We started this two-part series talking about the different experiences of surfing in the ocean vs. surfing wave pools. With both offering a slightly different surfing experience, there is certainly room for both. Lucky for us surfers, surf parks are a going to be the major player in the future of surfing, and we’re confident that the future is bright. As providers of wave making technology, we wanted to dive into more on what a surfer’s progression of skills can look like within a surf park environment that offers a wave for everyone…
(Get up to speed with Part One here)
A Surfer’s Journey When Surfing in Wave Pools
Enter the surf park, a venue designed for surfing of any caliber. Whether you are a lifelong surfer looking to increase your wave count, or you have always aspired to surf but aren’t super skilled with a board quite yet, a surf park with the right technology has a wave you. Plus, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you’ll enhance your skills. With space for repetition, surf parks shorten the learning curve and give surfers the chance to:
- Play on safe and mellow surf for increased repetition, leading to a quick learning progression for beginners.
- Progress with space to practice those nuanced skills and not feel like you blew the wave of the day because luckily, there is plenty more on tap.
- Perform on waves made specifically for advanced surfing. Say hello to fairer competitions and bigger and better maneuvers.
At this moment in history, most surfers across the globe learned in the ocean. Beginners probably got a foamboard from a friend and slowly moved from being pushed into whitewash on the shore to catching waves on the inside to eventually paddling out to the peak. Learning can be slow in the ocean and it could easily take years before some of those intermediate skills click.
Wave pools in contrast, allow for a much quicker progression. Consistency is key here. With nonstop surf on tap at the local surf park, newcomers can learn quickly with all that repetition. In fact, we are already seeing some incredible surfers arise from inland areas.
On a busy day in the ocean, countless hours in the lineup may only lead to a handful of waves. Depending on how often the average surfer decided to fight for the peak, he or she may have only gotten a couple quality waves to remember. It’s likely that even the everyday surfer might have never experienced a proper barrel or felt that smooth rail-to-rail maneuver, mainly because the opportunity is sometimes hard to find.
Surf pools with flexible wave creation capabilities are an invaluable asset when it comes to experiencing those special wave types. Having trouble timing that turn? Can never line up with an air section quite right? Flexible surf pools are the future and a variety of fun wave types to practice on will be a major game-changer for any surfer to progress on. For me, maybe I’ll finally be able to master the art of the backside barrel…
The benefits do not stop there. For the surfers that rip like we all wish we could, customizable waves will be the ultimate stage for performance surfing. Standard surf maneuvers are already a spectacle but imagine the insane new tricks we will start to see from those who have taken their surf game to the next level. With the potential for combo waves, surfers will be able to get spit out of a slabby barrel after a buttery cut-back, all before lifting off into an air (apologies if my surf lingo got the best of me there).
Imagine the future of surf competitions. Although nothing compares to a pumping day at J-Bay or along the Seven Mile Miracle, the future of flexible surf pools will be able to create fairer competitions by being able to offer a seemingly infinite variety of wave types. A plus is that surf pool competitions will not need that same window of swell opportunity and will provide a convenient and interesting addition as a stopover to the world tour. The world’s best surfers will be able to show off some of those unimaginable moves and the viewer experience will be elevated as we all will get to witness the spectacular.
Experiencing technological marvel
All the hype surrounding wave pools is only going to get higher. New surf pool technologies continue to innovate to make waves more feasible as a business model for developers looking to build new surf parks or add a surf pool into an existing development. Surf pools are already in the plans as anchor attractions for a variety of development types including mixed-use real estate, board sports hubs, and hotels and resort projects. We also see some major potential for surf pools to enter into spaces like mountain resorts and golf courses, where land is available or expansion is possible, the sport audience already exists, and the benefits for a unique amenity are appreciated (especially for the off-seasons).
All in all, the demand for surf on-command continues to soar as we are living through the early stages of a major development boom of surf parks. How cool would if be if every major city around the world had at least one surf park? I’d argue that we are working toward that future. Excitement exists from both surfers and non-surfers alike and the potential to create a feasible business through surf is proven itself to be true.
Inspired by the potential of including surf in your development? Drop us a line, we would love to share with you our vision for the future of surfing.