Tom Lochtefeld’s involvement in the artificial wave space spans multiple decades and has included numerous inventions and technology patents. His background makes the Wave Loch founder an ideal candidate to speak about the importance of prescribing a set of standards and definitions for this young industry, which is exactly what he does in this week’s Summit video release.
Short on Time? Checkout 5 Key Takeaways from Tom’s Presentation:
1) The future of surfing/surf parks will benefit heavily from standardization and set metricsJust as the NFL, NHL, NBA, and other professional sports have well-defined metrics for their playing fields, surfing will also benefit from such defined metrics in global surf parks. These would benefit surfers, park owners, manufacturers, media coverage, federations, and future contests.
2) There are two overarching elements that should define the surf park “playing field”Wave Components (wave size, ride length, peel angle, shoulder characteristics, lip thickness, curl profile)System Components (energy required, system efficiency, environmental impact)
3) Energy use and efficiency should be one of the primary considerations for standardizationVariations in energy types and utilities make this a difficult component to standardize but important nonethelessKey considerations are cost per wave at given wave standards, theoretical vs. actual wave output ratios, carbon emissions, etc.
4) We should create a federation of manufactures, surfers, operators, engineers, etc. to come up with these standards and metricsThe ultimate objective is to have 3rd party consultants able to certify surf parks and wave pools that meet the agreed upon standards
5) Safety standards are extremely importantIn the same vein as the previous call to action, creating safety standards and specifications for building these parks by committee will be idealWhile energy and wave standards are important from environmental and competition angles, safety is paramount from an operational standpoint