In 2018 Waves Will Be Ridden In Malls, Airports, And Occasionally, The Ocean
Turning mall rats into surf rats.
What if we told you there was a wave…in a mall in Germany.
Come for Hot Dog on a Stick, stay for a session with the boys. Or something like that. The L&T department store in Osnabrück, Germany, is now accepting bookings for the first wave pool ever built inside a mall.
A 45-minute wiggle will set you back $35. Allow us to explain:
The company behind the tank is called City Wave and the technology was developed by a German engineer named Rainer Kilmaschewski (who started surfing in Munich’s Eisbach River). One of the main goals of this standing wave pool design was to make it feel like “real” surfing and allow the use “real” surfboards. The first pool debuted at the Munich airport. The concept subsequently caught on with investors and developers.
The City Wave in Osnabrück will be the second such facility in Germany. There are also waves in Zurich, Vienna and St. Gilles Croix De Vie, making it a decidedly European endeavor for the moment.
“Unlike many of the other wave pool technologies that need massive amounts of land, the City Wave can fit in a very small footprint and still offer a real surfing experience,” explains former world tour ace Shane Beschen, who’s signed on as the company’s Managing Director. “Although it looks small, the City Wave has an ample amount of power and resistance allowing for full rail turns, cutbacks, snaps and even airs for the more experienced.”
For Beschen, who is raising his two boys amongst the splendor of the North Shore, he fully understands that the City Wave isn’t a replacement for ocean surfing, but rather an addition to the experience that has a massive upside in terms of growing the pond, as well as helping up-and-coming surfers dial in their rail game.
“The City Wave is great for working on technique in real time,” says Beschen. “The real-time coaching is super cool because you can literally show them video of the turns and give instruction on what adjustments to make then they literally apply the information seconds later.”
So, will we see a City Wave outside of Europe any time soon? Beschen says yes.
“I work for Playground Surf which is the distribution company for City Wave in North America and we will be opening these Playground Surf venues in America,” he says. “We will be creating an atmosphere that embraces the surf culture and all the sub-cultures that surround it — fashion, art, music, entertainment, events, contests, movie premieres, performance and health. We are currently working on a few locations throughout America and will be unveiling the information and locations once the building has begun.”
The wave pool arms race is ratcheting up. Beschen’s endeavor comes on the heels of the WSL’s announcement of the Founder’s Cup (still no word on how much tickets will be or what the “entertainment” there will be…although a Merle Haggard cover band seems likely). The NLand Surf Park in Texas opens for the season this week. The Urbnsurf facility in Melbourne has broken ground and is utilizing Wavegarden tech. It’s all happening. The next great revolution in surfing is unfolding before our eyes…and there’s not a drop of salt water in sight.
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