Stab Magazine | Watch: China's First Wave Pool Is Here (Patent Pending)

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Watch: China’s First Wave Pool Is Here (Patent Pending)

Evading Chinese sensors, first surfing footage from $26 million Puyang pool leaks to the world.

cinema // Jun 19, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Puyang’s the new Lemoore. Sort of.

Both are in the middle of nowhere. Both are devoid of any discernible surf culture. And both are home to multi-million dollar plow-based wave making machines. The only difference: the surf in Lemoore’s appears to be a little bit better.

As the trade war between the U.S. and China rages on, the first footage of the $26-million wave pool at the Xing Feng Extreme Sports Center in the Henan Province has just washed up on YouTube, and like a bootleg Rolex, there’s just something a little off about it. 

Straight off the bat, it looks a lot like a toned down version of the Surf Ranch. The mechanics and engineering of the wave appear to be very similar. It’s got the hydrofoil being pulled down a long track to create the wave. Located 500 miles from the ocean (Lemoore is less than 200), construction of the wave began in February 2018, and the first video proof that it existed showed up at the end of January this year. Even then it was clear that they were biting the Slater team’s tech.

It’s impossible to say what the wave is actually capable of when the operators hammer on the throttle, but what we’ve been shown is waist- to chest-high mush. Without any obvious barrel sections, it looks like a long, soft, open-faced right ideal for carves and cutbacks, but lacking critical sections for tubes or airs.

All in all, it looks fun enough for civilian surfing, but if the facility is expected to factor into China’s Olympic aspirations it’s a step behind the industry frontrunners in Lemoore and Waco.

What the Xing Feng Extreme Sports Center is like in real life is hard to say based on this shaky edit, but regardless, China’s now clearly in the game…and so the drumbeat of the wave pool arms race goes on.


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