We saw Parko eat shit taking off on a Surf Lakes slab half this size. Will the current version be surfable for those who aren't prone? Photo: Odell Harris
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!
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.
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.
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?