February 20, 2014- Surfline

AMERICAN WAVE MACHINES BRINGS SURFING INLAND

SurfStream and PerfectSwell are changing perceptions, stoking investors and inviting the whole world to take the ride

By Matt Pruett
Published:February 20, 2014
In case you hadn’t noticed, our global subculture is heading toward a mechanical renaissance — a bona fide robotic revolution in artificial wave technology that lists exotic lands like Malaysia, Dubai and the Basque Country among its conquests. Sunway Lagoon in Kuala Lumpur was hot, for about a minute. Then came the Wadi Adventure Wave Pool in the United Arab Emirates. Then the Wavegarden, Webber Wave Pools…
Here in the U.S., the latest, if not loudest, of the movement’s visionaries is American Wave Machines, who unveiled their SurfStream stationary surfing experience last fall at SkyVenture’s Surf’s Up facility in Nashua, New Hampshire. More info.

While athletes and investors alike were satisfied, if not thrilled, with the initial results, AWM insists the SurfStream is but a smaller-scale project — and in many ways a dynamic precursor to the PerfectSwell surf pool and what they hope will be their ultimate footprint.

“We have a criteria for making artificial waves,” says John Luff, head of Business Development at AWM. “‘What is surfing?’ Well, first off you’ve got to have a surfboard with fins. That was part of the development of SurfStream, a wave that never ends and can be put it in a tennis court-sized swimming pool right in the middle of every major city in the world. In that way, you could take surfing anywhere. That’s what we’re out to do. We want to create a surf culture where surf culture doesn’t exist.”

Ocean City, NJ’s, Rob Kelly who serves as Billabong’s Northeast Marketing Manager, was among the first to guinea pig the SurfStream last fall, and after three invigorating trips to the Granite State has unwittingly become the Surf’s Up mascot. However, recalling past wave tank fiascos (the 1989 ASP Allentown, Pennsylvania, event and the 2008 Ron Jon Surf Park implosion come to mind), Rob was skeptical. And this being the first deepwater artificial wave he’d ever surfed, Rob thought he’d just get pitched. Instead, he got barreled. More on YouTube.

“I didn’t have high expectations. The place wasn’t even finished yet when they invited some East Coast guys — Michael and Ben Powell, Todd Holland — to come test-run it to show off to the investors,” remembers Rob. “They were still sheet-rocking the building and cementing the floor, there were live wires… just super underground. It was the FCS fins that caught my attention. And the setup didn’t look like a FlowRider, where you’re riding the bottom like a skimboard. The best way to explain it is: you’re racing down the line on a wave that’s sucking off a shallow reef, like Uluwatu or Desert Point, so you’ve gotta be cooking the whole time. As soon as you stop moving, you get sucked back toward the barrel. That’s how you stall. You can do turns and airs as long as you’re projecting down the line; you can’t really cut back towards the lip.”

“In [this wave pool], you’re actually riding something that looks like a surfboard, feels like a surfboard, has fins like a surfboard — so it immediately feels more like surfing. You’re not sliding out; you’re actually doing bottom turns, little blow-tail snaps.”
–Cheyne Magnusson

This February, Rob invited fellow New Jersey shredder and gonzo media mogul Ben Graeff of NubTV to join him and document another shred for SkyVenture’s grand opening party, where investors saw their money put to good use. More on YouTube.

“They didn’t have heat that first trip, so we were wearing 4/3s and cold the whole time,” remembers Rob. “This time, the water was 80 degrees, it was 85 degrees in the place. We were in trunks, so that comfort level helped our riding level and we started to realize what was possible — trying out different boards, putting ourselves on different parts of the wave and getting better at riding the barrel.”

Meanwhile, AWM tapped Body Glove teamrider and cross-boarding aficionado Cheyne Magnusson to testride SurfStream installations in Peru and Sweden.

“At the Wave Loch or the WaveHouse, you’re in an inch of water, so the board you’re riding is more similar to a snowboard or skimboard,” says Cheyne. “That’s why those guys are immediately standouts every time. It’s all edge, so a surfer feels like he’s standing on a bar of soap. In the AWM one, you’re actually riding something that looks like a surfboard, feels like a surfboard, has fins like a surfboard — so it immediately feels more like surfing. You’re not sliding out; you’re actually doing bottom turns, little blow-tail snaps. On the wider ones, like Peru, you can snap, pump over to the other side then cut back against the wall. You’re using your normal surfing skills to generate speed to do turns. It’s much easier for a surfer to pick up.”

And if that sounds fun, then get a load of AWM’s next move: PerfectSwell — a digital control system working on exact replications of oceanic wave patterns to produce peeling lefts and rights, all of which can be run from an iPhone or iPad. The technology exists right now. A waist-high version is already operating at water park-size in New York. But the first full-blown dedicated surf pool is currently being constructed in Sochi, Russia, with a future project in the works for the Northeastern U.S.

“Again, ‘What is surfing?'” John proposes. “It’s not a line of people waiting for a single, perfect wave to come by every couple of minutes. It’s the ocean, in either a predictable or unpredictable form. So when we decided to make a surf pool, it was going to look like the ocean, not like a wave pool. We’ve had installations all around the world — Sweden, Turks and Caicos, Peru — and professionals surfing our systems before, so we had a ton of confidence going into it.”

“PerfectSwell, in terms of a surf pool, is the only technology that creates real waves for surfing outside the ocean,” adds Bruce McFarland, President & Founder of American Wave Machines, Inc. “What that means is you’ve got waves breaking constantly in different directions, different sizes, just like you’d see if you were standing on a beach looking at the ocean. It’s the total surf experience: paddling out, positioning, paddling into waves and taking off. You can create an infinite variety, anywhere from one-foot to our biggest system now, which will be delivering seven-and-a-half-foot, barreling waves. That’s kind of like the holy grail of surfing outside the ocean. That’s what everybody’s been waiting for.”

This is an overhead, top-to-bottom tuberide Bruce is talking about here. Too good to be true? Not if the money’s honest. Because the science sure is.

“We had a customer say, ‘I want the biggest in the world,’ ‘I want something new,’ and specifically, ‘I want a rider to be able to get in the barrel and come out,'” says Bruce. “That helped us spec the system for them. We went through our standard internal engineering design process and nailed everything down. We used engineering modeling, calculation, CFD and whatever it took to get this feature, and then committed to the mold. We had all the fiberglass molds procured and made it so that when this thing came online, it was not a prototype. It’s brand-new, shiny and ready to go.”

Still, there’s huge variation because the size of the pool and the waves themselves will be dependent on the customer, their land, their budget and their business plan. AWM is surveying several options: at the smaller end, they might be looking at a 150-foot-wide wave-generating area, a natural-looking pool shape surrounding that, and beach area and entry area to spare — with different wave types going to each area, so shortboarders can shred the middle while SUP’s cruise the sides.

The bigger version, however, could theoretically be as wide as a football field. So one can only imagine how many different peaks might be generated in 300 feet, or peeling waves that are 100 yards long.

“Our goal is to get lots of people in the water,” affirms Bruce. “This system is like a generator line: how much swell do we want to generate and how can we cut those waves up into pieces? It could look like a windswell with peaks shifting all around. It could look like a pointbreak with a wave peeling from one end to the other… We can do all these things. We’ve already got an operational model in the office.”

If it sounds expensive, that’s because it is. Expensive to conceive. Expensive to build. Expensive to maintain. Therefore, on the surface it would seem too expensive for good ol’ Joe Sixpack to afford.

“The business models on these places are extremely profitable and wouldn’t even have to charge a fraction of that number,” says John. “That’s why it will give people that opportunity, because if you put a high cost on it, you’ll block people to a certain degree. One of the biggest advantages with PerfectSwell is it will enable people to get a high-quality surf experience without putting out that much money — $45 will get you about a half-hour. And you’ll probably get more standing time than you would in the ocean over an entire week. It’s continuous surf — no waiting for waves. And it’s already happening with multiple projects worldwide. We’re well on track to have something finished this year. You’ll be seeing PerfectSwell in 2014.”

But for now, the SurfStream is the one that social media conduits are frothing on. And if its rideability remains a question — since all the “classic” wave pools like Typhoon Lagoon tend to be, let’s face it: amusing for rippers, a nightmare for average dudes — Cheyne sets our minds at ease.

“In Peru, a bunch of under-10-year-old kids bought an hour, and I’ve never seen anyone have so much fun,” he says. “What this does is introduces people to the sport without them getting frustrated with waiting around for sets or getting paddled around. In turn, that sparks the curiosity, and they’ll probably want to take it to the next level in the ocean. It’s a great introduction tool for beginners — and a great replacement for intermediate to experts when the waves are flat. And as far as getting a core workout, keeping your surf muscles up and training for stuff you don’t normally get to try each session depending on the waves you get, like airs, there’s literally nothing better.”

“It’s not a game changer as far as replacing surfing,” asserts Rob, “but as far as anything else out there that can be built in a small facility and actually have a good return on investments and be fun for surfers — AWM replicates the experience very well. It would be ideal to chase a swell up to New Hampshire and then when it blows out, go ride the SurfStream instead of going snowboarding or to the skate park. In fact, I think out of all those other sports, this is the most like surfing. As far as barrel riding and pumping down the line, the view and the foamball, it’s actually a really similar feeling…”

“And the barrel never gets old.”

Surf Park Market is Here | Authentic Surf Outside the Ocean

PerfectSwell® - Authentic Surfing Experiences Beyond the Ocean

The Surf Park market is here. John Luff, business development staff at AWM was interviewed about the surf park market and sustainable tourism in a compelling article in Transworld Business seen here.  AWM continues to lead the way in the development of surfing beyond the ocean with existing installations around the globe and planned openings in New HampshireMontrealSouth Dakota, and Sochi, Russia — site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“Surf Parks are the key to making surfing a mainstream, commercially sustainable sport and to promoting surfing as an iconic lifestyle that transcends all nationalities and cultures.” – John Luff

AWM’s PerfectSwell® and SurfStream® technologies allow for authentic recreational and advanced surfing experiences. This is made possible by AWM’s patented wave systems designed and engineered for the best user experience and the best long term owner experience.

 

SurfStream® – The ideal small footprint solution for  versatile & endless wave riding on real surfboards.

Very large scale surf pools using computer optimized PerfectSwell® technologies that simulate an authentic ocean environment are  currently in production. AWM’s PerfectSwell® wave generation systems offer practical solutions for resorts and waterparks such as in Sochi as well as surf parks specifying waves up to 12′ or more.  Stay tuned for these openings and watch for several new locations to be announced soon.

AWM looks forward to working with both large scale and small scale surf park projects around the globe and meeting specifications with the most cost effective and world class wave generation systems on the market.
About American Wave Machines, Inc.

American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) designs, engineers, manufactures and sells world class wave pools, wave systems and surf centers. Founded in 2000 by California surfer Bruce McFarland, the company is committed to delivering authentic surfing experiences in a safe and controlled environment. SurfStream® is the world’s first standing wave machine that delivers a stationary surfing experience (on real surfboards) scalable to various spaces. PerfectSwell® is the first air-powered system to create an authentic surfing experience through natural-like ocean waves. From the Caribbean to Sweden, American Wave Machines has developed more than 15 small and large-scale installations exclusively for surf parks, waterparks, resorts, malls and research institutions. www.AmericanWaveMachines.com

American Wave Machines Commissions Latest PerfectSwell

Continuous Surf – Any Shape and Size

PerfectSwell Barrel View May 2013 | Greetings from the Barrel
 

SOLANA BEACH, CALIF. (June 3, 2013) – American Wave Machines (AWM), the technology leader in out of ocean surf recently completed installation and commissioning of the latest PerfectSwell® wave generating invention in East Durham, New York.

Adding to the PerfectSwell® suite of innovations, including the patented reflecting wave generator, the new software based invention creates surf by sequenced control of multiple wave generating chambers. Virtually any wave shape and direction can be generated continuously including point breaks, peaks, beach breaks, barrels, and multiple rider waves.  The recently patented invention is applicable to all pneumatic systems including linear and circular wave pools.

Additional patent pending innovations include a mobile wave control application designed to run on mobile devices.  The mobile app will enable operators, coaches, and surfers to call and control waves and personalized playlists.  A media option allows photo and video capture of the surf session within the app.

We’re stoked our customers have bigger and better waves in their pools than they thought possible. The capabilities of this system exceeded our predictions” said Bruce McFarland, founder and president of AWM. “Not only does this demonstrate the scalability of PerfectSwell®, it demonstrates wave quality and quantity necessary for successful surf parks..

The PerfectSwell® systems currently under construction are focused on surfing and standard wave pool recreation and are engineered for waves up to 8 feet. Still larger wave systems are within the technical capability.
 

About American Wave Machines, Inc.

American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) designs, engineers, manufactures and sells world class wave pools, wave systems and surf centers. Founded in 2001 by California surfer Bruce McFarland, the company is committed to delivering authentic surfing experiences in a safe and controlled environment. SurfStream® is the world’s first standing wave machine that delivers a stationary surfing experience (on real surfboards) scalable to various spaces. PerfectSwell® is the first air-powered system to create an authentic surfing experience through natural-like ocean waves. From the Caribbean to Sweden, American Wave Machines has developed more than 15 small and large-scale installations exclusively for surf parks, waterparks, resorts, malls and research institutions. www.americanwavemachines.com

American Wave Machines Brings World Class Surfing to Water Parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rippin Rapids Indoor Waterpark | SurfStream by American Wave Machines

American Wave Machines Brings World Class Surfing Experiences to Water Parks Across the U.S.

Company expands U.S. footprint with SurfStream® installation in South Dakota

SOLANA BEACH, CALIF. (April 10, 2013) – American Wave Machines, the company behind the highest-quality, scalable wave technology systems – SurfStream® and PerfectSwell™ – announced today a new sale to a cutting-edge water park in the U.S. Rippin’ Rapids Resort & Adventure Sports in South Dakota is one of the first parks in the nation to install American Wave Machines’ breakthrough wave systems.

“We’re excited to bring surfing to people located in areas across the country that traditionally don’t have ocean access,” said Bruce McFarland, founder and president of American Wave Machines, Inc. “Our breakthrough patented technology and proprietary innovation delivers high quality surf experiences – even if you’re in South Dakota.”

Rippin’ Rapids Resort & Adventure Sports

Rippin’ Rapids Resort & Adventure Sports opens in Rapid City, SD in the spring of 2014, and will feature SurfStream® – the world’s first standing wave machine that delivers a world class stationary surfing experience on real surfboards. Rippin’ Rapids will be the second U.S. venue for American Wave Machines (the first is located in Nashua, New Hampshire opening summer 2013).

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About American Wave Machines, Inc.

American Wave Machines, Inc. designs, engineers, manufactures and sells world class wave pools, wave systems, and surf centers that offer authentic surfing experiences. Founded in 2001 by California surfer Bruce McFarland, the company is committed to delivering ideal conditions for surfing in a safe and controlled environment any time of the year anywhere in the world. SurfStream® is the world’s first standing wave machine that delivers a stationary surfing experience (on real surfboards) scalable to various spaces. PerfectSwell™ is the first air-powered system to create naturally occurring ocean-like waves for an authentic surfing experience. From the Caribbean to Sweden, American Wave Machines has developed more than 15 small and large-scale installations exclusively for surf parks, waterparks, resorts, malls and research institutions.

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