Stab Magazine | (Fake) Barrels For Bristol!

(Fake) Barrels For Bristol!

New wave, new tech.

news // Jan 12, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Initially plagued by political, economic and technical challenges, the city of Bristol can now expect to have a wave breaking on their doorstep by 2018. The Wave: Bristol, was birthed back in 2012 by Nick Hounsfield and Tobin Coles and originally sought to utilise the (kinda flakey) wave generating technology produced by Spanish company Wavegarden. Besides the wave, visitors would be free to swim in the ‘natural swimming lake’, wander the barefoot trails, or the vast gardens around the £6.2 million sustainable site. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before the project stumbled and plans for the proposed location were rejected for spacial reasons, returning the pair to the drawing board. Then Brexit happened.

“The Brexit vote saw our costs for construction rise by over £1.2million in currency shift alone,” said Nick to The Bristol Post.

Shortly after the team switched to Wave Loch, an American firm with just shy of 40 years experience in the flowrider scene to provide the liquid kick. Already a big name in the wave-mimicking world, the Bristol project will be the first utilising their new SurfPool tech, which uses air pressure to generate energy and doesn’t require any machinery in the water.

Despite their setbacks funds have been raised and construction should begin at the Easter Crompton, Almondsbury location within the next twelve months. 

“At the end of the summer we were made an offer for one-third of the construction cost by a large investment fund,” Mr Housfield stated in a more recent interview on the project. “This was a really exciting moment for us and it began a momentum, which has not stopped. One month ago, a significant investment fund pledged to stand beside us to see The Wave in Bristol built.”

Bristol wave

“We have weathered that storm and the sun and a well-groomed swell is upon us,” says co-owner Nick Hounsfield.

Here’s a little more from the Wave Loch website on their proposed Surf Loch surf pool technology:

Surf Loch mimics this wave creation process by using a combination of vacuum and pressure via large fans (blowers) to create “wind” within custom designed caissons (concrete chambers) where a “pull-push” action is applied by elevating the water to create the wave trough, then pushing the water down to create the wave crest.

An opening in the bottom of each independently powered caisson allows the wave energy pulse to be released and delivered into open water. The newly generated wave energy motion or swell then propagates forward and breaks over custom designed padded reefs (aka bottom contours) that are specifically sized/shaped to create a perfectly peeling, ocean quality, high-performance barreling waves.

The Wave Loch biz promises to provide waves from beginner to advanced experience levels where riders “can go straight or progress obliquely to the beach on either a curling or spilling wave,” with “High wave-frequency resulting in high capacity throughput,” and a “variable waveshape.”

Let’s just remember that quality far exceeds quantity in this game. So, Wave Loch, here’s the benchmark:


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