The Surf Lakes R&D facility at Yeppoon is a Prototype only and will not be open to the public. It was built with the sole purpose of proving the Surf Lakes’ 5 Waves technology, as well as further refinement to the machine and operations. Our intention is to then sell licenses to potential clients. We anticipate the first commercial site to be open to the public within the next 24 months. Site are earmarked in locations such as the Gold Coast, US, UK, Brazil and more.
As per above the Yeppoon R&D facility is a Prototype only, and will not be open to the public. We are hoping that commercial versions of Surf Lakes will be open in the near future.
Prices for commercial venues will be announced in due course.
Yes they do. Because of the orbital particle motion created by the wave generator, the waves behave just like ocean waves and you can feel the wave draw the surfer back into the face with a “trough” in front of each wave. The 5 types of waves are each different in power so the hollower waves have a more pronounced trough and with the easier waves it is less obvious. The end result is that the waves are the same to catch and ride like equivalent ocean waves.
In addition, even though the initial swell is circular, because of the refraction of the swells, the actual surfing face becomes straight then concave, in that it bends towards the surfer, rather than away from the surfer. Some of the waves do this more than others, so it creates a variety of experience.
Simultaneous variety is where we have different types of waves breaking at the same time. It is important because it allows surfers of different abilities and tastes to be riding their choice of wave at the same time. This feature of 5 Waves allows operators to cater to all types of riders at the same time, which means they are not restricted. People can schedule their surf session knowing that “their” type of wave will always be available. It broadens the market appeal of the 5 Waves facility.
This element is a direct comparison measure of revenue and potential profitability. Entry price being equal, if a venue has 500 rides per hour available, they can only generate half the revenue of a facility that can generate 1000 rides per hour or one quarter of the revenue of a facility that can create 2000 rides per hour. Put another way, 2000 rides per hour can generate four times the revenue of 500 rides per hour!
Surf Lakes 5 Waves technology has the highest productivity of any wave pool technology. Of course, if there are quieter times (such as mid-winter in Scotland), the operator can slow down the rate, using less energy, to match the crowd demand. Importantly, in the peak summer months, the higher productivity becomes very critical as the operator wants to maximise the hotter seasons. To miss this season because the waves are all booked would be very limiting, so 5 Waves give the very best chance to maximise the summer season.
Yes, the mechanism can run tiny swells, through to very large swells. A chosen break design can be configured such that the waves are of similar shape regardless of swell size, or can be different as the swell increases. Our team of experts work with the developers to customise their design and give them the best options for their location and markets.
Phase 2 testing at the R&D facility site has been taking place since June 2018. To date we have created waves of up to 1.8m face height (6ft). Our goal is to reach 2.4m (8ft) wave face height in August/Sept round of testing.
We measure the wave face only. 1.8m / 6ft is measured from wave trough, to top of lip as the wave is about to break.
Of course a six foot ocean wave, according to sites such as Coastalwatch and Surfline, means 10 foot-plus face, however these types of sites take measurements from offshore buoys in deep water. The swells measured have also travelled for hundreds of kilometres (miles) to reach the shore, therefore in a ground swell scenario they have amassed a larger volume of water.
Given the short distance the swell travels from the centre of the lake to our “reefs” we cannot use the method, so we use the breaking wave face height as our standard of measure.
The compressed air release can be silenced to a chosen level and can be very quiet if preferred. The “attenuator/exhaust” system can redirect any residual sound to a suitable location such that the lake can be virtually silent, apart from the sound of booming waves and shouts of excitement.
It ranges from 60 megalitres to 80 megalitres for the standard lake. If near the ocean, the sea water can be used for the lake, creating a realistic environment and endless supply of water to top up. Water use from evaporation will vary dramatically, depending on location. Some will have too much water from rain where others need to top up every day of the year. Each design will cater for this factor.
The cost per ride is very low as it is a very efficient system with multiplication of the waves and the use of inertia. The goal is for each facility to use renewables and we can also regenerate electricity from the channels, where the water returns to the centre of the lake. This can become a very helpful feature of the 5 Waves venues, along with on-site solar and wind generation. Each facility can generate renewables from hydro, wind and solar, making it as eco-friendly as possible.
The visual amenity will vary depending on the location and preferred theme of the developer. However, many want to create a natural landscape, and our facility gives the most design flexibility to create amazing natural coastlines and points or bays. Truly, the sites are only limited by imagination and budget, but even a lower budget model can be shaped to look very natural. The central mechanism can be covered or themed to suit. It can look like a moving natural island or a rocky headland covered in palms…so, if you can dream it, we can create it! We look forward to recreating environments similar to great surf beaches to create incredible experiences for visitors. In some locations, we will be retro-fitting the mechanism into existing lakes, to take advantage of the natural shape of the shoreline. These will be unique as they can enhance the existing environment. In each case we are pursuing regenerative development such that the natural environment is enhanced and improved by the development. We are speaking with experts in organic and natural sequence farming to understand how we can best enhance the surrounding environments as well as the immediate shorelines.
The standard lake size is around 3.5 hectares. Minimum lake size is 2.5 hectares, plus surrounding shoreline so a minimum of 6 to 8 hectares is wise. Lakes can be much larger if preferred.
This will vary depending on size, complexity and location. The benchmark figure is US$20M and this will be refined as the projects evolve. This is just for the working Surf Lake, and does not include surrounding developments or amenities.
It certainly can be depending on the client expectations and business model. The design can create a very profitable wave pool in each location, such that the investment case can be based only on the waves and pool features, if required. Many income streams can be added and assets on the perimeter can be added to increase the project returns. Conservative models used typically show a proposed payback period of under three years, without considering the added opportunities from the perimeter and without considering the property development gains. However, each project will need to be considered with the specific market and conditions so developers need to seek their own professional advice and market demand studies to assure themselves of the project merits.
The range of projects being considered is quite varied. We have an assortment of public facilities to suit all families, through to high-end exclusive “art-resorts” for affluent patrons seeking a more private escape. Some are being considered in the middle of deserts with others being near or in the ocean. Some will be government funded and others partly crowd funded. One project is proposed on a high mountain range and another in a private lake. Some are being considered as part of a larger residential development, to add amenity to those living in the new community. We look forward to celebrating the diversity and creativity of the licensees.
Absolutely. 99% of the world have not yet surfed and yet the majority would like to learn, especially if they had a safe, predictable and convenient option. Our role is to make the waves accessible, day and night to that 99%, as well as catering for existing surfers who are hounding us to open ASAP.
We have created an environment that eliminates most of the risks of surfing. However, there is always some risk with large moving waves, so we have developed processes and training to ensure that people can access waves according to their ability. With our designs and operating practices, we are applying multiple layers of risk control and utilise the hierarchy of controls philosophy to reduce risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). We will be testing rigorously to ensure that everyone can enjoy the waves safely. In addition, surfers will need to qualify for each level of break, so that they have proven themselves to be capable before gaining access to the heavier waves.
At full productivity, more than 240 surfers at a time can enjoy the waves, with no drop-ins or bottle-necks. This is based on 10 rides per hour, which is as good or better than many surf sessions in nature. Many more can be swimming around the edges of the lake and / or enjoying the 800 metres of shoreline. We can truly cater for large crowds safely and the experience will be incredible for each one.
How big is your imagination? Surfing competitions of all types, all at the same time if you wish, night surfing, inflatable water play, water slides, hotels, resorts, eco cabins, glamping, camping, scuba and snorkelling in the deeper channels, or deep water hole for very deep diving, kiddies pools, spas, fishing in some lakes, night movies on the lake, water ramps for ski jumps into the deep channels, man-made snow hills for snowboarding into the lake in winter, skate ramps, MTB pump tracks, gyms, jetties into the water for relaxation and access, underwater aquariums and access tunnels, underwater restaurants in the channels, cable ski around the mechanisms, wake tow-in winches, jet-ski tow-ins, movie sets for filming, military and coastguard training, earth-covered dwellings on the water’s edge, surf stadiums, concerts on the waves, music festivals, surround it with natural sequence farming, grow coral and seaweed in the channels at seawater locations, classic car and bike meets, electric car charging stations, film festivals, art showings or lessons, fitness classes, aqua/surf fitness classes, swimming lessons, surf lifeguard lessons, surfboard making, charity events, corporate events, school events, random events, world record-breaking attempts, innovation hubs, college campus based on site, retail, commercial, food and beverage… and more. Should be fun!
For a public facility $5 per wave is a typical starting point. Ideally reducing from there with memberships and other packages. Exclusive resort models and packages may differ but there are many ways to bring value to all involved. Everyone gets a break.