Surf Lakes is a concentric wave generation technology that creates multiple surfing breaks in one custom designed pool.

The Vision

A premiere surf, sport and entertainment venue.


  • 3 selected waves
  • Bombie Left - 1:10 Prototype - Will be a thick "slab" style wave for experienced surfers only.
  • Bank - 1:10
  • Beachie- 1:10
  • wave sequence 1
  • 2013 - 1:25
  • animation 10 with text 8


How does it work?

A large central plunger oscillates to create increasing surges of swell (up to 4m) that radiate in all directions, a bit like a tsunami. The large swell reduces in size to a manageable level (up to 2m) before passing over reefs to create perfect peak breaks, every time. The further the reef is from the centre, the smaller the break.

The reef causes the radiating swell to straighten and concentrate, so that the swell will break left and right from a central point, towards the end of the lake/pool. This same process happens at each quadrant, creating four peaks thus 8 breaks, all happening simultaneously. It produces four right hand and four left hand waves, each different in power and size, allowing surfers of all abilities to access suitable waves. Between the reefs and the shoreline a deep water “gutter” can be created (given a suitable footprint to work with) and the swell will re-form to create clean shore-breaks for beginners and swimmers, rather than just white-water.

This ideal large site configuration allows for 16 simultaneous breaks. If run continuously (which is most efficient using simple harmonic motion), the mechanism can produce at least 10 pulses per minute giving an incredible 9,600 rides per hour! Of course, for safety considerations, the facility will prefer to produce sets of waves, before allowing the pool to settle between sets. This is why we are only claiming to produce over 3000 rides per hour. The good thing is that in the operating model, the chop is minimised at the source and the pool edges, so that each wave will be very smooth, regardless of the production rate.

It is a simple concept that is complex to create, but then becomes simple to operate.

How can we invest?

We are currently refining the design and will require investment to complete the full scale design and feasibility for the first site. Suitable sites are being considered as owner-operated or partner sites, under licence. Due to the productivity advantage and access to multiple activities in the one location, a Surf Lakes venue will provide substantial returns as an operation, as well as commercial development possibilities.

For more information, contact Aaron Trevis, info@surf-lakes.com.au

How does Surf Lakes compare?

The recent developments by wave pool innovators all have a lot of merit and I look forward to riding them as well. Our aim is to produce larger waves with more rides per hour and greater variety, at the same time. Other configurations also focus more on “point break” style waves which can create longer rides than our method.

However, we will produce large peaks or “A-frames” that break left and right, so it will be the most realistic experience with two surfers dropping either direction into the barrel. This will make Surf Lakes an amazing “stand-alone” venue and we could also be complementary to the point break style wave pools. One other technology and Surf Lakes use a downward force on the water so create more of a trough in front of the wave, such that the wave shape resembles natural waves more closely.

A key metric for wave pools is that the facility needs high productivity to be profitable and therefore attract funding to be built. Other methods produce typically 120-500 rides per hour verses over 3000 rides per hour for Surf Lakes when operating. This is a massive advantage and we aim to have hundreds of surfers at a time and thousands of swimmers at the same time, all enjoying their portion of the waves. By fixing the location of the peaks, we also create a predictable, safer environment which is easier to manage for all.

For surfers, it means more waves and more barrels. For investors, it means more people and higher returns. Everyone gets a break.

How can you guarantee different shaped waves?

Waves are quite predictable in that they do the same thing every time, when produced the same way every time. The ocean is infinitely variable, which is a big part of it’s beauty. We cannot compete with the natural beauty of the ocean but we can provide consistent waves day and night. Deliberate design, modelling and testing allows us to accurately predict wave behaviour at every point in the facility. We can then choose optimum sequences to provide the best outcomes for everyone.

Even the wind direction and strength is not a problem, as the design allows for “offshore winds” at half of the breaks, no matter the wind direction. The waves will be smoothed from the central mechanism and thus chop is minimised, regardless of wind conditions. Each break can have a different bathymetry, allowing for variability of the breaks and consistency within each break. The size and speed of the swell can be altered, creating further variability for the surfers.

Perfect waves – every day and every night.

Why concentric waves?

The patent pending wave generation technique creates large surges of up to 4m high near the centre. This reduces quickly to the 2m swell at the first reef which becomes a 1.2m swell at the end of the pool. Similar ratios apply for smaller sets of waves.

The result is a powerful peak that wraps/straightens around the reef and peels in both directions, creating a left hand and right hand wave. The shore break configuration can vary from fun closeout to dissipating into a “bay” depending on design. This action is repeated at each side/end of the pool, resulting in four peaks, thus eight breaks at a time.

Advantages include:
• Productivity – more than 3000 rides per hour, in sets of waves
• Left and right hand waves at the same time
• Simultaneous variety of waves, – size and shape
• Multiple shorelines for access, swimmers and spectators.
• Consistent break locations for safe and efficient operation
• Smoother waves with each shoreline used to reduce chop and backwash.
• Centre tower asset for viewing platform, rock climbing etc.


Will the waves scale up ok?

Absolutely. The process for swell generation is the same at any size, but the energy requirement increases dramatically of course. The 1:10 scale model proves the concept and we know that we can alter the reef configurations (bathymetry) to create a variety of waves. We can also alter the swell size, speed and period to create different effects. During the testing we had a variety of shapes produced, including gentle rollers, barrels and slabs so we can create any shape wave, within the limits of wave energy produced. We estimate that the full scale wave (at the peak) will have similar energy to a 2m swell with an 8 second period. This will reduce along the length of the swell and should become a gentle 1.2m swell at the end of the pool. This allows expert surfers to enjoy big powerful waves at one peak, whilst beginners and intermediate surfers can enjoy the waves at other breaks, in the same facility.

The larger prototype has helped us refine the parameters of design (reef depth, pitch, peel angle, etc) so that we can guarantee the wave shapes at each reef. We are in the process of refining the force delivery with more physical testing and CFD Modelling, so that we produce an optimised solution.

As we are fixing the wave break locations in the facility, another possibility is to provide adjustable reefs to increase the variability. This is not an immediate priority but is another “layer” of refinement that can be applied at the appropriate time.

Another consideration is the return of water to the centre of the lake and we are also refining solutions for this important design element.

We are confident that the waves will scale to full size and create an incredible location, with waves for all abilities. Everyone gets a break.

Is there a market for great waves in Australia?

Surveys completed for Surfing Australia indicate that 1 in 10 Australians like to surf, with 3 in 10 wanting to learn to surf. For the Brisbane area alone, this equates to over 800,000 people who would use Surf Lakes regularly.

Our conservative operating budget requires circa 315,000 people to visit Surf Lakes only once each year, to provide annual returns of over 25% on $20M capital expenditure. Surfers will not be satisfied to visit once per year and are more likely to visit once per month or more, and many will take an annual membership. Night surfing will be particularly attractive for most of the year in Brisbane, as busy people can fit surfing into their schedule by having a session after hours. When including visitors from the Gold Coast, Sunshine coast and other national locations, there will be no shortage of a market, without even considering the growing number of international tourists to SE Qld. The facility is multi-faceted and appealing not just for surfers but it will become a recreational attraction for people of all ages.

Does it have to be located on land?

In short – no. One very exciting option is to mount/float the facility in a large lake, bay or open ocean. Due to the nature of the process, we believe it will work just as well and there may even be some advantages by doing this. The reefs can be created as free standing on the floor or even floating (as semi-submerged reefs of course). At a suitable time we will also test a scale version of this option to confirm our thinking.

This possibility certainly lights up the imagination and could broaden the location possibilities. I love the idea of tapping into solar, wind and wave/tide power, to generate perfect surfing waves and we will incorporate renewable energy solutions in each location.

Is there a market for great waves globally?

The global market is enormous. Every city of over 1M people could sustain a Surf Lakes stadium and other business models could be considered for areas of lower population density.

Surfing is growing in popularity every day and this advancement will create an entire new market for surfing related products and services, as surfing moves into the mainstream. Having Surf Lakes established in SE Qld before the Commonwealth Games would allow for global attention, as we could host surfing as a “demonstration sport” and create immediate global credibility.

How is it powered?

We can apply different options and have conducted pre-feasibility on the following three methods to drive the mechanism. Each method will be electrically powered, but the actual mechanism may be driven by the following:
Mechanical – higher maintenance but easier to implement
Pneumatic – less maintenance but scale provides challenges (and opportunities)
Electro-Magnetic – Possible and very attractive but need more design input at this stage to determine efficiency. Dr Chris Hawley’s PhD was focussed on superconductors and cryoelectronics, so we could not ask for a better team member to make this option work for us.
Each of the three options can produce the result, but we will use the funds raised to design the optimum solution. We aim to use renewable sourced electricity wherever possible and this is certainly available in SE Qld, well within the operating budget. Sustainability is important to the Surf Lakes team, as we want to be good stewards of all resources utilised to develop and operate the project.

What about maintenance?

Ongoing maintenance requirements will be a major consideration in the final design, such that it may be wiser to choose the higher capital cost to reduce the ongoing maintenance cost. Minimising downtime for maintenance is a major consideration for an operation that aims to provide waves seven days per week. Composite materials are being considered where possible to minimise corrosion and we will most likely use concrete reinforced with Helix micro-rebar to strengthen the concrete, minimise cracking and reduce construction costs. The decision to use salt or fresh water will play a major role in design of the maintenance program. Thankfully, we have an expert team who are more than capable to provide the most reliable, cost effective solutions.

What footprint is required?

The lake itself will require a footprint of circa 220m x 180m, plus surrounding stadiums/terraces and development. It can be scaled up depending on the requirements. The complete facility may require the equivalent of 8-10 hectares, depending upon the availability of shared infrastructure (such as car parking) at the chosen site. The central tower could be up to 25m high at full scale and creates another recreation asset as it can be used for multiple purposes such as a viewing tower, rock climbing wall, entry point for surfers, solar and wind power generation. There are many design options as the pool edges can be shaped in a variety of ways, incorporating swimming areas, body-surfing, scuba, reef snorkeling, etc

We aim to provide clean, healthy fun for people of all ages. Everyone Gets a Break!


General Enquiries: info@surf-lakes.com.au
Press/Media Enquiries: hello@zioncollective.com.au

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