When you get an invitation to the yet-t0-be-opened Surf Lakes R&D facility in Yeppoon, you make it happen. Even if that involves a nine-hour drive up the coast from Byron to Central Queensland.
So, was the drive worth it? You bet it was. With two days of waves on tap, sharing water time with the legend that is Mark “Occy” Occhilupo, and coming away with some candid insight into the Surf Lakes development, there was a ton of info to be gleaned. I was given a solid roadmap of what’s ahead from the Surf Lakes CEO, its head engineers, and the rest of their hardworking team that’s introduced a whole new artificial wave technology to the game.
To put the wave height into perspective, this test day was running at 2.8 stroke. The final commercial model can run at six stroke, giving the wave potential to reach double the size and power. By comparison, one of the earliest videos to show off Surf Lakes, an edit titled Pumped, featured the wave running at four stroke. Parko took a spill here and simply said, “That wave was hectic.” Realistically, most of us have yet to see what this thing can really do.
Even at 50 percent, the waves at Occy’s Peaks were reeling at head high and the infamous slab at The Island was throwing some pretty heavy barrels. Like I said, when you get the invitation, you make it happen.