Are wave pools sustainable?
A quick google search brings up a myriad of articles, webpages, and forums with titles like “is the wave pool boom an environmental disaster?” or “Wave Pools: Environmental Concerns outweigh their value.” It’s obvious that wave pool sustainability is a concern among the public and we recognize that at Endless Surf. We also respectfully disagree that environmental concerns outweigh a surf pools value, mainly because they don’t have to.
Both for our wave pools and for our customers’ developments, we are fully committed to reducing environmental impact and have already implemented innovations that minimize our impact substantially, reducing carbon footprints across entire developments. We wrote an article last year about the steps that we at Endless Surf are taking to make surf pool technologies more sustainable (check it out here). As we’ve been working with our customers throughout the last year, with many rough opening dates now on the horizon, we still stand confidently in our commitment to sustainable innovations.
Key Sustainability Innovations in Endless Surf technology include:
- Operating Flexibility – produce waves based on surfer capacity
- No wasted waves, energy, or revenue
- Compact footprint – 1/3 smaller than competitor
- Less concrete, land, electricity, water, excavation, etc.
- No parts submerged – all equipment located outside water
- No need to drain the pool or waste water for maintenance
- Pneumatic fan innovations – maximized efficacy of equipment
- Reduced energy waste
- Robust pneumatic hardware – reliable and dependable for decades
- Increased longevity of hardware and life span of parts
Additional to these technological advancements is another “innovation” worth noting. That is, our collaboration our customers on their energy efficient ideas, system configurations and design developments that consider the entire facility in the sustainability calculation. We understand the wave pool, although the main element of the surf park, is only one piece of the intricate development puzzle.
Surf Venue Sustainability – STOKE Certification
We’ve officially became a member with STOKE, to help inspire and ensure a sustainable future of surf park operations. As the Sustainable Tourism and Outdoors Kit for Evaluation, STOKE is the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf parks (plus surf and ski destinations, affiliated outdoor sport events, etc.). Being a STOKE certified member means passing a rigid review process on overall sustainability and adhering to those standards as a technology. Plus, we’re working together with our clients across the world to ensure that entire surf park developments using Endless Surf technology are STOKE certified as well.
Sustainability Commitments Beyond the Wave Pool
In conjunction with our parent company, WhiteWater, we have strong commitments to be carbon neutral by 2040. In addition to reducing the carbon footprint tied to our offices, manufacturing, and our overall products, we’re also donating 1% of corporate profits to water focused charities to benefit those on the ground making a difference for our water ecosystem. We recently announced our corporate-wide support of Swim Drink Fish, a nonprofit working toward a swimmable, drinkable, and fishable future. Because surfing and the ocean are what inspires us, Endless Surf is proudly sponsoring their Swim Guide app that monitors water quality across worldwide beaches to ensure safe ocean recreation and a cleaner future.
These innovations and commitments are just a start. We recognize that there is always room to grow, especially in the complex world of wave pool operations. That said, our team of dedicated engineers is committed to continuing to lead the charge in wave pool sustainability and lessen our impact in even more ways. So, to answer the wave pool sustainability question posed at the start… surf parks are not an environmental disaster. Having local access to world-class waves can minimize long-haul surf travel in addition to the many other benefits that surfing provides for people health and wellness. Plus, like other large-scale developments and products, there are ways to minimize and offset impacts, and that is why finding development partners that are committed to sustainability standards is so important.