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Wavegarden’s Tech is Writing the Next Chapter in Surfing Competitions

Press Release from Wavegarden:

Different high-quality waves are guaranteed at the push of a button to provide competitors with equal conditions and alleviate event waiting periods and the risk of cancellation.  

The second edition of the Alaïa Open Winter Cup wrapped up this past weekend at Alaïa Bay at the base of the Swiss Alps, much to the delight of competitors and organizers who hailed the action-packed competition as the best so far. Boasting an international field, it was Brazilian Michel Roque and European WSL Junior Champion Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri who were victorious in the open divisions, while Portuguese Maria Salgado and English Lukas Skinner claimed the junior titles. 

This is, however, not the first Wavegarden facility to host a successful event. Back in 2015, the Red Bull Unleashed contest at Surf Snowdonia in Wales pitted some of the finest surfers around the planet against each other in Wavegarden´s first technology. In recent years, the next generation Wavegarden Cove system has proven to be even better adapted for competitors, judges and spectators.

Today, URBNSURF Melbourne has a yearly calendar charged with various events, including the Rip Curl National finals and Victorian State Titles.  Wave Park in South Korea created its own ´Surf League´ and recently crowned the series champions in shortboarding and longboarding. The Wave Bristol, England is the home venue for the English Adaptive Surfing Open; and across the Atlantic Ocean, Praia da Grama in Brazil, proudly hosts the National Rip Curl Gromsearch final.

Reliability

Our surf parks mitigate the risk of the uncertainty and unpredictability of the ocean, allowing the possibility of a clearly defined running schedule, day and night, without the need for unnecessary waiting periods. Not only is this more convenient for spectators on site, but also provides the ability to create fast-paced TV and web broadcasting, something that is equally reassuring for sponsors seeking the maximum return on their investment.

But possibly the greatest beneficiary of reliable conditions are the competitors themselves. They know exactly what day and what time they will have their heats and how many waves – both right and left – they will catch.  During pre-event training, they are 100% clear as to how the conditions will be and what equipment they will require. The consistency of the waves alleviates the luck factor of ocean events – everyone has the same conditions and identical opportunities to perform and compete.

Janire Gonzalez during the semi-finals

Versatility

Our wave menu offers over 20 different waves, from knee-high waves through to fierce barrels and critical air sections, and everything in between. This permits events for all levels, including aspiring juniors all the way through to the best athletes on the planet. Our software allows for waves to change in an instant. This means that surfers can compete in different waves, which is not only great to test their diverse skill set, but equally entertaining for fans to watch. The software is constantly evolving and new waves can be added to the menu each year to keep things fresh and maintain the element of surprise. 

In terms of event formats, having waves-on-demand has opened the door to the experimentation and development of new and innovative competition formats never thought possible in the ocean. A handful of different formats have already been tested, including 4-person and 2-person heats with a variety of ´Turn´ and ´Barrel´ waves for competitors to surf. Although, this is just the tip of the iceberg and fans can look forward to seeing events being configured in many innovative ways.

Practicality

Like Alaïa Bay, existing Wavegarden facilities such as URBNSURF Melbourne, The Wave Bristol, Wave Park and Praia da Grama were all designed to handle large crowds. This means that most of the infrastructure to support large events is already in place. Spectator viewing areas provide a close proximity to the action like no other beach location. And, as new facilities are created across the globe, it is likely that major events, for example, like those found on the World Surfing League tour will be hosted in major capital cities, possibly in collaboration with other forms of music and entertainment. 

History is in the process of being made, and now that WSL has announced it will sanction Pro Junior, Qualifying Series and longboard events in human made wave basins, surfers and fans alike can look forward to hearing some big announcements very soon. Stay tuned!

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