The next generation of competitive surfers will soon have new assets to hone their skills on, with a wave park set to be built in New Zealand in the coming years.
American company Aventuur has been granted permission to develop a wave park in Auckland, using world-renowned technology developed by the Spanish company Wavegarden.
Wavegarden Bay is arguably the best wave park on the market, with a system capable of producing up to 1000 waves per hour, with as many as 90 people waiting in line at a time. In comparison, the system at Kelly Slater Surf Farm in California can only produce one wave every four minutes.
Wavegarden cove technology is readily available for surfing in parks in South Korea, Wales, Bristol and Melbourne. Andrew Ross is the man behind Melbourne park development and has since joined Aventuur to help make it happen in Auckland.
Ross said, having experienced it myself, there is room for man-made waves and natural breaks to coexist.
“There’s a purist element that says surfing can only be done in the ocean. But having made it now – I think I have about 3500 waves; most of the barrels on the left – it’s just incredible,” Ross said.
“The ocean has many challenges; there are sharks and shredded sharks and an aggressive surfing culture in most places. To provide a relatively safe and controlled man-made environment, people can accelerate very quickly. We have people in the lagoon in Melbourne who haven’t yet. never surfed before surfing the intermediate waves in just a few weeks because the progress is so fast.you get so many waves under your feet and learn as you go along.
“If everyone were surfers, the world would be a better place. That’s where we come from.”
With a location for the wave park still being sought, it will likely take two to three years before it is ready to operate, although Ross said the construction itself would not take too long and would take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
Aventuur Kiwi co-founder Richard Duff said that they are currently in the process of securing a site for the park and have not had discussions with the local Government about the project, but will go further.
“There are a number of factors in site selection that are important. Ultimately, you’re never going to find a site nirvana, so it’s just about understanding what you’re looking for; and I think that’s a lot of the work we’ve been doing over the course of Covid to really understand the Auckland dynamics. from a geotechnical perspective, how much does land cost etc., and who owns the land.
“There are some sites that we look at, but we don’t have the freedom to go any further than that.
“What we believe, and we’ve seen this around the world now that Melbourne has been built, Korea has been built, Bristol has been built, we have something to talk about the benefits of community and the positive elements of what it will bring.”