Wavegarden is doing more than showing off incredible surfing and beautiful waves. As a way to give back to the community, they set up “Waves for Everyone”- a family surf session at the Basque Country R&D demo center. Families with varying levels of experience were invited to surf and have fun at the park. The event was a good example of how ideal these facilities are for kids and beginners.
In the morning the parents got barreled and linked turns out the back. After that, they turned the waves down a few notches for the kids and got everyone into some good ones. The stoke from the kids as some of them paddled into their first waves ever was noticeable. The kids quickly went from total beginners to trimming down the line confidently – something that normally takes months in the ocean.
“It was absolutely perfect because the waves were just the right size,” said Dave Mailman- (Father.)
This looked like a day that no kid would forget. Also, it gave backing to the idea that teaching ocean awareness and getting people acclimated to waves using this environment is possible. like learning to swim in a shallow pool, the Cove provides a predictable atmosphere to learn about currents, conditions, and how to deal with powerful swells.
After pushing the kids into the smallest setting of the machine, they turned it up to a longboard size wave. This made it easier for them to catch waves on their own. The takeoff was super mellow and the intimidation factor virtually nonexistent. “In a few hours, they evolved in the water, feeling super safe because in the ocean they can get pretty scared because of the strong currents and here, not a drop of fear. Very, very secure for a beginner.” Explained Priscilla Mailman- (Mother.)
The learning curve is shortened dramatically when learning in the pool. People can master the basics of surfing in one session and learn how to read basic ocean conditions. Reaching a knowledge and skill level that would take months in the ocean with the unpredictable winds, currents, and swells. It’s a major stepping stone, allowing learners to quickly break through the “training wheels” phase of surfing. Giving them a sense of satisfaction that is key to keeping them motivated and wanting more.
Wavegarden was founded with a mission to share the exhilarating sensation of surfing perfect waves with everyone in the world, regardless of ability or geographical location. The machine pumps out 40 different wave styles ranging from a small ripple wave to a seven foot plus face. Wave size and type can be altered at the touch of a button in order to accommodate any surfer. Soon, larger commercial facilities will be open around the world with multiple surfing areas, making it possible for beginners and pros to surf simultaneously.
“I don’t surf and I was just feeling very secure and safe to try to catch a wave.”- Priscilla Mailman
With safety in mind, the team at Wavegarden designed the beginner areas with smooth, soft grounding; and water levels that don’t exceed past the waist. There are no moving objects through the water and the machine can be shut down instantly. Moreover, the Cove provides a place for community events such as this one, as well as other educational programs like swimming, life-saving techniques etc.
The family surf session was a successful test run showing off how safe the environment is for small children and novice surfers. Feedback from the participants was positive and will help Wavegarden move forward with similar events. “I don’t surf and I was just feeling very secure and safe to try to catch a wave,” said Dr. Priscilla Mailman, who surfed the Cove along with her husband and two children. “The progress is unreal, and it’s perfect having this family interaction in the water – playing together, having fun, pure fun.”