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Experience Design, Technology

Why flexible surf pools ease operational challenges and elevate surf park experiences

Flexible Surf Pools for Both Surfers and Operators

Surfing in a wave pool is without a doubt different to surfing in the ocean. Although inspired by the swell creating phenomenon that Mother Nature generously provides to coastlines around the world, surfing in a pool may sometimes feel manufactured with the same wave types pumping through over and over again. No matter how perfect the wave, the waves in the ocean can be unexpected and that variety keeps things interesting when it comes to surfing.

On the operations side of surf parks, control may seem limited as venues struggle to flex their waves to different levels of capacity. Running a surf pool as either “on” or “off” offers little flexibility to manage your costs. As we developed Endless Surf, we set out to find ways to overcome some of these operational challenges that will in turn elevate the surf experience. So, how flexible can a surf pool be for both surfers and operators?

Operational Solutions to Capacity and Power Consumption

Even with waves pumping all day long, off-peak times will still exist in a surf parks daily and weekly operations. Take the ocean for example, mornings and evenings are typically the most crowded at popular breaks because of people’s work day commitments. Oftentimes, this leaves them “mind surfing” instead of paddling out in the local lineup or at their new surf park. When it comes to capacity, off-peak times can pose a problem for venues when it is too expensive to operate a pool because spots with a session went unfilled.  Like flying, airlines are known to cancel flights entirely because not enough seats were sold to offset the costs of fuel, staff, etc. Without flexible operating modes, creating waves in a surf park is no different, as each wave costs money to create.

When we created Endless Surf we challenged ourselves on how to solve common surf park issues, and luckily with Endless Surf’s pneumatic technology, each pneumatic chamber can act independently from the others. Why does this matter?  Because with our patented heart-shaped pool design, we are capable of pumping out a huge variety of wave configurations. You can choose a long end to end competition wave (up to 26 seconds on an ES4800), or for high capacity you can have both sides pumping at once providing 6 realistic surfing zones. For low capacity, run one half of the chambers to make waves, while the other half are turned off. This is a game changer when it comes to adapting to capacity to minimize costs, as operators can utilize however many chambers are necessary to make the right wave for who is in the pool.

Graphic showcasing how flexible waves are made with pneumatic technology

The power of pneumatic technology: Satiating surfers with almost any wave they can imagine

Software Solutions to Elevate the Surf Experience

Another powerful benefit to our flexible pneumatic technology is the wave programming potential. At Endless Surf, of course we share the dream of making that one perfect wave that surfers all imagine. However, we didn’t want to stop there. Variety in surfing is an amazing thing as there are so many different wave types depending on swell direction, wind, swell period, etc., so we wanted to create as many wave types as possible. With pneumatics, the wave creation potential is already high as each independent chamber can produce a small section of wave that can add to other sections to create different formations. The question then arose, how do we piece these together?

To easily combine each section of wave that our pneumatic chambers produce in many different configurations we came up with Wave Doctor, our innovative wave programming software for operators to use and surfers to reap the benefits from. Pairing this flexibility with our front-of-house guest management platform, Surf Concierge, operators get full access into understanding who is surfing in the pool and the different types of waves they want to, or are cable of surfing – a complete game changer when it comes to surfer satisfaction and the overall (safe) surf experience!

Infographic showcasing the Endless Surf software suite

The Endless Surf software suite offers seamless operations to create the perfect guest experience from guest booking to wave creation.

Wave Doctor comes pre-programmed with many core wave types, like barrels, airs, a-frames, and other wave types that all surfers consistently enjoy. On top of these, operators can fully customize wave sections through the Wave Doctor interface and make unique wave sections that keep the excitement high by creating a little unexpectedness or even waves that are a little out of the ordinary…

In a 2019 Wave Pool Mag interview, surfing legend Rob Machado said about wave pools, “I want to be able to take off on a mushy section and go down the line and do two turns and then see a wedge coming together where you do a check turn and then just get drained.”  Well, we can now make that dream a reality, Rob.

Creating an epic experience for all

The world of inland surfing has seen major advancements in the last few years and pool flexibility is one of them. Creating an exceptional experience for both the operator and end-user has been at the top of our minds with Endless Surf since the beginning. Having flexible operating capabilities boosts ROI because of the ability to adapt to changing demand. Plus, wave creating flexibility both attracts and retains surfers who are seeking that amazing surf experience. At Endless Surf, we set out to overcome many of the challenges faces by current surf parks in operation and create a surf pool that is operationally flexible and produces fully customizable waves, on-command.

 

 

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