Chances are good that if you look around you right now, at least something within five feet of you is made in China. Unless, that is, you’ve printed this out and are reading it in the middle of a grassy field (and I hope that is the case), but that might make it difficult to watch the video.
China’s economy, although no longer driven primarily by manufacturing, makes just about everything there is. And now, with the blossoming global interest in man-made waves, they’re dipping their toes in the chlorinated waters of wave pools.
While there’s not much information available about the pool you see above, according to reports, it’s located in Anyang, a city in China’s Henan province. Much like Kelly’s wave or the wave pool in Austin, the wave is created by a hydrofoil that runs back and forth through the center of a long pool. One can assume that the bottom of the pool has been carefully contoured to create surfable waves. Rumor has it that the wave pool cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million.
Whether you like wave pools or not, it’s clear they are fast becoming a large part of surfing’s future. Different technologies are popping up all over the world, and as competition grows stiffer, the quality of the waves will skyrocket. As the quality of good, repeatable, nearly identical waves goes up, so too will the level of surfing—but will that translate into better surfing in the ocean? We’ll have to wait and see, but China’s involvement can only mean one thing: wave pools are looming just over the horizon, and the forecast is a big one.