World leader in surfing wave technology.

Article: Waves – Made Not Only for Surfing

Wave Loch presents a groundbreaking solution for wave pools


w-l_night-barrelWill surf parks transform the future of surfing?” asked Blooloop in a report on the industry one year ago. And their answer was probably yes: “By eliminating the inherent variables associated with surfing in the sea, surf parks can provide quality surfing waves all hours of the day and through all seasons, making surfing, hitherto limited to those who live near quality surf, accessible to everyone.”

From our point of view, there is another question to be asked: will surf parks transform the future of the amusement industry? And the answer seems to be, again, yes: the reason being that “Surf parks, often teamed with other extreme sports venues, tick the  experience economy boxes in terms of the  entertainment, educational, aesthetic and escapist aspects,” still according to the same Blooloop article.

But there’s also another way in which surf attractions will change our parks, and that is when the technology developed for surf attractions is returned to the amusement industry to be used for other applications. That’s what happens in Wave Loch’s SurfPool™.

The California-based company is mostly known for its FlowRider®, one of the first and more innovative surf attractions to see the light of day. But now, with the lots of experience they gathered from surf technology, they are turning their attention back to the original challenge of wave pools, and presenting what is deemed to be a revolutionary product.

rif-wave-artTraditional wave pools work like a giant toilet plunger creating a big but a rapidly dissipating pulse of energy through the water: a wave every minute or so, maybe, as the water in the pool has to calm down between each wave and the plunger mechanism resets. The traditional problems with wave pools have to do with how quickly the energy diminishes in a pool, how big the pool has to be and also the consistency” of waves, how many waves and rides can be generated in an hour and a day. Such waves are very good to make things more interesting in a regular pool, they are nice for tourist-like visitors and children, but they cannot keep the interest alive in people with even slightly better skills.

The SurfPool™, on the other hand, is a giant step forward, a fully-fledged solution that brings together the best of surf attractions and wave pools. With the sheet wave technology developed for the FlowRider®, the SurfPool™ delivers a wave every 20 seconds, and in some installations up to 8 waves per minute. It produces its non-stop waves in a small footprint, creating endless opportunities from full blown surf exhibitions with stadium seating, to the creation of an idyllic remote beach setting. “Just think, for example, of many real-estate developments where there may be a water-feature present, such as a small lake or a fountain,” says Ranney Lochtefeld, Business Development Manager at Wave Loch. “We can instead put a signature attraction like our SurfPool™ that both generates revenue and activates and energizes an area.”

A myriad of different customized solutions is avail-able. First of all, the intensity and number of the waves is completely and easily controllable by the operator, to suit the changing audience. More than that, Wave Loch offers a multiple reef structure, which allows multiple waves of varying heights to break simultaneously, which in turns allow people of different skills levels to enjoy the ride at the same time. In addition, the operator can choose to use the system to create smaller waves only, if and when they want their attraction to be swimmer-only and not available to surfers.

w-l_surfpool-w-overlay“Looking back on it now, the amazing success of the FlowRider® caught me completely by surprise,” says Wave Loch founder Tom Lochtefeld. “I never imagined we’d be selling hundreds of them all over the world, and to such a wide spectrum of customers who’ve enjoyed wild success with their investments. Over the past decade, these same customers helped me determine what the essentials are for any next-generation surf pool. Truth be told, surf pools really haven’t evolved much in the past 40 years. And I’ve spent the past 25 studying, innovating, and testing new technologies. Moreover, I didn’t want to go near this space without a game-changing product that would move the needle for both surfers and businesses. My new design does both. It’s a major breakthrough. It shares with FlowRider® the ‘skill vs thrill’ philosophy. The idea is that you allow the participants to actually improve their skill on an attraction, which in turn makes them more likely to be a return-customer rather than just having a passive attraction (like a waterslide) that gets less interesting after using it multiple times. SurfPoolTM allows the user to actually improve their surfing skill and be able to use that skill in both man-made wave pool and in the ocean!”

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