Here are some very interesting articles about artificial waves. What do you think?
Wavegarden, industry leader in the design and manufacture of wave generation systems, has built a full-sized demo center in Northern Spain. This first of its kind facility will be used strictly for fine-tuning, testing and as a showroom and is not open to the public.
Located at Wavegarden’s research and development site, the new surfing lagoon generates perfectly formed tubing waves that peel for more than 220 m without losing power or shape. It is the longest artificial surfing wave in existence, and the wave quality, shape, and speed, are suitable for the highest levels of performance surfing.
Every minute two identical waves break simultaneously left and right with barreling point break type rides up to 20 seconds long. Once the waves reach the bay area, the left and right hand waves transform into smooth rolling whitewater waves; perfect for children, longboarding and surf lessons.
The technology is designed to generate 120 waves per hour with an average power of 270 kW and has proven capable of making waves of any size and length, depending on the size of the lagoon.
Flowing water is a symbol for wealth and prosperity in Feng Shui, and that symbolism manifests itself at Wave Loch. Since 1991, Wave Loch has been flowing water and customer profits with an increasingly sophisticated line of artificial waves; sheet waves, and surfing wave pools.
A La Jolla, California based company founded by a surfer and run by wave-riders, Wave Loch packages the power, speed and challenge of ocean waves and delivers that package as fast and furious as 250,000 gallons a minute at 30 MPH.
As the originating product line, Wave Loch’s proprietary sheet wave technology uses submersible pumps to create non-stop, flowing and curling waves over a soft-padded surface in an enclosed system measured in square feet, not surface acres.
Around the world, from Alabama to China to South Africa, there are Wave Loch sheet waves – a.k.a. “FlowRider” – on the stern of cruise ships, indoors at retail malls, at an Army rehab facility, in the back yards of Texas billionaires and Arabian sultans, and at more than 100 water parks, swim centers, municipalities, theme parks, hotels, resorts and private homes around the world.
THE WAVE HOUSE ARCHIPELAGO
Wave Loch sheet waves are the center attraction at public and private facilities around the world, but they are also at the center of the growing archipelago of Wave Houses around the world. Wave House is a complete entertainment, food and beverage, live music and retail complex which exports the tropical, California beach and board sport lifestyle to anywhere in the world that needs fun. As of 2009 the Wave House archipelago included Durban, San Diego and Santiago, Chile. There are Wave Houses under construction in Singapore and Zaragoza, Spain and there are a half dozen Wave Houses in development from London to Las Vegas.
SKILL BASED =
It’s a simple equation propelling the ever-expanding growth of Wave Loch sheet waves and the Wave House archipelago. At the core of all of this, Wave Loch’s FlowRider ® and FlowBarrel ® sheet waves, simply put, are a blast to ride – fun, challenging, addicting. Unlike most water park attractions – where guests are basically going headfirst propelled by gravity – there is a degree of difficulty and challenge in Wave Loch sheet waves which inspires adrenaline, loyalty, repetition and profits.
People just love riding the FlowRider: jumping in on bodyboards, getting a feel for it, doing turns, wiping out, getting knocked down and getting back on again to throw spray at their friends. It takes time to get the FlowRider figured out, but just as riders are getting cocky, a newer, more powerful and more challenging ride awaits them in the form of the FlowBarrel.
Wave Loch was started by surfers, but the new sport we have developed takes in aspects of all the board sports. Flowboarding is skateboarding without the wheels (and the road rash), surfing without a fin, snowboarding without the mountain, wakeboarding without the boat and skimboarding without the sand. There are flowboarding competitions around the United States and around the world, as new facilities open every month with a Wave Loch artificial wave innovation.
The surfing industry has been struggling. Big retailers are facing market saturation —Billabong recently reported a $536 million loss — and about half of all independent surf shops worldwide shut down during the recession.
It’s no surprise then that the future of the surfing industry — to say nothing of the soul of the sport itself — is currently being debated by some of surfing’s biggest names and retailers. For some, surf parks, which use massive pools to generate artificial waves, offer opportunities for the sport to grow both financially and in terms of reach, but skeptics worry about the effects of artificial waves on the sport’s unique and treasured culture.
At the Surf Park Summit, which was recently held in Laguna Beach, industry experts got together with entrepreneurs, engineers and designers to discuss the feasibility of surf parks big enough to attract professional surfers. Tom Lochtefeld, owner of a wave technology company called Wave Loch, said it would cost between 15 and 25 million dollars and require a two-acre large pool in order to allow surfers to paddle out and find consistent, 10-foot barrels. The cost to the surfer? As low as $1 a wave, according to Matt Reilly, director of operations and marketing at Surf Park Central, which put on the summit. (Renowned surfer Kelly Slater even tried to open his own wave park in Australia, but financial issues proved tricky and the project appears to be delayed indefinitely.)
Surf board manufacturers, apparel retailers, and serious surfers all agree that there are legitimate advantages to artificial waves. For starters, surf parks would take geography out of the equation, allowing everyone from the midwest to the middle east to experience the joy and thrill of surfing. The market expansion is an obvious boon to retailers, but it’s also appealing to advocates of a national surf league, a hypothetical professional league much like the NBA.
For most surfers, however, the holy grail would be to finally get surfing accepted as an Olympic sport. Surf parks would remove two of the biggest hurdles so far: ensuring standardized waves and unlocking the ability to host a surfing competition anywhere in the world. Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association, told the AP that “Without man-made waves, there will not be Olympic surfing. It’s the ultimate wave-sharing that you can imagine.”
Even casual surfers are falling for the appeal of surf parks. Samantha Akre hasn’t surfed in the ocean for more than a year. “This is just so much more fun,” she told the AP. Cliff Char, who’s been surfing for 15 years, agrees. “In a park, you can always get in a perfect position,” he said. “The wave will always be perfect and you can really work on your surfing.”
But as anyone who has seen the 80s classic “North Shore” knows, surfing culture is much more than just technique and competitions. Soul surfers believe that the connection to nature and the ability to read waves are vital aspects of surfing. ‘Surf culture,’ according to freelance writer Zac Heisey, is “about having a genuine respect and connection with the ocean.” Other critics argue that the environmental toll of powering such monstrous waves is antithetical to surfing values.
The imposition of technology on a classic and beloved sport is nothing new. As the AP points out, skiers who were used to hiking mountains were opposed to chair lifts and many rock-climbing purists were resistant to rock walls in urban gyms.
Whether they be chlorinated, perfectly predictable waves, or salty and unruly ones, it’s hard to argue with Duke Kahanamoku, the famous Hawaiian waterman, who once said that, “the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”