American Wave Machines PerfectSwell Wave Pool Video

AWM is the leader in artificial wave technology for surf parks and wave pools with an innovative approach to creating world class waves for surfing in pools.

PerfectSwell™ technology is an entirely new approach to generating large waves with the emphasis on creating an opportunity for an authentic surfing experience outside of the ocean. An infinite variety of customized waves can be generated that mimic points, reefs and beach breaks without the need for special bottom contours.

American Wave Machines PerfectSwell™ capabilities include:

Create up to 10 barreling waves per minute.

Any wave size, type and shape whether it’s soft rollers for beginners or clean hollow barrels and timed aerial closeout sections for the pro’s.

Compatible with the Wave App: Imagine calling up your favorite wave from the shore with your iPad or from your board with your iPhone — gentle or hollow, small or large. PerfectSwell™ is the next generation of artificial wave pools.

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

Surf's Up New Hampshire
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.

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App on Board: Company Gives Surfers a Real Wave Selection

Originally published in the San Diego Business Journal on December 31, 2012

TECH:  American Wave Machines Can Offer Custom Rides
By: Brad Graves

There is now an app for making waves.

American Wave Machines of Solana Beach designs pools with technology that creates waves big enough to surf on. They can bring the familiar sport to places that are nowhere near the ocean.

Among the company’s latest innovations is a way to modify those waves with an Apple Inc. iPhone or iPad.

Standing before a miniature, tabletop wave pool at the company’s headquarters — just a few steps from the Belly Up Tavern — company founder and President Bruce McFarland demonstrated the variety of waves he can turn out by changing the settings on his phone.

Then, he invited a reporter to try out the controls, on a console with a tablet-sized computer screen.

By manipulating the shape of the wave on the screen, a person can modify the wave emitted by the machine. Press a button, the air-operated system makes some noise and, voila, the wave breaks. McFarland sizes up the result. “You made a mushy wave on the right side of the pool,” he said.

The app will work the same way on the full-size wave machines that McFarland and his company engineer.

American Wave Machines was founded in 2000 in McFarland’s home. Its machines are now up and running in Peru, Sweden and the Caribbean region.

“We made it through the recession with international business,” said McFarland.

Seven Patents

American Wave Machines holds seven patents, and it has applied for several more in the United States and overseas.

One of its more ambitious projects is a wave pool at the Russian resort city of Sochi, the city that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The 35,000-square-foot pool will be part of the Sheksna Resort, and will offer a 10-second ride.

Another buyer is the owner of an amusement park in Nashua, N.H., 40 miles north of Boston. The customer is putting the wave machine indoors, in a space with a retractable roof. The attraction will complement other rides at the park, including technology that lets people “skydive” in place.

Depending on the technology, American Wave Machine projects can cost between $500,000 and $15 million. And the company can not only supply a park with equipment. McFarland says it can also help formulate business plans.

Third-party contractors build the wave machines to company specifications. The wave machines come in two styles.

The SurfStream is more compact and reminiscent of a treadmill. It can produce a small wave for beginners or a barreling wave for advanced surfers. Detachable modules get the wave to break to the left or to the right, depending on the rider’s preference. The waves continue to churn for as long as the machine is running.

By contrast, the PerfectSwell machine sprawls out over a large area. It sends waves across the surface of a pool at regular intervals, and those waves peter out at water’s edge.

Unlike other products, the wave machines accommodate regular, off-the-rack surfboards with fins. “It’s beyond a simulator,” McFarland said.

Several market forces affect the people who buy water play equipment.

Financing a water park has been a challenge during the economic downturn, said Aleatha Ezra, director of park member development for the World Waterpark Association in Overland Park, Kansas.

Making Waves Overseas

International development, however, has been strong, she said. Asia has “a burgeoning market,” Ezra said, while Europe and the Middle East are also strong.

American Wave Machines can claim one other innovation: It built a wave machine that was part of a float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.

Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. of Pacoima sponsored the float, and the wave machine wasn’t really the focal point. A surfing bulldog stole the show.

It was the longest and heaviest float ever entered in the Rose Parade, McFarland said.

Going forward, McFarland is enthusiastic about his wave machines’ potential.

“There’s room for at least one of these in every major city,” he said.

AWM Announces Surf Pool Innovative Breakthroughs


American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), the leader in artificial wave technology for surf parks, announces three technological breakthroughs for PerfectSwell™, an innovative approach to generating large waves with the emphasis on wave quality and surfing. PerfectSwell is the next generation of artificial wave pools with its patent pending PerfectSwell Wave App™, patented Reflecting Wave Generator and Phased Array Control System, providing the opportunity for surfing outside of the ocean. Production of PerfectSwell is underway in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Olympics. The 35,000 square foot PerfectSwell wave pool will open at the Sheksna Resort, nominated as Russia’s Leading Spa Resort by World Travel Awards.

AWM’s PerfectSwell Wave App™ allows surfers to control the session by calling up their favorite waves from the lineup or from shore with their iPad or iPhone. Wave direction, size and intensity can be modified from an iPhone, allowing surfers to have the perfect session every time. Coaches and trainers can manipulate the surf for the skill level and physical location of trainees in the pool. Surfers can record the ride with a built-in media option.

PerfectSwell™ Wave App for iPhone

No longer having to wait for the perfect wave, rigorous conditioning and training can take place in a PerfectSwell pool. AWM’s proprietary PerfectSwell Reflecting Wave Generator creates circular particle motion waves like the ocean, capable of producing 10 barreling waves per minute. The PerfectSwell Phased Array Control system controls chamber firing patterns and sequences creating any wave breaking characteristic from mushy to pitching to timed aerial closeouts.

“PerfectSwell is the most versatile system with the most innovative technology providing the best surfing experience, “ says Bruce McFarland, President of AWM. “PerfectSwell creates an infinite variety of waves. Point, reef and beach breaks can be replicated in PerfectSwell surf pools and waves can be adjusted and customized without need for special bottom contours.”

About American Wave Machines, Inc.

AWM is the creator of wave technology for surf parks, hotel/resorts, recreation, and research applications. SurfStream®, the world’s first standing wave machine, delivers surfing capability in a compact space. PerfectSwell technology is a new approach to generating large waves with the emphasis on the surfing experience. With no moving parts in the water, sophisticated computer controls modulate wave shape, ride duration, frequency and energy efficiency.

Bruce McFarland Live Interview from Boardroom International Surfboard Show

AWM President & Founder Bruce McFarland discusses the future of wave pools and surf parks with Quiksilver Marketing Director Todd Kline and Dave Stanfield on October 6 at The Boardroom International Surfboard Show in Del Mar, CA.


    • AWM Surf Centers in every major city in the world
    • How SurfStream and PerfectSwell work
    • Robust digital system with mobile app enabling complete wave control

AWM Awarded Contract for Juice Box Surf Center Design and Pre-Development

First surf retail center will be online in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2013

American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), world leader in artificial wave technology for the emerging surf parks market, announces their selection to carry out the conceptual design and pre-development work and technology supply for the Juice Box Surf owners group in Virginia Beach, VA.

Juice Box Surf

Juice Box Surf in Virginia Beach, VA

Juice Box Surf Center will be a mixed use surf park business utilizing AWM products and technology for indoor surfing, exhibitions, contests, training, surf camps, special events and soft and hard good retail. Juice Box Surf Center combines a full service surf shop, board manufacturing, and surf team with full time surfing available to the public on the largest SurfStream® designed to date. Riders will have the ability to surf indoors in winter and outside in summer. The guest experience includes surfing, shopping, spectating, food, and live music.

Juice Box Surf will feature AWM’s SurfStream® Model SS5032 with programmable controls and modular inserts that allow multiple wave types in one machine. For experienced surfers the signature wave is the standing 6′ barrel with 30′ of face to carve on. This set of wave modules can be assembled in both right and left breaks accommodating goofy and regular foot riders. 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.

“We’re stoked to be working with American Wave Machines,” said owners James Simonin and George Smith. “This is going to expand the surf market, coastal and non-coastal, combining the actual experience of surfing in a core setting with relevant merchandising. Juice Box Surf is an island for surfing that people can escape to with great waves, great food, live music and no worries. Together with AWM we have developed a robust and replicable model and can see this expanding.”

“Virginia Beach has deep roots in surfing, so this is a great opportunity for my company to work with visionary guys,” said Bruce McFarland, President of AWM. “SurfStream® is creating an entirely new business model revolutionizing the way surfing is experienced. We’re ramping up to deploy systems worldwide including the resurgent U.S. market. It’s a business that makes sense not only for surfers but for the new active public that seek authentic, even extreme experiences for their recreation dollars.”

About American Wave Machines, Inc.

American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) is the creator of wave technology for surf parks, hotel/resorts, recreation, and research applications. SurfStream®, the world’s first standing wave machine, is a technology breakthrough that delivers authentic surf and wave riding capabilities in a compact space. For more information, visit

About Juice Box Surf

Host to the East Coast Surfing Championship, the longest running surf competition in the United States, Virginia Beach is the location of Juice Box Surf. Featuring custom surfboards designed and built in-house and world renowned surf product lines, Juice Box Surf is a “CORE” focused shop driven by pure enthusiasm backed up by decades of surf culture experience. For more information, visit

Artificial wave arena gains traction in Lima, Peru

By Ethan Stewart
ESPN Action Sports

The wave pool arms race has just escalated. One hundred kilometers south of Peru’s capitol city of Lima, in a massive outdoor mall facility, the California-based American Wave Machines recently unveiled a wave park of epic proportions.

Being touted as the “biggest standing wave in the world”, the Ola Movistar surf arena, with its multiple wave options and ability to pump out 4-to-5-foot barreling rights and lefts, had its official opening earlier this winter — a fact that was largely overlooked by the surf universe. Two other fake wave Shangri-Las, Kelly Slater’s as-yet-unseen Wave Company (KSWC) and Spain’s Wavegarden, also captivated the masses this winter with their high-profile promises of ocean-free stoke factories.

However, with ringing endorsements starting to come in from folks like former World Champion Sofia Mulanovich and the Peruvian National Surf Team (who use the park as a training facility), the only artificial surf spot in South America is starting to steal the spotlight.”The park has been packed and people are really taking to it,” explained Bruce McFarland, founder of American Wave Machines. “From total beginners to some of Peru’s best surfers, we can generate a wave for everybody that truly replicates the shape of what we ride in the ocean.”

Interestingly enough, Slater’s purported designs and the Wavegarden’s long synthetic peelers are “traveling waves.” That is to say, the wave actually peels off down the line, you paddle in to it, and, like you would in real surf, you physically travel forward as you ride the wave. But the new Peruvian playground works more like the old flow-rider parks that came into popularity in the late 1990s — the wave stands still and constantly pitches out over itself using the same water while also providing a small shoulder section in front of you for endless cutbacks and roundhouses. In short, the wave never ends.

According to McFarland, however, unlike the flow-riders of old, which required special, decidedly un-surflike boards to ride, his companies patented “Surfstream” technology, which allows for an experience more in sync with actual, real world wave-sliding. A deeper pool bottom with contours and a pneumatic air pump that blasts out circular bursts into the water creates a wedging wave shape virtually identical to what you would find in nature, allowing riders to shred the man-made gnar on actual thrusters. “The key in all of this, no matter what technology you are using, is the profile of the wave you create and ours truly is the shape of a wave in the ocean,” says McFarland.

Despite the recent uptick in wave park buzz, the concept of man-made waves in a place that has no ocean is nothing new. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Rick Kane’s Arizona surf antics in the movie “North Shore,” and the 1985 ASP contest in Allentown, Penn. come immediately to mind.

Even more intriguing, as McFarland admitted, is that “In a lot of ways, that original technology was the most accurate [to simulating real world surfing].” So why then, if everyone loves surfing so much and the best breaks the world over are jammed up with the wave hunting masses on any given day, hasn’t the wave park revolution caught on? (Even Japan’s Seagaia Ocean Dome, widely considered the best wave park of all time and located right in the middle of a major league surf culture, ultimately shut its doors.)

The reason, it seems, is the money. Surf parks aren’t cheap and finding the right business model to sustain them has proven to be a heck of a lot harder than you would think. How do you rent them out, what do you charge, what type of amenities to surround them with and what type of wave (i.e. small, slow crumblers for beginners, fast, pitching pits for experts, standing waves or traveling waves) is most marketable?

For McFarland and his American Wave Machines, who already have six different parks open around the world since incorporating in 2000 and “several more” in the works, the answer seems to be a little bit of everything. Not only does their Surfstream technology offer four different types of waves in pools of all different sizes, but AWM also has a patent on a traveling-wave technology — akin to the Wavegarden — but has yet to find a deep-pocketed enough investor to help them build it.

“The reality is, machine surfing is here to stay,” summed up McFarland. “The technology is out there to make a truly incredible artificial surfing experience but you have to find the right buyer that is willing to go to the next level.” Right now, for good or bad, at a huge outdoor shopping mall in Peru complete with 10 discotheques and two million annual visitors, what exactly that next level might look like is becoming a bit more clear.

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