- 29 March 2011 | Surfing
The artificial wave surfing era is coming. Progress is being made almost every month and the wave rides are getting almost perfect. In the next years, there will be a button for classic overhead barreling right-handers and another one for a beginner's three-foot wave lesson.
Surf pools and surf parks are being installed everywhere, from Asia to North America. In Europe, the Instant Engineering Company developed what is considered the best artificial surf experience ever shown - the Wavegarden is no longer a prototype and is breaking barriers from the Basque Country, in Spain.
While the surf community and the surf entrepreneurs seem to be anxious to ride and multiply the beautiful Wavegarden, there's one man taking notes. The Kelly Slater Wave Company promises the impossible and the best robotic surf ride of the history of the sport.
"Cool they made a wave, but I think you'll all be very happy when you see what we have in store. :)", said Slater on his Twitter account, after the Wavegarden boys unveiled their own artificial wave.
Meanwhile, there are other interesting wave rides. In the Malaysia Theme Park's Sunway Lagoon, you can hit the surf in the "world’s largest man-made surf beach, backed by the world’s largest wave churning machine". For the Kuala Lumpur and regional surfers, it's a good option.
Murphys Waves, a Scottish company, has already shown good work. This artificial wave machine generator has equipped Siam Park, in Tenerife, Spain, where Dany Bruch invented tow-in windsurfing. The ride is long and consistent.
In the Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, every 90 seconds, waves crash to the shore of a pool that's twice the size of a football field.
Flowrider (Wave Loch) and Surfstream (American Wave Machines) have developed and installed artificial static waves that generate endless joy rides. Their 360º business model is capable of turning the entire surf pool complex into a profitable activity. If the Seagaia Ocean Dome had understood what it takes to run a successful wave park, Japan's innovative surf pool might have had another life.
Finally, the Webber Wave Pools, from Australia, present one of the cleverest technical suggestions for creating waves in the middle of nowhere. Greg Webber, the founder of the company, believes that his concept "makes multiple, real, perfect waves that continually break all the time. The riding time per wave is 60 seconds per minute".
The main artificial wave surfing companies, surf pools, machines and Parks are:
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Malaysia Theme Park's Sunway Lagoon
Kelly Slater Wave Company
Siam Park (Murphys Waves)
FlowRider (Wave Loch)
Surfstream (American Wave Machines)
Wavegarden (Instant Engineering Company)
Webber Wave Pools (Liquid Time)