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You can forget about those amusement park wave pools! A company in Solano Beach, California is taking a brand new approach to wave machine surfing. American Wave Machines is using the latest in surf technology, which they call PerfectSwell, to enhance the artificial surf experience, whether it be for surf parks, water parks or research institutions. Their surf wave machine generates large, pounding breaks for the sole purpose of surfing. These guys made a wave generator that focuses on exactly what every surfer looks for in a set when they’re out in the water: frequency, duration and overall quality.
Believe it or not, physical moving parts don’t generate these artificial waves! This is the first air-powered surf wave machine, and it aims to mimic ocean swells. American Wave Machines developed a horn shape through which the air moves as the water moves over it, which makes the waves more like the wind-generated ones you ride in the ocean. One of their patented generators is on permanent display at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. The wave starts at one end of the pool and travels to the other end, where it breaks in the pool. With adjustable power settings, it can create up to ten big barrels each minute and waves between three and eight feet. The PerfectSwell system allows for adjustable wave heights, peel angles and break points to be programmed as you please. A computer controls every aspect of the wave, including the shape, ride duration and energy efficiency, giving you a smooth ride at the touch of a button. Now, you can have the wave of your choice at your fingertips. No more waiting out in the water for the perfect wave!
American Wave Machines’ other technology, called SurfStream, is an artificial wave made as the water is pumping and recirculating into the pool. This is much more like the ones you have probably seen if you spent any time at a water park. Your ride on a SurfStream wave isn’t limited by the size of the pool, like in the PerfectSwell pools, and it can be adjusted for wake boarders and kayakers.
Both of these types of surf wave machines allow for riders to focus on balance and foot placement while riding, making it the perfect way for beginners to learn how to surf. While it is ideal to learn to surf in the ocean, there are a number of other skills a beginner has to learn besides standing up on the board out in the sea. This includes a general level of fitness, as well as efficient paddling and catching the wave. The pools using PerfectSwell also allows for surfers to learn how to paddle into the wave and stand up. With ocean-based surfing schools becoming more and more crowded, this offers another method of teaching without adding congestion to the already packed beaches. They currently have surf park projects up and running or currently developing in Sweden, Peru, Canada and the United States.
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