The hype is inescapable. New plans to construct wave pools across the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe are announced daily – some with the support of pop stars like Pharrell Williams, others with promises of blowing away the competition, and then there’s Kelly’s wave and all the fanfare associated with it. But for all the excitement – and from some corners, utter scorn – that wave pool tech proliferation has fomented, one seemingly obvious location for a future wave pool (or ten!) remains conspicuously absent from the conversation. That place, of course, is Brazil.
As a nation, it is my humble opinion that Brazil is head and shoulders more surf obsessed than the US of A, save Hawaii. And maybe just as surf obsessed as Australia, but that’s a discussion for another day. Of next year’s rookies that we know so far, four of six hail from Brazil. And, oh yeah, Gabriel Medina has an institute dedicated to training the next crop of Brazilian surfers.
Point is Brazil has an appetite for all things surf, and while I ain’t a businessman, it seems pretty obvious that a wave pool project in Brazil would be big.
To be clear, just because no wave pool projects in Brazil have been publicly announced to our knowledge (and I’d love to be corrected on this), that doesn’t mean developers on the ground aren’t quietly moving the needle without the fanfare and mock-ups we’ve seen with planned wave pool projects stateside and in Oz.
In an interview with Vice from 2015, Wavegarden media rep Felipe Verger mentioned that projects were in development across the world including, “Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) Morocco and Dubai. And later Australia, Germany, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Brazil, California.” Still, Wavegarden’s website shows projects under development in such diverse places as Japan, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Germany, and New York City. But, nothing for Brazil. We reached out to Wavegarden to see if there were any updates and they elected not to comment.
So why no Brazil (yet)? Presumably, because every wave pool tech developer is in their respective silos from Lemoore to Coolangatta refining their product and developing full-scale prototypes. The only technologies that are past that phase are Wavegarden and KS Wave Co., with Greg Webber’s tech on their heels. Why Wavegarden hasn’t rallied harder to license its technology to developers in Brazil before, say, Wales or Austin, Texas God only knows.
What’s clear from Verger’s comments though is Brazilian locations are coming… eventually. No doubt the brains at KS Wave Co. have their eyes on Brazil, too. And when they do come, I predict they’ll be HUGE. You heard it here first.