With each passing day it becomes more evident surf parks and wave pools are a major component of the future of surfing, and are solidly here to stay. Between the The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore, BSR Surf Resort in Waco, URBNSurf in Melbourne, and The Palm Springs Surf Club in California’s Palm Desert, a dizzying amount of out-of-ocean surfing content is being produced in the artificial realm, and more and more surfers are flocking to book sessions in surf parks and pools.
Of course, engineering 30-second barreling waves in Lemoore or 6-foot perfect aerial sections in Waco takes time, testing, and usually a very large up front investment. Surf parks and pools are inherently expensive, especially in the early days of testing and learning what works for specific customer segments.
We sat down with UNIT Surf Pools, who is looking to level the playing field.
UNIT Surf Pools are a different sort of technology which require no construction and can be deployed for a fraction of the cost of other wave technologies. They are implemented and integrated into existing bodies of water, meaning they’re designed to be deployed in existing pools to minimize development time and cost.
UNIT Surf Pools create a standing wave, similar to the natural waves that form in the Eisbach River in Munich, Germany, so it is certainly a bit different to a natural breaking ocean wave, but it’s an exciting experience for the rider nonetheless. UNIT Surf Pools can be built into water parks, and integrate with restaurants or hotels for their “first wave” as they enter into the market. It can also be used to cater to core surfers as it runs alongside a larger existing surf park destination, as a way to create additional surfing experiences in one location, and to attract more clientele. For instance, experts have argued that standing waves could be installed in a body of water next to more established waves, like the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, or in the lake at BSR Surf Resort, and create new experiences for riders and their companions who are waiting for their sessions in the larger pool.
“If you’re a waterpark owner, and you’re thinking about getting into the wave business, start with UNIT Surf Pools says Tony Finn, founder of Liquid Force wakeboards and the exclusive distributor of UNIT Surf Pools in North America. “You’re going to engage thousands of people, while you learn about the surf business. Plus, the ROI is amazingly good due to the lower than normal construction costs.”
Finn isn’t kidding. The Unit takes two weeks to install, uses net-zero water, and it can be modified for the needs of beginners, intermediate surfers, and even for pros. At its max height UNIT Surf Pools can produce a 6-foot wave with sections on both sides, allowing surfers to do airs and spins. As Finn frames it, “UNIT Surf Pools cost under 2 million dollars to implement, compared with 10+ million projects to build a traditional surf pool from scratch.”
To learn more about UNIT Surf Pools, see their Surf Park Central Directory Page here, where you can request more information.
Through August 2020, the team is running an exclusive sweepstakes in partnership with Firewire Surfboards to give away a brand new Tomo Hydroshort standing wave surfboard. Watch the video here for more details on the contest, and click here to enter the sweepstakes to win.