06/07/2013 | by Alex Dick-Read
The new surfing lagoon, built in the Basque Country, generates perfectly formed tubing waves that peel for more than 220 m (720 feet) without losing power or shape. It is the longest artificial surfing wave in existence, and the wave quality, shape and speed are suitable for the highest levels of performance surfing.
Commenting on this release, the CEO of Wavegarden, Mr José Manuel Odriozola said:
“We are delighted to be able to reveal to the surfing world our new demonstration facility, which we expect to revolutionize the way people engage in surfing. “Historically, participation in surfing has been limited due to the fact that it is required to be undertaken at specific coastal locations, in daylight hours and is highly dependent upon appropriate swell and weather conditions. With the development of the Wavegarden, we now have the ability to provide an authentic surfing experience in any location capable of sitting a lagoon.”
The Wavegarden team of engineering experts and passionate surfers have worked for nearly a decade to create an artificial surfing lagoon designed to generate consistent, perfectly formed waves for surfers of all abilities. By addressing nearly all of the inherently variable characteristics that are associated with surfing in the ocean, this revolution in wave riding can provide quality surfing waves all hours of the day and through all seasons.
Wavegarden’s patented technology uses a hydrodynamic ‘wave foil’ that runs at floor level to create a swell down the length of a lagoon. This swell bends onto the banks on either side of the track creating two perfect waves that simultaneously peel down the lagoon in both left and right directions. As the wave generator stops at either end of the lagoon, engineered ‘bays’ transform the wave energy into smooth rolling whitewater waves; perfect for children, longboarding and surf lessons. The wave generator then rotates 180 degrees and proceeds back along the length of the lagoon generating waves in an identical manner in the opposite direction.
The new wave is approximately 1.20 metres (4.25 feet) in face-height providing clean barreling rides of 20 seconds duration that do not lose power or shape during the course of their travel. The technology is designed to generate 120 waves per hour with an average power of 270 kW. The technology has been proven through advanced simulation modeling to be capable of making waves of any size and length, depending on the size of the lagoon. Due to the limited land available in Wavegarden’s premises, the surf lagoon featured in the videos cannot offer bigger or longer waves, although the technology is perfectly able to do so. This first of its kind facility will be used strictly for fine-tuning testing and future research and development efforts, and consequently the facility is not open to the public.
Benefits of Wavegarden
Patented and manufactured by Wavegarden, the technology is reliable and requires significantly less energy compared to other artificial wave generating technologies. It also boasts the lowest environmental impact and costs in the industry for both construction and operation. A key consideration in the development of the Wavegarden technology has also been to ensure that the highest possible levels of safety are experienced by users of the facility. This is guaranteed through a range of measures, including the physical isolation of the wave generator from any surfer in the lagoon.
A combination of high wave frequency, large lagoon capacity and low overall costs qualify Wavegarden as the first dedicated surfing installation to provide a commercial return on investment on a stand-alone basis.
Wavegarden is already making strides in two of the world’s surfing capitals by signing strategic partnerships to develop at least five facilities in Australia and 25 in the USA over the coming years.
Wavegarden has also entered into agreements with more than ten other affiliates who have financially committed to developing facilities in different parts of Europe and the Middle East. It is yet to be determined where the first commercial lagoon will be opened, however, the technology promises to bring surfing to places where riding waves has never before been possible.
Feedback on Wavegarden
Professional surfers, including Taj Burrow, Adriano da Souza, Dane Reynolds, Gabriel Medina, Jeremy Flores, Miguel Pupo, Dusty Payne, Craig Anderson, Jadson Andre, Aritz Aranburu and Pauline Ado have all tested the new Wavegarden facility with highly positive reviews:
“It’s a revolution!” said women’s world tour competitor, Pauline Ado of France.
“It’s fun for everyone. If you don’t surf, you can learn to surf right here!” said world tour competitor Gabriel Medina from Brazil.
“The speed of the wave is perfect,” said professional free surfer, Dane Reynolds of California.