Think Queensland is all about the Gold Coast’s right-hand points and punchy beaches firing to life? Well if Surf Lakes International has its way then your next surf trip there may just include a trip to the Queensland mountains to surf the recently prototype tested 5 Waves technology. Good enough for Flick, Parko and Occy ….
After years in development Surf Lakes International has released vision of its “5 Wave” technology, which produces five different levels of waves simultaneously around a man-made lake.
Earlier this week, as the sun set behind the mountains near Yeppoon on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast, a gathering of staff and pro-surfers, including ambassadors Mark Occhilupo and Barton Lynch, witnessed the first perfect waves peeling across the reefs of the private demonstration facility.
The 5 Waves concept rates each wave according to its level of difficulty, similar to a snow ski resort. Each wave difficulty level is colour-coded and caters for beginners, through to advanced and pro-level wave riding. It’s no surprise to learn that the concept is primed for Olympic wave-pool preparation for pros.
The 5 Waves concept allows for learners, experienced surfers and professionals, to surf perfect waves simultaneously. This is where it sets itself apart from pools like the Kelly Slater wave pool design and means that whole families with ages from five to 75 can enjoy the facility together, rather than waiting for different sessions to run.
1999 World Surfing Champion and 5 Waves ambassador Mark Occhilupo, was ecstatic after riding his first wave on “Occy’s Peak” earlier this week, a wave that he helped design.
“I can’t believe it,” said Occy with an ear-to-ear grin. “This is amazing, I knew it would be good… but not this good. People all over the world are going to be blown away when they see 5 Waves.”
At full commercial capacity, 5 Waves can produce up to 2400 waves per hour, allowing for up to 200 surfers and learners each hour.
The five different levels of waves cater for a wide variety of watercraft. The Intermediate wave is perfect for short boards, long boards, SUPs and surf skis. The Advanced and Expert waves suit short boards and knee boards.
“I get so excited about waves, so to have a variety of perfect waves at the push of a button is just unbelievable. And the fact that it’s Australian designed, backed and built, just makes me very proud.”
Founded by Aaron Trevis, the Surf Lakes team has been working hard to complete the full scale demonstration facility for the past two years. PHD Engineer and Surf Lakes Director Chris Hawley, oversaw the design, build and commissioning of what is essentially Australia’s first man-made surfing wave pool. Funding for the project was raised from private investors by finance expert and fellow Director Reuben Buchanan.
“After years of dreaming, designing, testing and building, to see those first few waves roll across the reefs was quite a sight!” said Trevis.
Surf Lakes plan to license their technology to operators such as theme parks, resorts and developers around the world. Surf Lakes will also design, manage construction and commissioning of each facility, as well as providing ongoing services.