Stab Magazine | Surf Lakes Is The World’s Most Beautiful Wave Park

Surf Lakes Is The World’s Most Beautiful Wave Park

Small waves, transcendent setting. 

news // Oct 30, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editor’s note: If you you’re just tuning into our Surf Lakes wavepool saga, check out parts 1-4 here.

Yesterday’s issue – the one that shut the pool off before our pal Ozzie could get a surf – was related to the pool’s massive exhaust system.

Everytime the plunger plunges, it requires a massive amount of pressure, which then ultimately needs to be released. This pressure is fed from the bottom of the plunger through pipes until it escapes, in the form of a deep white smoke, from four adjacent vents.

You probably saw all of this in yesterday’s viral clip.

As you might imagine, the pressure required to lift a thousand tons is immense, however it’s not unprecedented.

“Our engineers were able to develop this technology thanks to their mining background,” Surf Lakes CEO, Aaron Trevis, told Stab. “These guys are used to dealing with similar amounts of pressure, so they’re definitely within their element.”

But when you’re trying something entirely new, issues are bound to arise. In this case the issues centered around the pool’s vent box.

That crack we heard yesterday was the sound of the vent’s ceiling panel popping off. Luckily it didn’t fly off and hit someone, as that likely would have hurt, but it still had to be fixed before surfing could commence.

The engineers put in the hours overnight and by morning they were able to safely run a wave.

After a few test runs, they sent Occy and Joel to adjacent peaks – Joel to the slab, Occy to, well… Occy’s.

Occy left alone on his peak, while Joel prepares for the ‘slab’.

The machine made its hissing sound on the way up but then kept rising – at least two feet higher than anything we’d seen before. It then BOOMed and dropped to the water, quickly hissing again as it rose above the lake. On the second BOOM it dropped and delivered a three-foot swell line in 360-degrees.

The crowd cheered.

As the swell grabbed the bottom of the pool, it grew another foot and started to lurch over Parko’s slab. Late and on the apex, Joel channeled his decades of behind-the-rock mastery to knife under the cascading lip, but even the great Parko proved incapable of taming the beast.  

He went down hard and was next seen rolling around in shin-deep water.

When asked what he would do differently next time to survive the slab, Joel said, “You’d want to be a lot deeper and really coming from behind it. That’s the only way you can get up quickly enough and set your line. That, or I’d love to have Hippo whip me in from the left [laughs].”

Even decades of behind-the-rock experience doesn’t help in Yeppoon.


On the same swell line, Occy was graced with a chest-high left that was just begging to be belted. Unfortunately for Occ, his days of baking in the Yeppoonian sun seemed to have taken their toll, causing his hack to be intercepted by an uncharacteristic rail bog.

Occy completed the ride but not in the way he would have wanted. No stress though, surely he’d nail it next time.


Just as Parko and Occ exited the pool, word came down from the engineers that, in pushing the machine to this increased level, they’d blown another ceiling panel on the vent. The silver lining was that, because they’d fixed this problem before and already knew the solution, the Surf Lakes crew were confident that we could come back at 3 pm for a second round of surf.


A plunger-like wavepool can turn any aged man into a grom.

Five o’clock came and went before anybody was back in the pool. Then, with the sun nearing its western descent, the surfers were finally called to the water’s edge and placed in four-person groups. In order to maximize athlete safety (AKA protect them from metal projectiles), surfers were only permitted to occupy two of Surf Lakes’ four five official breaks*.

And for the first time since we’d been there, which at this point was four days, the wave worked properly for an extended period of time.

He might have well surpassed his prime but he’s still better than most.

Occy got another go at his left and swooped a furious frontside hook. Dingo tested the slab but was just too big to squeeze through the end. In what must have been a moment of QS-PTSD, Crewsy banged one ankle-slapper all the way to the bricks. Dakoda Walters, riding a ridiculous Stacey twin-fin, chucked a roast beef chop-hop reverse out of thin air. Undoubtedly the best wave of the day went to Laura Enever, who properly throttled Occy’s left on her backhand.

We cheered from shore each time she stabbed the fluttering lip.

As the sun set behind the triangle cliff, we were genuinely mesmerized by how beautiful the setting was. Neither Waco nor Lemoore comes close to the Surf Lakes Yeppoon site as far as natural beauty goes. The place is truly stunning.

Surreal, ain’t it…

With several clips in the bag and our faith in Surf Lake’s technology peaking, we were delighted to hear that tomorrow would be even bigger, and perhaps even running triple pumps on the machine.

With hardly any surfers left in Yeppoon, the place would be ours for the taking.

*Just to clear things up: As seen adorning their corporate rashies and even as a sign on the wave-making machine, Surf Lakes’ new tagline is “5 waves”. This is slightly confusing, as all of the wave-per-hour math on their site is based around the premise of four bi-directional reefs. However, at the Yeppoon site, there were technically five different takeoff spots in the pool (each with a R/L option), but the fifth one wasn’t really breaking on account of the size. 

Click here for Part 6. 


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