Swedish Surfing Association hosts Hang Loose SurfStream Open indoor championships with blizzard outside. See the short film.
As we shiver in the lineup in our hoods and booties, the Southern Hemisphere is enjoying summertime. What better place to be than south of Lima, shredding ‘La Ola Movistar’? We wish we were there…
Surfers showed off on the SurfStream barrel at the Nike 6.0 Night Riders Surf Attack after-party and awards ceremony on Feb. 4. Skullcandy sponsored the ultimate surfer/skater showdown in search of the best trick on Feb. 10. Check out video highlights.
What’s next? The Summer Thai 2012 Muay Thai tournament on Feb. 18 featuring the best fighters in South America, followed by a surf exhibition and concert by the band Kobra Kai. Punches, waves, and rock ‘n roll!
Over 2,000 guests celebrated the arrival of 2012 at the ‘Ola Movistar’ SurfStream venue at the Boulevard de Asia outdoor mall, south of Lima, Peru. The all-inclusive event featured surf exhibitions, music and dancing.
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.
On Feb. 26 surfers showed off their skills on SurfStream Peru’s barreling wave as part of a ‘Best Trick’ contest and surf exhibition sponsored by Skullcandy. The bands “Menores de edad” and “Bomba Estereo” from Colombia played live at the event, which also featured a skate exhibition organized by Quiksilver. Check out the video by Peru Surf:
Check out the latest images from SurfStream Peru compliments of LimaTLlama.pe (click on thumbnails to visit galleries):
Gallery 1 – night riding with blue lights on barrel 3.12.2011
Gallery 2 – barrel riding at Grand Opening event 1.15.2011
Gallery 3 – shredding on the training wave 03.04.2011
Gallery 4 – bodyboarders from the Peruvian National Team dominating the standing wave 03.04.2011
Solana Beach, Calif. – January 27, 2011
American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), the leading wave technology innovation company, announced the debut of the world’s first surf arena featuring the AWM SurfStream® model SS5024 at the grand opening of the ‘Ola Movistar’ surf arena in the Boulevard de Asia outdoor mall, near Lima, Peru.
On site at the Quiksilver and Movistar sponsored event were members of the Peruvian National Surfing team and 1,500 paying customers.
“It is a stationary wave, it’s different; but at the same time it’s super fun and does feel a lot like the ocean,” said ASP World Champion Surfer, Sofia Mulanovich.
“With Peru’s rich surfing culture, the standards were high for the new venue’s authenticity and sustainability. The SS5024 is a multi-purpose system that will satisfy the skilled surfers of Peru but also meet the needs of developing and first time riders,” said Bruce McFarland, President of AWM. “It’s been a great experience working with the team at Boulevard de Asia. They are truly visionary in being first to market in South America with innovative technology like SurfStream.”
Guillermo Gonzales, Peru Surf Federation President and Arena Operator noted, “As one of the largest recreation centers in the world, this surf arena puts Peru at the forefront of the region, offering a perfect place for athletes, fans and the general public to have guaranteed training, where they can not only practice the sport of surfing, but they can also share it with family.”
Corporate partner Movistar embraced the vision and chose to get involved with the debut event. “As well as being a new exclusive venue with modern lounge areas, the ‘Movistar Wave’ makes it possible for everyone to practice surfing, what is developing into the flagship sport of our country. The wave will help spur the development of young surf talent,” said, Fiorella Espejo, PR and Marketing Director for Movistar.
With programmable controls and modular inserts, the SurfStream® model SS5024 creates multiple wave types in one machine. For experienced surfers the signature wave is the single 5’ barreling wave with 20’ 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.
Other sponsors at the event included Skull Candy and Burn.
About American Wave Machines, Inc.
American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) is the powerhouse creator of artificial wave technology for applications in the hotel/resort, recreation, and action sports industries. Its patented SurfStream®, the world’s first standing wave machine, is a technology breakthrough that delivers authentic surf and wave riding capabilities. The company also offers PerfectSwell™ wave generators for wave pools and custom surf pool design and equipment for large surf pools.
About Boulevard de Asia
Located 97.5 km south of Lima, Peru in the Asia District, Boulevard de Asia receives over 2 million visitors per year at its shopping mall and nearby family entertainment outlets. Open since 2003, the commercial zone has become a premier entertainment destination in Peru. For more information, visit www.boulevardasia.com.