Ocean 57% Family Wave pools 62% > Urbnsurf Wave Pool 25%

(Note) Ain't no Urbnurf lineup sharing that many Chix...Where?
Women number the majority of [L] 2 Surf Classes in Wave Pools + Oceans
So women boss as majority of all Wave/Ocean stats & always have.
Yet only present as 25% Boardriders in Ocean/Pools > Most being [L] Softboard sessions!

Surfboard Lesson uptake is lowering sister's wave affinity by 25-50%
tbb is midway thru sussing out such ironic anomaly...(Detail Later!)

PS: How far would ya go to promote Chix Surfing?

tbb thinks Urbnsurf's "Surf'n'Sip" slides down a slippery slope!
Was holdin' off saying anything but this Promo is up front & not accidental.

Grom Chix promoting Grog (Hardly by accident as they're used as bait often!)
Vid [0:40-0:50] exploits Grom Chix proppin' up the bar, spinnin' yarns promoting BWS
Freeze Frame the Shotz for Oz Ultimate Grog Ad for any BWS merch.
No different than Kidz puffin' on fags for a Winnies Ad!

Sure! Calm down tbb it was a one off...the Mum's got tipsy & well...shit happens!
Urbnsurf Main Page "Surf more" Click the same Girl Gromz & up pops more Insta Grog...

Here in Oz we call that product placement x2 & all here know it... { 2x Grom Grog Ads }

Sure...always a million excuses for Gromz to ply Mumz with more Grog...
Move'm on from [L] Softies...give'm a taste of Hard gear...hooked 4 life!

Why employ Lifeguards as child minders for piss ups!...
The Wave UK has Chix Dayz but don't need to exploit Gromz marketing Sly Grog!

Requesting Sisters / Ambassador to edit Grom Gurlz from ugly Oz Sly Grog Promos!
Please give the Grom Gurlz a half decent promo & some Grog free sessions!
Never again exploit Gromz in such a grubby manner!

PS: tbb's Old Club Burleigh Nippers were often wrapped in Beer Banners (Winner!)
Beachgoers said it was way wrong & off!
tbb dared to said wot! ...Cop a barrage back & near got booted from the Clubbie's beach.
Years later Grom & tbb in boardies were refused entry to surf by a Beach Bar Bouncer!

Gromz flogging off Grog ...Who's sober enough to stop that, against the law to question!

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dayzoff Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 5:04pm

Ummm, I know it’s all about a comparison and a bit of humour but not everyone with a mid length is clueless. Maybe we just enjoy that little bit of a higher wave count cause we don’t get to surf as often as we used to?! And the surf hat, really you’re encouraging people with poor hair coverage to fry their skulls and brains in the name of being cool? Wetsuits when the waters warm? Again, some of us just don’t like getting sunburnt….! I will confess to having worn paddle gloves as well. Got me back in the water quicker when recovering from a shoulder injury and and tennis elbow! Oh and then there’s the board carry? Fins out or in you’re still getting sweaty skin on your wax, probably less with the wetsuit on, so the fins out makes more sense. And finally some of the best tube riders I’ve seen have been on surf mats.

Fed's picture
Fed's picture
Fed Wednesday, 8 Mar 2023 at 12:48pm

Old guard surfers telling the others what they should wear and stuff. If they were growing up with social media, they wold be the worst of them all.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova Tuesday, 7 Mar 2023 at 9:03am

Had a private beast session with mates, was fun and kinda trippy with no-one around and under lights. Found it hard not to que jump during public session as ocean tactics kicked in. Its a cool novelty to delay the beers when down visiting mates in Melbourne before the footy or cricket.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Tuesday, 7 Mar 2023 at 10:44pm

Pooling Resources ( Part 1 ) Gender imbalancing Lessons.

Was just saying Wave Pool Stats are highly guarded...
Credit to Wave Pool Mag / Surf Park Central + Surf Parks/News
Q: Anyone else having trouble accessing Wave Pool Mag?

Top Secret Wave Pool Demographics ~ Key: (Surf % in brackets)

Urbnsurf Online : Men 53.35% (vs) Women 46.65% > re: Dan's "Social Talent Pool"
Ultra High Women's % ~ Exactly reflects the Main Article.

Wave Pools
Men : 2015~80% > 2016~85% > 2022~90% (Surfboard 75% All ocean clubs 48%~Wade 43%)
Women : 2015~20% > 2016~15% > 2022~10% (Surfboard 25% All ocean clubs 52%~Wade 57%)
Urbnsurf men 75% (vs) women 25% (Note : 1 Women's Only Day /wk +15%)
(Women Surf 1990~5% 2000~10% 2010~15% 2020~25% Participation 35%)

School surfing (Softies) : boys 50% (vs) girls 50% > Wavepool = (Surf) = Flowparks
[L] 2 Surf (Softies) : men 40% (vs) Women 60% = (Surf) > Flow~ boys 50% (vs) girls 50%
Explanation : Chix take orders > Guys won't listen (Govt drives women in Sport thru Surf Schools)
Oz men / Teen boys won't be caught dead in a Surf School > Chix & Mums simply follow instructions!
Crew have stumbled upon the secret for rise in Chix Surfing...Water / Safety > Almost Mandatory!
Govt Sport Mandated Queues even out numbers & raise women's surfing Participation rate!
Govts direct Health Water Safety Vouchers to Chix / Migrants > [L] 2 Swim > Surf > Dive
Women in Sport is mandated into Govt Quotas > Council Policy > Sponsors / Ambassadors.
Urbnsurf +Layne > Harvey Norman +Sally > Boost + WSL = Pay > Everything is Women in Sport!

1970's (Banned) Girls 10% > 1980-90 Bowl Girls 5% > 2000 Park Girls 10% > Beach Cruisers 25%
Councils no longer ban Skateboards & now allow cruisin' on Oceanway Paths...Sisters are on it!
Stat Guys reckon there is a loose Surf rise correlation...Olympics Bundle the two youth packages!
Urbnsurf / Wavepools Skate Parks are Chix Magnets > Chix in all Promos...boosting the 25%

Recap Chix make up 25% Surfers / Skaters > Pros 15% (Surf) Skate / Flow > Wave Pool Boards 10-25%

Wave Pools > [L] > Women's Days > 3 day Accom' Adv' Packs > Pro Chix Pool Party > Gigs
Chix only! "Safer" Line ups artificially lift Women's participation "Above" Chix 1 day/wk 15% > 25%
tbb is unsure of Women in Wave Pool Quota Targets rewarding credits for Park Upgrades...
None are saying it's Wave Pools can offer slots for Adaptive surfers so it's a good thing!

Experts say chix fear High, Hard, Sharp Surf'n'skate..Sharp hard boards in Shallow Wave Pool...Hmm!
Preferring Soft Buoyant Craft for Woman's Bodies...Wave Pool [L] Softie > Fits the Bill.)

Laws of girl/boy Line-up Hierarchy ~ Note intro of Softies is ramping gurl'z Peak Wave riding Stats.

Girl #1 Softies < Tubes < [Girly] Wade > Boogie (50%) Flow [Hard] > Mal > Skate > Shortboard (Avoid!)
Most Girls hang out on safest softest craft > Few few loners venture this far afield > All say Aye!

Boy #1 Shortboard < Skate < Mal [Hard] Flow (50%) Boogie > Wade [Girly] >Tubes > Softies (Avoid!)
Most Boys hang out on hardest sharpest craft > Very few loners venture this far afield > All say Aye!

Note: Flow switches Soft / Hard Board ~ Chix Hang'n'boss Central Flow arena...Guys fart arse about!
Group of Chix being fine in Queues & can camp until next ride > Boys are elsewhere - up to mischief!

As Teens move onto Hard Boards > The sisterhood gets broken up real fast...Boyz slot into lineups!
As Parents move into Water Parks > The Dads get broken up real fast ...Mums slot into Tubes / Softies.

Anomaly...just wait up tbb...There's always a Wildcard exception to the rule!
Girl Gymnasts have natural athletic power > Feeble 'Boards' restrict Girl's core athletic skill set!
Once fitted with razor sharp extensions to own body > Girl Figure Skaters smash the guys!
Gurlz do hard'n'sharp better if left to their own devices...just saying...all can clearly see that!

If Girls are to figure more in Short Board Surf / Pools then they'll need to feminize board shape / tech.
All see as Girl Gromz grow into women they require a much wider variety of rapid shape upgrades.
Dumbarse Surf Industry pops out same Pro Dad Bod shape for all...Boyz > Gurlz > Mums > Grans!
Girl board shapers be lucky to number over 1%? Answers why Chix short board is a work in progress!

Pooling Resources (Part 2) Hookin' Hodads (Reveals Surf Park Visitor trends & Markets)

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Tuesday, 7 Mar 2023 at 10:45pm

Pooling Resources (Part 2) Hookin' Hodads

Key: (Surf % in Brackets)

1 bedroom Urbnsurf Barrel > Jan 2020 $79/hr > Jan 2023 $144/hr
(82% increase in 3 years) Not yet seen an Oz rent hike to topple that.

Who's lookin' to rent...
Would you use a Wave pool 2015~78% > 2016~92% > 2022~99%

Urbnsurf Online Age bracket
31% 25-34 / 21% 35-44 / 13% 45-54 / 11% 55-64 / 11% 18-24 / 7% 65+/ 5% other.

How many actually Surf Wave Pools > 2016~26% > 2022~33%
Pretty sure that represents 1% of surfers/year!
So we're guessing that most customers are Learners.
Therefore not much need for better quality Surfing Waves!

Wave Pools Peak Age > 2015~26-34 > 2016~26-34 (Surf 35yrs) > 2022~35-44
2022 Wave Pool interested Surfers surpassed Surfer age > Now Parental age.
Urbnsurf back this up stating Dad market is now solid.
Also targeting higher aged cashed up Women's groups > Annual Photos show this.

Wave Pool Experience continues onto Surf Experience
(Survey Surf Experienced with 11-15yrs + 4 surfboards)
Beginner........14% >10% > 8%
Intermediate 30% >28% > 25%
Experienced..47% >49% > 54%
Advanced.........9% >13% > 14%
Breakdown backs up experienced wealthier Surveyed Surfers.
This matches Urbnsurf report of increase in Mum & Dad surfers
Reflecting Municipal Pools > Water Parks & Peak Market.

Following Annual numbers were broken by Covid Restrictions.
tbb collected data from individual Wave Pools with Full annual Data reads.

Peak Season All Wave Pools book out Solid for Whole of Summer
Schools also book summer week days
Peak 60-70% Local/Regional of 3,000/day or 2,100 (State Surf Line Up Reduction)
Interstate 33% Visitors will likely Add to lineup numbers in similar holiday season.
International 12% of 50k surfers or 150k entries at (Snowdonia)...Pre Covid reads!
International 4% to same Town / Year > Wave Pool drew 8% - Double % than hikers / Scenic tours!
Not uncommon as many are drawn to Pioneering Engineering Projects > Bridges / Trains etc!
All recall this was the latest greatest thing in it's day & was open to the Public.

International Wave Park Visitors time their Holidays & less likely crash yer local in Peak Season!
Equally Interstate / International travelling surfers will be enticed by wave Park on flat days!
Urbnsurf Return Rate is 40% x2...Similar to Goldie > Airport Precinct plays a lead role in that Stat!
Note: Interstate MCG Sports Fan fan will likely sneak in a Quicky on return! Too Easy!

Group Surf Safaris.
More Affordable accom' than Surf Resorts
Guaranteed Waves in any weather conditions.

International Comps
Swedish National Titles (Affordable Waco Accom) > Surfers Aid Cup Urbnsurf
Again...Wealthy mature Globally employed Competitors > Too Easy! Tick! Stoked!
English/Welsh Pool's Adaptive Quarters are compliant for International Competitors!

Annual National Grom Finals would be Shuttled to Affordable Accom & Jet out > Easy!
Other Wave Pools are well situated for Affordable National Titles

Local / Regional Comps (see : Feature)
Vic Emergency / Tradies / Urbnsurf Club
@ Office Cooler : Boss Surfer shows off his Urbnsurf Trophy.
Secretary : "Hey Didn't Kelly just surf there last Night!"
Boss : Yeah! That's Coz Kelly's not good enough to Surf in our League!"

Bondi Rescue LG said he switched to SLSA Boardriding to score a trophy (Tick!)
That's the secret with a rush of Local Wave Pool Comps > Urbn Legend!
These Concrete Blondes call the blowin's (Coastals as in Surfers)

Pioneering Wave Pools - Annual Visitors (Examples)
1969 ~ 940,000 /yr Japan Surf'a'torium
1984 ~ 410,000 /yr Gold Coast Wet'n'Wild 'Giant Wave Pool'
1989 ~ 2.15m /yr US Typhoon Lagoon
2020 ~ 120,000/yr Melbourne Urbnsurf

Surfers can relax...Urbnsurf brings fewer Wave Lovers than any Oldschool Water Park!

Aging Wave Pool demographic mirrors aging society.
Collision of Peak Pop' with Peak Income is driving Peak Property Retail & Rentals
Urbnsurf Point ($99 Advanced Turns entry for 6-12 year Grom!)
We see Wave Pool Golf Resorts & record worldwide Wave Pool price hikes!
Wave Pool Clubs will afford some breathing space for a few VIP locals.

sammo's picture
sammo's picture
sammo Thursday, 9 Mar 2023 at 9:29pm

Great article Dan!
I'm possibly a little late with my comments contribution,... but here goes.
I am fascinated with the comparisons between pursuing wave riding thrills via natural or 'artificial' means.... Particularly when its broken down into a cost analysis per wave.
I think we can all agree that a wave pool is no where near as soul enriching as the holistic and immersive experience of an ocean surf. But, ...geese, wave pools can pack a heap of fun into a convenient amount of time whilst being a great fitness workout.
I'm fortunate to run my own business which sees me traveling all over Melbourne. When I have a job on out in the west I book myself in for a Tulla Tube Tub session. This consumes about 2 hours of my day and costs $90. Thats $180 for the lost production time plus $90 ticket and a bit of petrol= $300 approx.
Worst case scenario [ depending on crowd factor] is I get to have a crack at 12 waves. Thats $25 per wave.... On the advanced setting 6 of those waves are tight tricky little tubes that are fun as f##k
Aside from aligning my work with visits to the tub when I'm on the west side of the river, I do scour the ocean forecast charts to determine when to schedule a whole day off to hit my favourite reef when it's on. I'm sure a lot of Melbourne surfers do the same.
Mine is a four hour round trip. It doesn't break very often, but when its on its an absolute cracker.
When it is firing there will be quite a few crew on it, so I might average 12 waves during a 3 hour session. So, here's the maths: 10 hours lost production [ I do work a lot], $70 fuel, $50 local pub meal and beers after [ha!] and $5 anti inflammatories coz I've flogged the shit out of my 60 year old carcass!
Total: $1025 divided x 12 = $85 per wave.
That's a significant difference.
I'm not saying that I think the tub is better/more value than the other because I think they are actually on a par in terms of joy/soul enrichment value.
I reckon a well timed trip to the outer islands of Indonesia outstrips anything in this wave cost analysis realm. I recall a wave during a tropical session, post losman discussion about this same topic, exiting yet another long glassy barrel in front of my buddy who exclaimed... 'that'll be twenty bucks $US!'