Swell Idea Coming to Resort

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By: Tawny Maya McCray
UT San Diego
Published Feb 20, 2013 (Updated Feb 21, 2013)

A Solana Beach company founded by the great-nephew of San Diego surf legend Charles Wright has created what it says is the world’s largest standing wave machine — producing waves with a 5-foot barrel and a 28-foot face — that will be making its debut this spring in the United States.

Another of the machines will be debuting in Canada’s first indoor surf park this summer.

The company — American Wave Machines, founded by engineer and recreational surfer Bruce McFarland — developed its SurfStream technology in the mid-2000s.

The first SurfStream debuted in 2009 at a resort in Turks & Caicos.

In the years since, several more of the machines, which can be engineered to any size and shape specification, have opened at surf parks, water parks, hotels and resorts around the world, McFarland said.

The patented surf machine allows for authentic surfing on real surfboards with fins, with a water temperature that averages around 82 degrees.

That warm water is likely to be a strong pull when the first SurfStream in the United States opens this spring in Nashua, N.H.

The machine will be the centerpiece of a park called Surf’s Up New Hampshire, an expansion of SkyVenture NH, a massive indoor sky diving venue.

The SurfStream will be indoors in a facility that features a retractable glass roof, glass walls for spectator viewing, surfside lounging and a cafe, McFarland said. Surf’s Up will be the first multisport venue with surfing and sky diving.

When the owners polled their sky diving customers, “they were very enthusiastic about being able to surf after flying,” McFarland said.

McFarland said all the SurfStream machines share a design scheme: The basic platform is a training wave where you can body-board or learn to stand up.

“It’s very easy. It’s a small wave and it’s very stable,” he said. “Level two is what we call the standing wave, it’s kind of like a rapid in a river. The wave jumps up about twice as high and it’s more turbulent and a lot more powerful. You can also have white-water kayaking on that wave.”

The most advanced wave, McFarland said, is a barreling wave that breaks either continuously left or continuously right. The barrel is created by moving modular pieces of different sizes and shapes.

The changes in the waves are created by adjusting a spoiler at the bottom of the machine.

McFarland said the machine is great for learning how to surf and for practicing maneuvers, such as aerials and 360s.

“You can practice the same maneuver as many times as you need to to perfect it,” he said. “It is using real surfboards with fins, so the skills are transferable to ocean surfing.”

American Wave Machines also offers a technology called Perfect Swell, which is essentially a wave pool that you can surf in.

PerfectSwell is an air-powered system that uses computer controls to modulate wave shape, ride duration, frequency and energy efficiency. The waves range from about 2 feet to 7½ feet.

McFarland, who in the 1990s developed sheet-flow wave simulators at Belmont Park and The Wave Waterpark in Vista, said his company’s goal is to open a SurfStream or PerfectSwell in every major city in the U.S.

He said they are working with some developers in California, but nothing is scheduled yet.

Canada’s surf park, called Oasis Surf, will be set in a contemporary surf retail center with a California beach-themed bar and restaurant. It will also include a surf shop featuring surf apparel and custom surfboards.

“(The owner) is creating a place (for customers) to go any time of year,” McFarland said. “In the winter, when it’s so cold up there, it’ll be a pretty warm place where you can go and get in the water and hang out.”

View the article at UTSanDiego.com

American Wave Machines PerfectSwell Wave Pool Video

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Create up to 10 barreling waves per minute.

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Nation’s Largest Standing Wave Machine Being Built in Nashua, New Hampshire

Surf's Up New Hampshire
By: KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
Published Feb 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm (Updated Feb 6, 2013)

NASHUA – This fall, the nation’s largest standing wave machine is expected to attract expert and novice surfers to Nashua.

Currently under construction, Surf’s Up New Hampshire is being built at the existing SkyVenture New Hampshire site at 3 Poisson Ave.

“We can already teach anyone to fly, now we can teach anyone to surf,” said Rob Greer, who owns SkyVenture with his wife, Laurie. “SurfStream® is a tremendous value proposition with broad appeal. That’s what convinced us to invest, and that’s essential for our bottom line.”

American Wave Machines Inc., the leader in artificial wave technology for surf parks, announced this week that SurfSteam® is expected to begin operations this spring, possibly by April.

Surfers will be able to experience a 5-foot barreling wave with 32-feet of face to carve on in an all-season indoor multi-sport venue, according to Bruce McFarland, founder and CEO of American Wave Machines Inc.

“SurfStream is the most fun water ride there is,” said McFarland, praising the enormous system chosen by the Greers for the indoor facility. “It is very cold to surf outside in New Hampshire. The water inside is going to be in the low 80s, and so is the air.”

McFarland expects that people will travel a far distance to try the new SurfStream technology, including experienced, hard-core surfers as well as individuals who have never stepped foot onto a surfboard.

“Regardless of what is going on outside, people can walk around in their trunks and bikinis and be completely comfortable in and out of the water,” said McFarland, adding an open air roof system is being built to allow for sunshine when the weather is nicer.

SurfStream is a gel-coated fiberglass modular system that can be built in different shapes and sizes to produce different size waves. In basic mode, the machine can be used by inexperienced customers who are trying to surf for the first time.

However, it also has the capability of producing barreling waves for professional surfers, according to McFarland. He said the machines range in price from $350,000 for a small model to a few million dollars for the larger systems like the one being built in Nashua.

Learning to surf in the ocean can be challenging because it takes a lot of effort just to get standing on a board. With the SurfStream, McFarland said people can often stand and ride on a surfboard fairly quickly, often during the first session.

“The system allows that training and skill development – it can be a thrill ride,” he added.

Nashua is an ideal location for a new indoor surf park, according to McFarland, who said it is close enough to Boston to attract a large number of potential clients.

Furthermore, many daring skydivers are often willing and excited to try something new like surfing. The Greers have already received a tremendous amount of feedback from existing clients ready to begin a new adventure in the water, he said.

SkyVenture, and now Surf’s Up New Hampshire, are located on Poisson Avenue off the Daniel Webster Highway behind Best Buy.

View article at unionleader.com