While some people have been worried that we have gone horribly quiet about The Wave Bristol, today we let the cat out of the bag as to why:
We have changed the wave-making technology we will be using in order to deliver more waves per surfing session and a better experience for all. After many months of research we have signed Heads of Terms with Wave Loch LLC to utilize its ground-breaking new SurfPool technology.
At the heart of our project is the vision of a beautiful lake with the ability to create perfect peeling, ocean-like waves, where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can experience the joy of surfing. We realized that if we were to meet this core aim then we would need to ensure that the surfing lake really works for beginners and improvers–which means a high frequency of waves to practice on. We are not blessed with a tropical climate in the UK, so when people are in the water they need to be active with lots of opportunities to ride waves.
For the last five years, we have been keeping a close eye on all developments in wave-making technology and we were aware of Wave Loch and its long history of wave generation expertise. On further analysis we discovered that its new SurfPool technology could deliver 6-8 waves per minute and with left and right breaks across three zones this has the potential to get six people riding each wave. This will mean a fantastic surfing experience for all levels of surfer in terms of waves ridden, with people able to catch 15-20 waves per hour.
The technology also gives the ability to easily change the height and shape of the wave for advanced and professional surfers, which meets our aim of holding surfing competitions and having a high performance surfing centre at The Wave. Surf fitness is core to our vision and we think it is essential that surfers should paddle back to the take off zone and get the strength they need to be able to transfer skills to the ocean environment. The Wave Loch SurfPool technology makes this possible.
The Wave Bristol will be the first full-scale facility of Wave Loch SurfPool technology in the world. Benefits of the technology include:
• Perfect 1.5m waves breaking left and right on the primary wave
• Three zones catering to different levels of ability
• Waves generated every 10 seconds
• Ability to adjust size and shape for competitions and elite training
• No working/moving parts in the water with surfers
• No permanent structures needed inside the lake itself
• Surfers will be able to paddle back to the start of the wave and therefore improve their fitness and technique
• Renewable energy R&D
“Just like the ocean we use wind (pneumatics) to create our waves,” said Wave Loch founder Tom Lochtefeld. “After years of research and testing we found that this was the best way to deliver a vast quantity of almond-eyed barrels. By simulating ocean swells that shoal and break over our surfing optimized reefs, we can replicate an experience that is closely comparable to ocean surfing. Wave Loch engineers have, in fact, designed hundreds of wave pools for water parks, but the technology we will be installing at The Wave Bristol is a quantum leap in the evolution of surf pool technology. I love the ethos of the whole project and the concept of bringing the stoke to a huge range of people.”
This decision to change technology provider has not been made lightly and the process has taken several months, which has meant a delay in the project progressing to build stage.
We are acutely aware that this decision has resulted in a delay for the project, however, we are still on track to begin work this year and open fully in 2016. Having done thorough research and having seen someone riding the prototype, we are confident that this is definitely the best decision for our project. We are so grateful for the patience shown by all of our supporters and we are 100% certain that the benefits of using this technology will make the wait worthwhile. We have been working seven days a week to make this project a reality as soon as we possibly can. It’s great when we take major steps forward and signing the deal with Wave Loch allows the next pieces of the process to fall into place. It’s a very exciting time for the project!
In case you think The Wave Bristol is all about surfing. It is not.
We have core aims to:
◦ Create the opportunity for people of all ages, all abilities and all backgrounds to try surfing and waves sports on consistent waves all year round.
◦ Put people in touch with nature and encourage greater interaction with the natural world.
◦ Increase children and young peoples educational attainment.
◦ Increase the number of older people enjoying a higher quality of life.
◦ Improve young peoples employment readiness.
◦ Improve the physical and mental well being of children and young people.
◦ Increase the number of older people participating in social, cultural and active lifestyles.
◦ Teach people about ecology in a hands-on way.
◦ Create a rehabilitative environment for ex-servicemen and women with physical and emotional needs.
◦ Employ young adults and provide training and a career path for the future.
◦ Integrate generations to encourage greater respect between them.
◦ Create access to nature and leisure facilities for ill/terminally sick and disabled people.
◦ Help disadvantaged young people engage with society in a positive way.
◦ Give back a % of annual profits to local charities and projects.
A big vision for a better world, using surfing as a tool for positive change.
Regular updates are available at www.the-wave.co.uk