There have been a growing number of wave pools being announced around the world recently, but what is actually better going surfing in a wave pool or jumping in the ocean?
The UK have been grabbing a lot of headlines recently with the Wave Garden projects in both Bristol and North Wales due for completion this year. Dallas, Texas has also announced this week that they are going to build North Americas first inland wave park. These three parks if they are as good as the developers claim will be pretty sic.
There are many wave pools around the world with the best ones being very expensive to build and to keep running. The Ocean Dome in Japan which is arguably the best wave pool in the world has been closed for years due to extensive running costs. See video below
Now while it would be awesome to have waves like that on tap constantly the cost to the surfer to regularly surf would be unsustainable, while surfing in the ocean once you have purchased your equipment is free. Also one has to consider the travelling time to get to a wave pool, most surfers live by the coast where there are decent waves already so why would you build a wave pool where the surf is already good, so you build it inland where there are no waves but then also a lack of surfers. This is a paradox that has been around for years, what you need is a place where there are lots of rich surfers and not much in the way of natural waves.
The plus points for a wave pool are obvious that any day of the year there are going to be surfable waves, although it might be busy the waves come through on a turn basis so that all surfers get the same amount of waves, very little pollution, and as the waves are uniform it would be possible to perfect manoeuvres by practicing over and over again.
The major downside for wave pools is that the waves just aren’t as good as Mother Nature can produce, you can’t imagine that there are going to be replicating Pipeline or the Superbank anytime soon.
Having said that this new generation of wave pools do look very interesting and I would be very keen to try some of them out, is this where we are going next, planning your next surf trip could be to Dallas or Northern Wales? I kind of hope not give me the Maldives or Indo.