Pro surfers Jamie O’Brien and Cheyne Magnusson talk about the PerfectSwell surf facility under construction in Waco, TX.
American Wave Machines, Inc. Awarded Contract for Aloha Surf Joondalup
Solana Beach, California. – American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), the world’s leading wave pool, surf venue, and wave technology company for the emerging out of ocean surfing market and Aloha Surf have announced that the first dedicated surf venue in Australia will open in Joondalup, Western Australia. From gentle whitewater waves to 6 foot barrels the SurfStream® at Aloha Surf will have everyone stoked.
Aloha Surf brings together retail, entertainment, health, food and beverage, and sport under one roof. Set in a core, contemporary, and social atmosphere, the all-season indoor venue will include surf exhibitions, contests, training, camps, Surf P .E., corporate events, special events and a full service surf shop. With the emphasis on health and fitness, the venue also includes Yoga and a fitness gym. A themed bar and restaurant will allow diners to watch the surfing while enjoying a healthy menu in a surf inspired core setting.
AlohaSurfwillfeatureAWM’sSurfStream® withprogrammablecontrolsandmodularinsertsthatallow multiple wave types in one machine. For experienced surfers the signature wave is the standing 6′ barrel with a 20′ face to carve on, either right or left breaks for goofy and regular foot riders. A 4 foot deep water wave creates hydrodynamics just like river surfing. For broad appeal, the system also has training and intermediate waves which operate at lower power so that the wave size can progress along with the riders’ skill.
Architectural Rendering of Aloha Surf
“By making surfing available 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Aloha Surf is not only growing the sport, but creating a unique experience for surfers and spectators. We have the potential to provide locals with tools for surf education never seen anywhere else,” said Adam Blackwood, owner of Aloha Surf. “People of all abilities will be able to get the fundamentals down and develop their skills while non surfers can just relax and enjoy the scene.”
“Working with Adam has been great. He has a compelling vision for out of ocean surfing in Australia. This is the first of a series of our small footprint indoor surf venues opening in Australia in the coming months and adding to our growing worldwide commercial out of ocean surfing network. We’re stoked to be down under.” Said Bruce McFarland, President & Founder of American Wave Machines
Kalani Chapman Cutback
About Aloha Surfhouse
Aloha Surfhouse are proud to be bringing American Wave Machines Surftream technology to Australia. Plans are to have at least one venue in every major Australian city making surfing accessible to everyone all year round. We have a young energetic team who are constantly in contact with the community to ensure we create that Aloha feel at every venue, every time. We hope to encourage more people to get back into the ocean and learn the sport we all love here in Australia.
For more information contact our team at Alohasurfhouse.com.au
The Boston Globe reports on the American Wave Machines installation in Nashua. Click here to read full article.
Solana Beach, CA – American Wave Machines (AWM) announced that a SurfStream® standing wave machine will be a unique and featured amenity at the upscale Hainan Qizibay Grand New Century Resort, which is scheduled to open in Hainan, China in September, 2015. This will be the first resort in Southeast Asia to include a deep water standing wave machine.
Hainan has been called the Hawaii of China. It has an active surfing population, hosts many surf tourists, and is a stop on the WSL and ISA surf tours. The superior experience of SurfStream was a natural fit for Qizibay’s Grand New Century Resort.
The technology invented and manufactured by American Wave Machines will allow surfers to ride real surfboards and experience genuine surfing out of the ocean. The SurfStream® can also produce waves appropriate for body boarding, and body surfing.
“Hainan Qizibay Grand New Century Resort in Hainan is the perfect location to introduce this unique experience and technology in China,” said Robert Reynolds, American Wave Machines COO. “The resorts clientele will be surrounded by some of the best amenities in the world, and our SurfStream® will be one of the highlights of the trip for families and surfers alike.”
The world class left point break at Riyue Bay is home to Hainan’s International Surfing Festival
While this will be the first resort in China to include a SurfStream®, the wave machines are already in operation at standalone surf parks, water parks, municipal facilities, hotels, resorts and shopping centers around the world.
“Surfing and high-quality wave machines appeal to a broad demographic spectrum. The crowds that have been drawn to ride a SurfStream or watch others have been overwhelming in every setting so far. This will be another great location and we are excited to bring a unique and desired experience to a unique and desired resort.” Reynolds concluded.
The world class left point break at Riyue Bay is home to Hainan’s International Surfing Festival
American Wave Machines is the world’s leading wave pool, surf park, and wave technology company producing authentic surf experiences. SurfStream® 5-15K square foot venues have capacity of 100’s while PerfectSwell® Surf Parks are 1 acre plus with capacity in the 1000’s. Since 2007 over 3,000,000 surf sessions have been enjoyed at American Wave Machines locations around the globe.
For the second year in a row the ESA Indoor Surf Championships we’re held in New Hampshire on SurfStream®. Click HERE for Eastern Surf Magazine’s article on the event.
Hang Ten! Here’s what Skyplex’s surf park could look like
6/16/2015 at 2:56pm EDT
By Richard Bilbao, Orlando Business Journal
Now, we already know Skyplex on International Drive is set to open with a surf park as part of its growing portfolio. But what will it look like?
Well, the Sky Surf park, to be developed by Wallack Holdings, will be designed by American Wave Machines, a Solana Beach, Calif.-based firm that has similar surf parks in places like New York, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Canada, Peru, Russia and Sweden.
The surf park is expected to come with three pools, including one that can be used by professional surfers for training or competitions. Renderings of the park — check those out above — show the wave pools separated by pavilions, beach chairs and tables that most likely will be used for food and beverage service.
Grand New Century Resort in Hainan, China to Feature SurfStream
6/15/2015 at 11:41PM
By Jane Ho, Forbes Contributor
New Century Tourism Group, China’s biggest non-state operator of four-stars-or-above hotels owned by Chen Miaolin, schedules to open its Qizibay Grand New Century Resort on the coast of Hainan, one of South China’s most frequented holiday destinations, this October.
The 5-star resort has 600 rooms and 1,500 dining seats, and also houses a water park including a 20-meter-long, 7-meter-wide surfing pool that can create 1-meter-tall waves – the first one in China and Southeast Asia to have installed a deep water standing wave machine.
“Unlike other forms of wave machines using 30-year old technology, a deep water standing wave machine provides an authentic surfing experience outside of the ocean, with revolutionary technology that lets surfers use real surfboards with fins,” says Robert Reynolds, COO of the equipment’s supplier and the world’s leading wave technology company American Wave Machines in the U.S.
“Our technology creates waves that provide a longer ride than in even the largest wave pools on the planet at a fraction of the size and cost,” adds Reynolds.
The Resort’s general manager Jin Taizhi points out it is safer and easier to surf in a pool than in the ocean. He says: “A novice surfer can have the same fun without having to go though stringent training programs.”
The Resort will also host festivals of the local Li and Hui ethnic groups. “Chinese tourists are looking for more variety in the way they spend their vacations,” Jin avers, “And with this we can provide them with elements of a backpacker’s experience.”
Retail’s new trick: Using surfing to catch more than a wave
5/1/2015 at 12:14pm
By Krystina Gustafson, Content Editor and Retail Reporter at CNBC
These big-box department stores are some of the names that come to mind when picturing a typical anchor tenant at the mall. One company, however, is hoping to change that.
As mall traffic continues its steady decline—dropping 10 percent as of Saturday for the month of April—American Wave Machines is challenging the idea that anchor tenants need to be stores at all.
An anchor has been seen as a store that is so popular that it is a shopping center’s main draw. But what if shoppers come to the mall for another reason?
Robert Reynolds, chief operating officer of the company that designs and manufactures surf pools, said American Wave Machines’ technology possesses all the same qualities a traditional anchor tenant is supposed to have, minus the old-fashioned box.
For one, Reynolds said his company’s surf pools encourage consumers to visit a mall, often on a repeat basis. For another, they increase the amount of time people spend on the property. The pools also drive food and beverage sales incrementally higher, as visitors post up to watch surfers master the waves—or wipe out.
“For malls that are more challenged because of the marketplace or as the economies have changed, they’re looking at this as something they could put across their portfolio,” Reynolds said.
American Wave Machines, whose pools have also been installed at surf parks, water parks and resorts around the world, first got its feet wet at retail in 2011, when it launched at the open-air Sur Plaza Boulevard shopping center south of Lima, Peru. Nearly four years later, the company opened its second retail location at Oasis Surf, a facility inside Quartier DIX30 in Brossard, Quebec, where thousands of surfers have paid 30 Canadian dollars ($25) for a 30-minute chance to ride the waves.
But Reynolds said American Wave’s presence at shopping centers is just getting started. Its third retail pool is set to launch at New Jersey’s American Dream megamall, a project whose much-delayed opening is slated for the second half of 2016. Reynolds said the company is also in “advanced conversations” with larger mall owners, who are interested in including the technology across their portfolios.
American Wave’s expansion at shopping centers comes at a time when mall operators are looking for innovative ways to bring shoppers to their properties. As a growing portion of retail sales are conducted online, malls and retailers are striving to deliver to shoppers experiences that they can’t replicate on their computers, smartphones and tablets.
Over the holidays, for instance, Taubman Centers brought Disney’s “Frozen” to life at 10 malls, by opening a themed ice palace. An innovative property in Las Vegas, dubbed the Grand Bazaar Shops, had each of its 120 tenants devise their own way of bringing interactivity to the space. Alex and Ani, for example, lets shoppers try on jewelry using virtual reality.
Virginia Morris, vice president of global consumer and innovation strategy at Daymon Worldwide, said that although these sorts of interactive initiatives should boost traffic and sales, that’s not all they boil down to.
“It’s more about the buzz and the talk value of the experience that you’re getting,” she said.
Though Reynolds declined to give specifics on the traffic boosts the properties received after opening their surf pools, he did say that there are times when there’s a three- to four-week wait to book a 30-minute session riding the artificial waves. He added that the average consumer dwell time on the properties increased between 15 and 20 minutes.
In addition to increasing the amount of time spent per visit, the attraction encourages visitors to keep coming back.
“You get repeat customers because they want to be better at it,” Reynolds said.
Claude Coudry, founder of Oasis Surf (the venue where American Wave Machines’ technology is used at DIX30) added that the attraction has brought new clientele to the center.
Though installation costs vary depending on the location and size of the pool, Reynolds said the average for a commercial unit is about $3 million. The clientele spans from experienced surfers who bring their own boards, to “aspirational” surfers who are trying to learn.
Indoor surf parks aim for big money
March 25, 2014: 5:00 AM ET
By Shawn Tully, senior editor-at-large
FORTUNE — In a lifetime of promoting the sport he loves, Robbie Meistrell has long sought the power swell capable of propelling the laid-back world of surfing into a universal, lucrative phenomenon rivaling golf. Now, he swears, he’s found it: wave-machine generated, mainly indoor surfing, driven by fresh technologies that can replicate six-foot barrels and chest-high mushy waves, in every imaginable, computer-sequenced, ocean-imitating combination, at surf parks the size of football fields. A pair of these emporia will soon open in quintessentially non-beachy locales: in the New Jersey Meadowlands at the forthcoming, gigantic new American Dream mall built by Mall of America developers Triple Five originally; and in snowy mountains of Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“This breakthrough in wave machine surfing is what we’ve been waiting for all these years,” says Meistrell. “It could multiply the number of surfers worldwide, and easily multiply the size of the surfing market by a factor 10.” Today’s soccer moms could become tomorrow’s surfing moms, and look for the Olympics in the 2030s to host contests on computer-planned waves, a kind of aquatic, next-gen Super Pipe with surfers in the role of snowboarders.
Meistrell is the scion of a surfing business dynasty: In 1953, his father and uncle founded water sports retailer Body Glove, and in the 1960s invented the first practical wetsuit for surfers. Today, Meistrell serves as Body Glove’s CEO, licensing the famous brand name for bathing suits, snorkels, water shoes, and waterproof cell phone cases, as well as those signature, super-stretch form-fitting neoprene huggers that keep surfers toasty in the icy foam. The family’s flagship store, Dive ‘N’ Surf in Redondo Beach, Calif., remains a legendary destination for water sports enthusiasts. Meistrell runs surfing camps for kids, sponsors pro surfing tours and events, and at age 62, still paddles out to catch the curls at L.A.’s Manhattan Beach.
Yet Meistrell has faced years of frustration in his campaign to attract hordes of new surfers, and hence build the gigantic market that, he believes, the sport merits. “When you get the feeling of the water moving beneath your feet, there’s nothing on earth like it,” he marvels. “It’s totally addictive.” The rub is that millions of potential surfers live too far from the ocean to experience that magical sensation.
And even on the coasts, kids and neophyte adults shun the sport because once they tote their boards to the beach, the fickle ways of nature furnish waves that are too big, or arrive far too infrequently, for beginners to learn. The weather delays and long waits between rideable waves also soak surfing’s allure as a spectator sport. “You go to Rincon Beach in Santa Barbara,” says Meistrell, “and the surfing is good maybe four or five days a month. In most places, you paddle out and catch two waves in two or three hours. It’s not that surfing is so hard to learn, it isn’t. It’s that it’s so hard to practice.”
Another problem is what Meistrell calls a kind of tribal “localism.” “On the good days, hordes of people from all over flood the surfing beaches,” says Meistrell. “The groups of local surfers don’t like it, and don’t want you there.”
Hence, surfing remains a major cultural trendsetter, shaping fashion, music, and lingo. But measured in dollars, it’s a decidedly minor sport. Surfers worldwide spend around $10 billion a year on equipment, camps and lessons — TV revenues and ticket sales are miniscule, by the way — less than one-sixteenth the total sales golfing commands.
Today, Meistrell views the innovations in indoor — as well as open-air — surf parks as the game-changer. Surf parks have been around for decades. Their appeal, however, is limited. The big ones typically produce waves at extremely long intervals that severely limit how many surfers they can serve, and hence their revenues. The small ones generate thin swells that move far faster than normal waves, so that denizens need skateboard-sized boards sans fins to ride them.
For Meistrell, the breakthrough arrived via the new technologies developed by a surfer-cum-engineer named Bruce McFarland. After receiving a graduate degree in fluid dynamics from the University of California, McFarland worked as an aeronautical engineer at TRW (TRW), then began studying how powerful pumping systems could be used to replicate the process that creates ocean waves in nature. McFarland’s new technology generated its first swells in a tank in his garage at a full three inches in height. In 2000, he founded American Wave Machines, and by the mid-2000s had installed pioneering, outdoor surf parks in Peru and the Caribbean.
Intrigued, Meistrell visited the park at the Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos in 2008 with his two young sons. “We all got completely hooked,” he says, “we were surfing until 9 at night. Our legs were like rubber.” He next recruited two pro surfers, Cheyne Magnusson and Anthony Walsh, to try the installation at the giant Boulevard de Asia shopping complex south of Lima. “I found it appealed to the pros as well, because you can practice so much in a concentrated period,” says Meistrell. “Cheyne and Anthony thought it was a great training device for the legs and the core.” Meistrell was so impressed that he persuaded American Wave Machines to appoint him chairman, a position he still holds.
American Wave Machines offers two distinctly different technologies, one for small arenas, the other for super-sized parks. The original system, called SurfStream, creates stationary waves in pools between 12 and 24 feet in width. Hydraulic pumps force thousands of gallons of recirculating water over fiberglass modules to create waves that curl continuously in place, so that surfers can move back and forth across the face of the wave, but now forward. McFarland’s innovation consists of designing a system sufficiently powerful to form the type of thick, standstill, white water swells that attract adventurous surfers in rushing rivers. At these smaller surf parks, folks use regular surfboards with fins, so that the experience is far closer to ocean surfing than the experience at the older wave-making facilities.
American Wave provides the equipment, installation, and consulting services to owners who manage the parks. The first indoor facility in the U.S. featuring its technology debuted in late 2013, Surfs Up in Nashua, N.H. Expert surfers can program four-foot barrel waves on an iPad, and mothers bring their 5-year-olds for lessons on one-foot curls. The kids can also try skydiving in the same facility. Today, American Wave has six of the smaller parks in operation and two more under construction, one in South Dakota, and another in Montreal.
The second technology — PerfectSwell — replicates real, traveling ocean waves, and, if it proves as lucrative as Meistrell predicts, will power the giant surf parks of the future. These parks can be over an acre in size, and they’re typically around 160 feet in width. The waves can reach a hurricane-scale eight feet, and they advance the full length of the pool, offering ocean-worthy rides of as long as 20 seconds, breaking when they reach the shallow end, just like the real thing.
Here’s how the technology operates. At the deep end are 16 vertical chambers placed at 10-foot intervals, each extending from near the pool floor to above the water level. Powerful commercial blowers push air at high velocity into the top of the chambers. The rushing air forces a piston-like flood of water from the chamber into the pool, producing waves.
By altering the timing and sequencing of the water blasts from sixteen chambers, the system can generate a wide variety of sizes and types of waves in rapid sequence, leaving just enough time in-between for customers to paddle out for the next ride. It can produce computer-generated barrels and peeling swells that break either left or right, or “pop up” waves that launch acrobatic surfers skyward. For example, a peeling “big closeout” wave that extends the entire 160-foot width of the pool and travels straight toward the shallow end lasts around 20 seconds, and can accommodate 16 surfers at once. In fact, three big closeout waves can run, one behind the other, at the same time, so that 48 surfers can be riding at any one time.
Serving large numbers of surfers, says Meistrell, is what’s needed to make the parks highly profitable. That’s what American Wave provides. These systems are expensive: The SurfStream costs between $4 and $6 million, and the PerfectSwell far more. Meistrell thinks that the smaller SurfStream parks can greatly augment the profitability of struggling retail sporting goods stores. “Brick-and -mortar stores are under pressure from the Internet,” he explains. “Adding a surf park brings in more shoppers. The park should also be highly profitable on its own.” Meistrell reckons that these small parks can attract 50 people at a time who pay $30 each, and catch 25 to 40 waves in an hour session. That formula would generate over $4 million a year in revenue after personnel and power costs, he estimates, allowing owners to pay off the cost of equipment in around 18 months. The numbers could work — it all depends on whether customers find these parks as enticing as Meistrell expects, something we won’t know until potential owners get to review the experience of today’s pioneers.
Meistrell views the giant PerfectSwell parks as the perfect complement to the array of attractions at the new generation of mega-parks. “People want the total experience, they want skydiving, indoor skiing, zip lines, mountain wall climbing — and surfing,” he says. “It all works as a package.” The mammoth parks could also make surfing a major spectator sport. Promoters could organize pro events in surfing arenas around the country without worrying about the weather, with contestants matching their skills in similarly challenging runs of cascading surf. The surfing community has been trying to get on the Olympic calendar for years, without success. “In the ocean, the guy who’s lucky enough to catch the biggest wave often wins, even if he’s not the best,” says Meistrell. For the Olympics, he says, all the contestants would face waves or series of waves of similar difficulty. The vagaries of nature that are blocking surfing’s Olympic hopes would vanish. “You would score people on how they handle six-foot barrels or four-foot mushy waves, like the long and short programs in figure skating,” he says.
The future of super-sized surf parks will depend heavily on the success of the first two ventures in New Jersey and Russia. The not-yet-opened $3.5 billion American Dream will rank among America’s biggest shopping extravaganzas and offer the kind of total adventure Meistrell advocates. Visitors can experience indoor skiing, indoor skydiving, spin on a giant Ferris wheel offering views of the New York skyline, and catch the curls on their surfboards, all in the same gargantuan complex opposite MetLife Stadium. That’s fast company. If indoor surfing proves a sensation in New Jersey and Sochi, it’s reached the big time. And for surfing everywhere — the stores, the events, the TV sales, and the new parks — that means big money.