Gold Coast Wave Pool
Charging surfers for the perfect barrel
Posted on 01.03.2019
A Gold Coast company is trying to convince surfers in a city famous for its waves to pay for the perfect barrel.
Surf Lakes has announced it will open its first commercial “5 Waves” pool at an undisclosed location by the end of 2020.
If it gains development approval, company founder Aaron Trevis said the three-hectare surf park will feature a circular pool that produces waves of five difficulty levels at the same time.
Surfers will be charged $50 for a one-hour session.
“With our technology it is possible to do it, we believe, very profitably because you can have a lot of waves and a lot of variety,” Mr Trevis said.
“It will cost at least $20 million and then there is obviously the development around the perimeter which could be much more depending on the hotels, the resorts, whatever it is that you’re putting around that.
“On the basis of the very basic model of doing it for $50 for an hour session that’s doable for most people.”
Over the past week surfers have enjoyed world-class conditions whipped up by Cyclone Oma on the Gold Coast’s southern point breaks — for free.
But overcrowding is an increasing problem and Currumbin Boardriders president Darren Simondson said he believes surfers will be willing to pay for uncongested waves.
“Where they have got the perfect wave, the perfect conditions and more training can get done, whereas on the beach you are governed by the elements. So for that kind of thing it would definitely be worth it,” he said.
“Our beaches are getting that crowded nowadays that I think the general public would love to be able to surf the perfect wave, it just depends on how they govern the crowds.”
Former world champion surfer Mark Occhilupo has been advising the Surf Lakes project, including the development of a prototype at Yeppoon in central Queensland.
Unlike Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in California, which offers a single wave in one direction, the Yeppoon design uses a central machine which radiates waves of differing size, length and difficulty around a circular pool.
“One of the reasons everyone started building wave pools was for the professionals to work on their technique, but with no rips and no sharks it is also very good place to learn to surf,” Mr Occhilupo said.
“I surfed it (the Yeppoon wave pool) and it was amazing and I said ‘we have got to put one on the Gold Coast’.
“They said ‘why? You have already got so many waves there’ but I was like ‘we have so many surfers and there are months when we don’t have surf and the northerly winds come in’.”
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