Stab Magazine | Such Great Heights: Surf Lakes Releases The Tallest/Widest Tube In Wave Pool History, So Far

Such Great Heights: Surf Lakes Releases The Tallest/Widest Tube In Wave Pool History, So Far

Time to wildly debate the actual height of this synthetic plunge! 

news // Aug 21, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Back in October of 2018, Surf Lakes, an Australian-based wavepool company, made its first waves on a full-scale model in Yeppoon, Queensland. 

They were small—ankle-slappers really. The type of waves that would make you watch for a second, toy with the idea of paddling out, but ultimately turn around and head back home early.

ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0 Screen Shot 2018 10 28 at 3.55.13 AM

But this is normal for new wavepools. There’s a huge learning curve for each unique technology and a thousand things that can go wrong. The problem was, Surf Lakes invited a bunch of investors, pro surfers, and the odd surf publication (not Stab, but we showed up anyway) to the big reveal, which ended up being a dud. 

Frankly, they didn’t give the engineers enough time to work out all the kinks before the talent showed up, which then forced them to push the machine harder than they intended, which led to its literal snapping in half. 

Ten months later, Surf Lakes had fixed the machinery and were refilling the pool. One week after that, they were pumping out perfect one-footers. Two weeks after that, which brings us to the current moment, Surf Lakes has created waves that are, “the theoretical safe maximum for the prototype, based on initial engineering calculations and CFD modeling.”

They’re calling ’em 2.4 meters, or an eight-foot (a bit of a stretch) wave face for those of you who use the Inferior System of measurement.

0F1C9704 Edit

A solid wave, to be sure. But Dikembe Motumbo size it is not. Photo: Odell Harris (@senseiodell)

Surf Lakes enlisted the expertise of three-time World Champion dragger Ben Player to test the pool’s “slab” feature—one of five waves that break at Surf Lakes with each drop of the plunger. 

Ben said (via Instagram):

“Did you ever believe that a man-made wave could ever get this good for a boogie? @surf_lakes did and they delivered on it late last week. And I was lucky enough to be a part of the monumental event. It was like a crazy fantasy to be surfing waves that incredible in a small pool at Yeppoon. Pound for pound as powerful as anything I have surfed in the ocean at that size.”

Stab also spoke with the photographer who shot these images, a man by the name of Odell Harris: 

“It was pretty awesome to see one dude’s dream come to fruition,” Hazza said. “It’s an incredible piece of engineering, especially when you consider Kelly had unlimited resources and about 10 years….an Aussie could win something for us [laughs]!

“I had a word to an engineer when I got out the water and he casually said it wasn’t actually running at full size…something to do with upstroke, compression and other lingo I didn’t understand…that slab Benny’s on at that size gives you a hinting already…could be a proper spanking if they go full maniac.”

We’ve yet to see how Surf Lakes’ other four waves (seen above) have reacted to the extra juice.

Answers coming soon… 

In your respective, egotistical surfing area, what would you call the height of this wave? 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022


Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022

Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45

A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.

Sep 25, 2022

Where You Should Be In Europe Right Now

An overview of the region's greatest hits.

Sep 25, 2022

The Team Ukraine Interview

“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…

Sep 24, 2022

Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy

Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…

Sep 24, 2022

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4

There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?

Sep 23, 2022

Watch: Tresha

The Bella Kenworthy Edit.

Sep 22, 2022

Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy

Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.

Sep 22, 2022


Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers

Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.

Sep 22, 2022

The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title 

The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.

Sep 22, 2022

Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career 

"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…

Sep 22, 2022

Does The 1-to-6 Foot Surfboard Exist?

Pushing the Channel Islands NeckBeard 3 to its absolute limits in a new Joyride review.

Sep 21, 2022