Creating the Perfect Wave - On Demand!
Wave-Master, led by the vision and ingenuity of John Baxendale, have created a technology for creating the perfect wave on demand. For millions of surfers around the world this is an exciting development that promises to make a reality of what has appeared an ambitious fantasy for decades.
Q - How does Wave-Master's wave pool technology work?
A - The inspiration for Wave-Master's design comes from John Baxendale - an avid surfer, engineer and physicist. He has been integral to refining various designs, over a long period of research and testing, to create Wave-Master's wave pool. Leaving the complicated physics of fluid dynamics aside, the Wave-Master wave pool relies on a modular piston system. With an array of pistons in operation, a long and powerful wave can be generated. To avoid a "close out" wave - where the whole wave breaks at the same time - each neighbouring piston is activated at a slight time delay to its predecessor. The base of the Wave-Master pool is sloped at the optimum angle so that it gives the surfer the longest ride of the possible on a peeling wave. The wave will break progressively in a parallel direction to the beach. The retaining walls are then included in Wave-Master's unique design which allows the wave to peter out gently - again lengthening the surfer's ride!
Q - What makes Wave-Master's wave pool the most promising?
A - The Wave-Master wave pool is energy efficient with each wave costing a fraction of a Dollar. There is an extremely high repetition rate of 240 waves per hour, around double that of other wave generator technologies in use. The design's versatility allows the features of the wave to be adjusted as desired.
The older 'water tank' wave pools in operation produce a turbulent wave and have only limited steerability. Furthermore, there us a delay of over 90 seconds between each wave to allow the water tank to be topped up and the turbulence to settle down.
The newer technology wave pools use a towed underwater hydrofoil to create a wake. These are driven by a single motor, so any failure is a major one! Also, following each wave generation cycle, there is a considerable delay whilst the water in the pool settles down and the turbulence dies away. Those perfect glassy waves you see in the promotional videos result from a 60 minute delay, on a windless day.
By emulating glassy waves on a perfect day, with a 15 second period, Wave-Master avoids all these problems.
Q - Your grapics show right-hand break, is there a design for 'goofy-footers'?
A - The Wave-Master wave pool can be configured for left or right-handed waves, depending on the design. ABout 80% of surfers are 'normal' stance, i.e. left foot leading, so we have concentrated on that design. After all, your average surfer does not turn up at Rincon (a famous right point break) on a perfect day and complain, "Hey! I wanted a left break!"
Most surfers are able to handle left and right hand waves with equal proficiency.
Q - Is there a commercial demand for wave pool technology?
A - Of course, for those (very lucky!) people who live near a world-class surf break in the select handful of locations worldwide there is no need for the Wave-Master wave pool design. For the vast majority of surfers, however, it is necessary to wait patiently for the right conditions to surf at all, let alone a perfect wave. Looking at surfing in the UK in isolation: there are 500,000 active surfers spending GBP1.8 billion a year on their passion for surfing. This huge spend of money on surfing in the UK, is despite the scarce amount of genuine quality surf spots on UK shores. With a huge surf following and few top surf locations, the best spots predictably become overcrowded - leading many UK surfers to spend money travelling abroad.
Would UK surfers and the millions of others living in less than ideal surf locations be interested in surfing at a local Wave-Master designed wave pool? Absolutely! No doubt.
Part 1 - The Story So Far - in this video, John Baxendale discusses making waves and in particular waves for surfing. He considers how to reproduce water movements that take place in the line-up on o good (surfing) day. He recalls how, after several years work, he succeeded in producing those waves with an electronic wave generatos - a system that could be scaled up to any size!
Part 2 - Wave Pool Design - John makes the case for artificial wave pools, and the financial benefits that would ensue from their use. He describes an SAS report that defines the huge financial clout that the sport of surfing has in the UK today. Some existing wave pools and their technologies are described and he laments the lack of wave pool facilities in the UK. (This was produced before Surf Snowdonia was built).