The future of surf pools
Anyone with the slightest interest in surfing can probably remember where it was, what they were doing, when the first Kelly Slater wave pool video dropped. (I was on the couch, soaking up the reality of Adriano de Souza’s world title win, which happened the day before, and watching the clouds start to form from what was to come. become the Brazilian storm.) It was a bomb; it meant a new era, the second coming of surf parks.
But that was just the start. It was in 2015, just six years ago. And since then, an explosion of innovative technologies, new constructions and global interest has exploded in the artificial surf space. Noticing this change in surfing, a group called Surf Park Central began their annual summit in 2013 to bring together visionaries and supporters on the pitch. And in early October, the group gathered again in San Diego to talk about the future of wave pool surfing.
Guest speakers at the 2021 Surf Park Summit included Shaun Tomson, CJ Hobgood, Shane Beschen, Ian Cairns, Peter Townend, Matt Biolos, Timmy Patterson and other movers and shakers in the wave pool space. Pete Joszi, Vice President of Wave Sites and Surfline Progress, gave a talk on the future of wave pools and, in particular, the potential they offer for the progression of surfing.
“If you’ve been following what’s going on in places like BSR and a few other places,” Joszi said, “you can see these things are synonymous with progression.”
Joszi then discussed the future of Surfline’s involvement in facilitating progression at surf park sites – through high-definition cameras with multiple motion detection angles, a compatible coaching interface and a flatbed -Community-based video sharing form. (Stay tuned for more updates on all of these developments.)
A new feature of this year’s Surf Park Summit was the first-ever Surf Park Awards, where, in collaboration with the Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University, attendees ranked current wave pools in various categories. And the winners were:
- Most popular Surf Park for beginners and intermediates: URBNSurf
- Most popular surf park for high performance surfing: WSL Surf Ranch
- Most attractive amenities: URBNSurf
- Most Attractive Deep Water Standing Wave Technology: City Wave
- Most attractive Wave technology: Wavegarden
- Most attractive surf park destination: URBNSurf
For more information on Surf Park Central and to register for the Surf Park Summit 2022, go here.