A New Weapon In The Wave Pool Arms Race
More barrels per minute than Kelly’s creation.
Over a year ago it was announced that in 2017 the first man made waves would break on Australian soil and URBNSURF were the biz that would bring it. The company promised to deliver waves to three Australian major cities; Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, but they were to be built on Wavegarden’s existing infrastructure, which has experienced a turbulent few years to say the least (see Snowdonia). While providing thrills in their own right, Wavegarden’s spilling rides really had nothing on the buzz surrounding Kelly Slater and his funnelling pond. The Lemoore creation had every base covered; size, power and the ability to ride the tube.
The Australian proposals could be likened to unwrapping a mediocre present at Christmas, nice and all, but not exactly what you were after. However, URBNSURF have recently revealed their tech providers have a secret new system and when they flick the switch on the first release it’ll be almond barrels churning in Melbourne’s landlocked Tullamarine district – not the soft burgers initially on the menu.
“Wavegarden’s latest wave generating technology is called the ‘Cove’,” Andrew Ross, the Executive Chairman of URBNSURF tells Stab. “It’s a significant evolution from the prior ‘Lagoon’ design, and creates high quality, two metre high waves at a frequency of up to one wave every four seconds. Unlike the ‘Lagoon’ which uses a wave foil, the ‘Cove’ generates waves in a different way and can deliver a range of wave types and heights and push them through at different frequencies.”
According to Ross, he, Sebastian Zietz, Sheldon Simkus, Josh Kerr and Filipe Toledo have all had a spin on the new ride with pleasing results, noting the improvement over the old design.
“We had the chance to surf the new, full-scale ‘Cove’ in Spain late last year, and we scored 65 waves in an hour with just a few other guys. The right-hander we surfed started as a steep, elevator-drop barrel, followed by a clean face for a few turns. The wave had a trough at the bottom and is concave shaped, so it wraps back on you like a point break. This is different to the current wave foil tech that creates a somewhat convex shaped wave.”
So how does this new wave work? How does it overcome the turbulence-related flaws of Kelly’s pool, which requires commercially detrimental long waits between waves?
“The ‘Cove’ is unique from both a surfing and design perspective. We’ll let the Wavegarden guys provide more info in due course, but at a maximum frequency of four seconds, the wave generator is capable of producing 1,000 advanced waves per hour, both lefts and rights which is an order of magnitude improvement over other technologies.”
“In terms of design, the Cove also occupies a much smaller footprint compared to existing Wavegarden lagoons, or the Kelly Slater Wave Co prototype, which is about 700 metres long and we understand generates only one wave every 6 to 12 minutes.”
Wavegarden’s remaining tight lipped on the ‘Cove’ for now, but we understand they’ll be announcing further information and footage on it very soon. In the meantime Mr Ross informs us that despite complications associated with swapping technology half way into development, all three sites are still on track for pushing their first waves sometime around 2018/19.
URBNSURF, Wavegarden, we’re waiting.
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