Stab Magazine | Does It Turn You On Like The Real Thing?
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Does It Turn You On Like The Real Thing?

The emotional allure of wavepools is up for debate. 

news // Jul 21, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nearly a week ago, Stab‘s Captain McIntosh graced our IG feed with an aerial “lineup” shot of BSR Cable Park’s new tub in Waco, positing the question: Do images like this create the same emotional response in you as a perfect ocean lineup?

The comments flooded in, most of which expressed the sentiment: “Fuck no, you kooks! OcEan 4 LyfE.”

The irony of their highly incensed comments being framed in a “no, this image did not create an equal emotional response within me” type of way is, of course, comical, but within the oxymoronic exclamations were a few golden nuggets of enlightenment.

Even the GOAT dropped by to deliver his dual doubloons. 

Shall we mine?

Screen Shot 2018 07 17 at 6.57.13 PM

Slater was analytical:
@kellyslater: I sense a need to say no more than the reality of what people experience they get the chance to surf these waves. I remember people getting overly excited just to surf Typhoon Lagoon. The nerves you see people have at manmade waves are far beyond the ocean due to the buildup in the mind. It’s not a comparison of apples to apples. Nothing replaces the ocean and we all know that but there is no reason not to enjoy it for what it is imo. I’m guessing everyone saying no would jump at the chance to go have some fun in reality. Totally different way to enjoy what we all do. 

Damo went with God:
@damienhobgood: I love this question but God’s creation and unknown of the adventure will always stir the heart like nothing man Ade will ever compare. Although we enjoy so many manmade things it just never gets to the core like going into the wild of the woods or ocean. 

Mayhem was brief:
@mayhemb3_mattbiolos: No.

Pro surfer and wavepool technician/designer at Waco, Cheyne Magnusson, was balanced:
No. But the feeling of not knowing how the next swell is going to look at your local spot is the same feeling I get when I design a new wave, you have an idea of what it could look like but it might end up better or worse than you thought. Even though we have control water is still unpredictable and there are millions of different ways we can move it around and find new patterns that create new waves or swells. That reminds me of the feeling of waiting for that new swell to hit, but then again I’m a total nerd. 

Da Hui was unwavering:
@dahui.hawaii: Absolutely NOT.

There were a few no-name hot-takes too:
Nope. Makes me think of chlorine smelling, piss filled pool with empty coors light aluminum bottles floating around the “lineup”. Oh and a bad Dj yelling at everyone to “get out their seat”.

I would be equally as stoked to pull up to the ranch as i would on a boat in Indo. Assuming i had a chance to surf it? Most spots we pull up to now a days in the ocean are packed with aggressive travelers and locals. That kills the stoke. Knowing you’re guaranteed X amount of waves on a perfect set up sounds pretty epic too. I’d say yes for me.

Wave pool is to ocean as sex robot is to your lover… Scorned  

Wave pools are The Mc Donalds of surfing ..I’d love to know what the carbon footprint of each wave is..

To @kellyslater: You either worship God or money. You cannot do both as the Lord God has said. What is YOUR motivation for doing anything? Is it out of love or love for money? As soon as your wave pool project was completed you sold it to the WSL? Do everything out of love says the Lord.

And perhaps the most reasoned response of the bunch:

Does anyone realize its a pic of BSR and not @kellyslater‘s wave pool?

https://player.vimeo.com/video/270689702

I have some thoughts on this as well. 

Coming over the dune (so to speak) to offshore runners will always be a jaw-slacking moment for surfers. Hands land on heads, eyes go wide, and strange noises escape our collective chatterboxes. There’s really nothing like it. 

However with wavepools, it would seem this reaction is reserved for the initial vision of the wave and hardly ever after that. Because these waves are able to be replicated at any given time on any given day, the novelty factor quickly disappears, as does our emotional response to seeing “perfect” waves in a manmade setting. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hVxPJ9heetc

This makes sense, when you consider human nature. 

We quickly become numb to even the most incredible concepts when they are immediately available to us. The advent of smartphones, 3-D printers, and our ability to fly anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice are unbelievable innovations to which we have become completely indifferent. The advent of wavepools is going that same direction – until, of course, a newer, better technology is released.

We’ll fiend over that one for a week and then go numb again until we get our next high.

Meanwhile the ocean, with its ever-changing sand, wind, and swell direction/angle/size, never allows for this level of desensitization.

What we can gather from this is that volatility is the real key to arousal.

Hence the robust ‘Latina’ section on most adult sites. 

Now that we’ve heard from Instagram, it’s time for our readers take the plunge:

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