Wavegarden, The perfect wave in a Basque mountain valley
Published on June 11, 2013
Wavegarden, industry leader in the design and manufacture of wave generation systems, has built a full-sized demo center in Northern Spain. This first of its kind facility will be used strictly for fine-tuning, testing and as a showroom and is not open to the public.
Located at Wavegarden’s research and development site, the new surfing lagoon generates perfectly formed tubing waves that peel for more than 220 m without losing power or shape. It is the longest artificial surfing wave in existence, and the wave quality, shape, and speed, are suitable for the highest levels of performance surfing.
Every minute two identical waves break simultaneously left and right with barreling point break type rides up to 20 seconds long. Once the waves reach the bay area, the left and right hand waves transform into smooth rolling whitewater waves; perfect for children, longboarding and surf lessons.
The technology is designed to generate 120 waves per hour with an average power of 270 kW and has proven capable of making waves of any size and length, depending on the size of the lagoon.
Wavegarden dates back to 2005, when engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch decided to combine their expertise in designing and building sport facilities, particularly skate parks, with their passion for surfing.
What both entrepreneurs enjoyed most about their skate park experience was seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids who could not wait to try out the new park. They decided to turn to their true passion, surfing, in order to re-create that same feeling for people not fortunate enough to have an ocean break nearby, or where ocean waves are too crowded or of poor quality.
They were convinced that world-class waves could be generated for any level of surfers anywhere in the world, no ocean required. Their goal was to try and reproduce the real sensations and experience of surfing a wave in the ocean under ideal conditions, and the outcome was: Wavegarden.
Professional surfers have tested the wave with highly positive reviews:
“It’s a revolution!” Pauline Ado, France.
“I had a really fun day at the Wavegarden.” Taj Burrow, Australia.
“It’s fun for everyone. If you don’t surf, you can learn to surf right here!” Gabriel Medina, Brazil.
“I thought it was going to be smaller. It’s actually really big!” Dusty Payne, Hawaii.
“The speed of the wave is perfect.” Dane Reynolds, California.
Surfing is now for everyone
For more than 35 million people, surfing has become a metaphor for living a healthy lifestyle and being in tune with nature’s rhythms. Surfing is ranked in the top 20 most popular and fastest growing sports in all countries, cultures and demographics.
The ‘stoke’, or feeling of surfing, which has been limited to the lucky few who live near quality surf, is now accessible to everyone.
By eliminating nearly all inherent variables associated with surfing in the ocean, this revolution in wave riding can provide quality surfing waves all hours of the day and through all seasons.
Wavegarden offers a guaranteed spectacle allowing innovative and unique surf competitions, high performance training and surfing lessons in a controlled environment.
Wavegarden is ideal as a stand-alone facility or as a central feature in large scale mixed-use developments. It is the perfect anchor attraction for resorts or leisure parks and creates a completely new and singular destination built around surfing, many other wave sports and the always alluring beach life.
The Wavegarden team of engineering experts specialized in mechanical and aerodynamic systems -all of them passionate surfers- has worked for nearly a decade to create an artificial surfing lagoon designed to generate consistent, perfectly formed waves for surfers of all abilities.
Numerous models on different scales, countless real size tests and computing simulations have led to the creation of the simplest, most efficient and reliable wave generating technology possible.
Wavegarden’s patented technology is based on an innovative hydrodynamic Wavefoil and a revolutionary wave lagoon design. The state of the art Wavefoil generator has been proved to be more reliable and to require significantly less energy compared to other artificial wave technologies, including those that are still in conceptual design stage.
Wave frequency, lagoon capacity and associated costs qualify Wavegarden as the first surfing installation to provide a commercial return on investment as a stand-alone facility:
. Annual EBITDA of over 1 million euros
. IRR: between 15% and 20% depending upon location
. Payback in less than 4 years
Why a Wavegarden?
. Surfing is currently limited to coastal locations
. Favorable surf conditions only occur about 30-50% of the year
. Surf schools cannot cope with current demand
. Around 1 million new surfers per year guarantee a growing market
. Wavegarden provides perfect beginner and expert waves at all times
. Unlike artificial snow facilities, Wavegarden can be better than the real thing