You Balking On Yepoon’s ‘Island’ Setting? - Stab Mag
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“Current pro surfers have told us that The Island slab is heavier and more difficult than Teahupoo at the same size,” said Aaron Trevis, Founder and CEO of Surf Lakes. “These are waves of consequence with three broken boards in the graveyard already and a few shaken surfers.” Photo by Surf Lakes

You Balking On Yepoon’s ‘Island’ Setting?

Ryan Callinan and Morgan Cibilic test Surf Lakes’ ‘small’ slab prototype.

cinema // May 31, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“If you balk once, that’s it. People aren’t letting you go,” said Mick Fanning in Cheat Codes

Translation: ‘Balking’ is a better term for ‘not going’. A situation we can all relate to. In a crowded lineup, balking means you’re toast. “You’re better off going over the falls than balking when it’s your turn,” advised Mick. In bigger surf? More forgivable but maybe you shouldn’t be out here. 

But balking in a pool because it’s too scary? 

Ooft.

How embarrassing. 

Currently, Surf Lakes offers two models, XL (the Yeppoon test tank and home to Parko’s drumming) and Standard, a slightly scaled-down version with a lower price tag and footprint. But Surf Lakes plans to offer an even bigger pool. “Our proposed XXL Model aims to produce waves similar to the Pipe photo (see below),” said Aaron Trevis, founder and CEO of Surf Lakes. “In theory, a 15-foot face is possible, with a full barrel. It is more of a question of economic feasibility now, rather than technology. If the business case stacks up, for the additional CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) we can build an XXL for a developer.”

The wave Aaron is referencing. Photo by WSL

Aaron said that the XXL lake and plunger will be approximately two-to-four times the volume but that the technology is exactly the same, just scaled up. He added that the water depth and lake floor construction (so the concrete doesn’t crumble) is key to handling the waves of consequence. The company still needs to run more CFD modeling to verify the Surf Lakes XXL estimates.

“Of course, most times the machine will be operated at lower strokes with head-high waves, but when showcase events or competitions call, the operator can dial it up to ‘Code Red,’” added Aaron. “With the Olympic journey for surfing just beginning, I remain optimistic that someone will soon push the button for Code Red barrels at an XXL Surf Lake.”

Balk, balk.

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