Senior Editor

The Inertia

Remember a few years ago when Wavegarden released the first images of their manmade wave to the world? I sure do. One photo in particular struck me back in 2011:

wavegarden trials

This is the photo that started the movement.

You probably remember it, too. It signaled something big–a whole new form of surfing, one that could be placed anywhere on earth. Sure, the wave wasn’t big enough. And yeah, a lot of people hate the idea of a man-made wave. But it was just a harbinger of what was to come, and if nothing else, let’s hope that maybe, just maybe, wave pools will suck some of those ever-increasing crowds inland. I surfed at NLand (before it broke, that is), and despite my preconceived notion that I was probably going to hate it, had a hell of a good time. To sum it up, it’s not the same as surfing… but it’s still really, really fun.

There were a few other companies in the running for the title of King of the Wave Pool, all with good ideas, but Wavegarden stole the show. Until Kelly Slater released his mind-bendingly perfect wave, that is. It seemed to take the wind out of their sails, right along with whoever it was that won the world title the day before. With Kelly’s video release, Adriano de Souza was forgotten about and Wavegarden realized they’d better step up their game.

Then, as you will remember, they ran into a few issues. Mechanical problems plagued NLand, the wave park in Austin, Texas, that used the technology. Hell, someone even sued them. But, in their defense, it’s still relatively new technology, and no one ever made anything great without screwing up a few times first.


Now, judging from the video they’ve just released of something they’re calling Wavegarden Cove, things are better. Much better. Regardless of the fact that the trailer is lacking in any pulled-back shots–perhaps they don’t want to ruin the big reveal–those barrels they promised with the original iteration are finally here… I think. They’ve already nailed down a couple of big contracts, too. The Cove, Wavegarden’s new system, already has contracts for three parks in Australia under the URBNSURF name, with another one in the works in California.

Most notably, though, is this little fact, straight from the press release: “We have been working really hard behind the scenes on a new type of technology that makes up to 1000 great waves per hour.”

Impossible? Sounds like it, at first glance. But time will tell, and we don’t have to wait long. Wavegarden Cove is releasing another video on May 10th that promises to put any and all doubts to rest.

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