The era of the artificial wave is coming. Nearly monthly, the progress toward perfect artificial waves is being made. In the coming 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 has developed what is considered the best artificial surf experience ever created: the Wavegarden is no longer a prototype and is breaking down barriers in Spain's Basque Country.
While the surf community and surf entrepreneurs seem to be anxious to ride and build copies of the beautiful Wavegarden, there is one man taking notes. The Kelly Slater Wave Company promises what at present seems impossible: the best robotic surf ride in 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 creation.
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 surfers in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding regions, it's a good option.
Murphys Waves, a Scottish company, has also shown good work. This artificial wave machine generator has equipped a ride in 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 joyrides. Their 360º business model is capable of turning the entire surf pool complex into a profitable leisure activity. If the Seagaia Ocean Dome taken notes from these crews, Japan's once innovative surf pool might have had a longer shelf life.
Finally, the Webber Wave Pools, from Australia, present one of the cleverest technical models 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."
The main artificial wave surfing companies, surf pools, surf machines and surf parks are:
Kelly Slater Wave Company
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Malaysia Theme Park's Sunway Lagoon
Siam Park (Murphys Waves)
FlowRider (Wave Loch)
Surfstream (American Wave Machines)
Webber Wave Pools (Liquid Time)