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Greg Webber’s Wave Pool Plans | Australia Surfing Life News

Australia’s Surfing Life released a new article on Friday November 23, 2012 detailing Greg Webber’s Wave Pool Plans…

Greg Webber's Wave Pool Plans by Australia's Surfing Life

Artistic rendition for a large commercial development of Webber’s Wave Pool

Here’s a quick excerpt from Surfing Life Magazine’s Interview with Greg Webber:

“We hope to charge about $1.25 to $1.50 for a ten second, 1.25m wave, $2.50 for a fifteen second 1.6m wave, and about $5 for an eighteen second 1.9m piping barrel.

The ideal session would include five or six little waves, two to three medium sized ones … and one smoking barrel. And the barrel is going to start at 1.25m and constantly grow in size and increase speed as it runs down the pool, while at the same time the contours get steeper and steeper. This way you will get a cute little bowly tube to start with that just gets hollower and hollower, and bigger and bigger until you are screaming through a gaping pit that shoots you out the end!

This way the surfers are stoked for only a moderate cost, and the developer makes money for risking his millions.”

Continue reading below for the full article by Australia’s Surfing Life Magazine…

Greg Webber's Wave Pool Plans | Surf Park Nightlife

Artistic rendition of Greg Webber’s Wave Pool plans and the ultimate nightlife atmosphere

Greg Webber’s Wave Pool Plans by Sean Radich & Australia’s Surfing Life

“There was news this week that the plans for the Kelly Slater wave pool on the Gold Coast are a step closer to fruition with architects assigned to design the masterplan and a tourism feasibility study commissioned for the project. Surfing Life first reported in August that LM Investment Management holds an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding with KS Wave Co. to build a wave pool as part of the Surf Precint at the 188 hectare residential Maddison Estate near Dreamworld.

However, if you’ve been following the developments in wave pool design you’ll be well aware of the home-grown Aussie technology that promises everything from perfect overhead barrels to mellow beginner waves. Surfing Life got in touch with Greg Webber to find out more about his revolutionary wave pool designs, and discovered that his vision involves much more than just one wave, and one wave pool. We’re more than just a little bit excited!

Surfing Life: On first impression, it looks like there’s a lot of similarities between your and Kelly’s wave pool designs, both having circular pools and rotating wave generators. In simple terms, how do Webber Wave Pools differ from KS Wave Co. designs?
Greg Webber: We make angled wakes from the back of a hull, or a boat-like body. I don’t know for sure what wave type Kelly is using.

There’s been much reported patent disputes between yourself and KS. What’s the latest?
The patent issue is over. His camp decided to go in a different direction so that there would be no conflict with our patent. It’s not as simple as people think, and there is often a slight degree of similarity between new and past patents, so you just have to do your best to either change some of your patent to appease the examiners, or go in a different direction altogether. I don’t yet know which way Kelly went.

There’s various types of wave pool designs around the world, like the like the Wavegarden, or more traditional technology in UAE and the wave pool to be built in Sochi, Russia. What’s the advantage of Webber pools over all the others?
Our wave making method does have some advantages over the other methods that make waves with an impact (as in The Emirates Wadi Adventure), or with a soliton type of wave (like a standing wave in a river), for two reasons:

Our wakes naturally have a trough in front of them, whereas all pools built so far have flatter faces with no trough, and these waves – like those fat waves we sometimes get in nature – are not so inspiring to bottom turn on.

The other thing is that we can put our wave making hulls very close behind each other and as a result make many waves per hour out of the same pool. All the other wave making techniques have a much longer waiting time between waves.

Webber Wave Pool | Australia's Surfing Life

Webber’s version uses different technology to Kelly Slater and produces two barelling waves.

Even though we are confident that our waves will be much hollower, there is no use making a pool that makes too few waves an hour. Our worst wave rate per is 240 waves per hour which means only 24 surfers could get ten waves in a one hour session. That means if there are 100 guys waiting to go for their morning surf, there would be a three hour wait before the last 24 surfers got to surf. This is the cornerstone criterion that will determine the success of any pool. If the queue is that long then people won’t come back. It’ll be full and the business model will be fulfilled, but the entire vibe will be worse than the Superbank.

I don’t want to make one pool, but 5 pools per complex with the maximum wave rate of the small wave pool approaching 1000 waves per hour. There needs to a range of waves and a virtual guarantee that you will get waves without waiting. The last thing I want to do is make perfect waves and tell people that they can’t have them.

What will the waves be like?
We plan on making four to five pools per complex that range in wave size from knee-high to head-high. If you can attract the non-surfers by creating pools that are virtually skill-free zones then you will draw in people purely for fun of it all, and then you can teach them to surf. This way you are creating surfers, which means you are creating a customer. If we don’t think this way then there will not be the growth that is needed in order to take surfing to populations that have never seen surfing, let alone tried it.

On the other side of the coin, for the surfers who are capable, you still have to provide a range of waves. The bigger the wave and the longer the ride, the bigger the pool and the bigger the footprint. This means that there will a high demand for this wave, and so to stop the queue effect, we have to offer a smaller wave with a shorter ride right next to it.

If you know you have a half hour wait till you get your head-high, 20 second-long wave, then you may as well be catching 1.25m 10 second rides while you wait. Luckily, we can provide this level of wave action at about 1000 waves per hour and all within 0.75 of a hectare, so this will totally negate the waiting time.

So besides the two beginner pools, we want to have three pools for the better surfers so that in each session you will get half a dozen 1.25m rippable warm-up waves, then two to three bowling 1.6m waves, and one smoking 1.9m wave that tubes for about 15 seconds. So effectively we are designing the ultimate session, which is all about an experience that makes you stoked off your head. Then people will come back.  

Webber Wave Pools | Boat Wake Wave

This sort of wave, with walls you can ride and an open tube, that Webber will will be replicating.

Again, it is not about just making one pool. Sure, make one wave pool to prove the method works beyond doubt, but after that it is a way bigger development that needs to be considered. The only way that will work is with a massive wave rate per hectare, and I’m pretty sure we cannot be beaten in this regard.

Will you be able to go left and right?
Yes, both left and right. Ideally we double up each wave pool – one making lefts and one making rights – so that there is no need to reverse them. But also, it would be great to ride a right down one side of the pool and then walk 25 meters and ride a left down the side of the pool next to it.


Bede Durbidge has mentioned how good a wave pool would be for Gold Coast pros to train on. Are you expecting pros, and aspiring pros to use your facilities?
For sure – it will be the ultimate for anyone to hone their surfing in general. Like a half pipe, the wave can be made to stay the same throughout the ride, so practicing the one turn over and over will be possible.

LM Investments have publicly backed a KS Wave Co. pool for Maddison Estate. Have you had commercial interest too?

Sure, that’s what we have been working on for the last year or so. We had the wave making technology sorted a few years ago, but getting it to make sense for someone to put millions of dollars into takes a lot of work. Perfect waves on tap are a developers dream but business isn’t just about the shape of the wave – there are other elements to explain that have never been thought about before, let alone defined within a business model.

Greg Webber Surfing River Wave | Webber Wave Pools

This is the very first boat wake Greg Webber surfed in the river back in 2002, which lit the lightbulb in his head to develop the concept further.

So making the project a profitable, viable concern is clearly paramount? Have you thought about how much it will cost us to surf?

Sure, that’s the key to it all. We hope to charge about $1.25 to $1.50 for a ten second, 1.25m wave, $2.50 for a fifteen second 1.6m wave, and about $5 for an eighteen second 1.9m piping barrel.

The ideal session would include five or six little waves, two to three medium sized ones … and one smoking barrel. And the barrel is going to start at 1.25m and constantly grow in size and increase speed as it runs down the pool, while at the same time the contours get steeper and steeper. This way you will get a cute little bowly tube to start with that just gets hollower and hollower, and bigger and bigger until you are screaming through a gaping pit that shoots you out the end!

This way the surfers are stoked for only a moderate cost, and the developer makes money for risking his millions. Both things have to happen, or wave pools are not going to.

That sounds epic! But are there many environmental downsides to wave pools?
Well again we are lucky with our power costs per wave height per minute. They are very low, but we are working on solar power to provide a significant proportion of the electricity. It would have the bonus of heating the water in the pool, as a bi-product of the power system. If you really do well in this regard then there are carbon credits available, which obviously makes the business model even more attractive.  

You’ve got a location for a working full-scale wavepool at Merriwa. How close is that to being built?
We are still considering Merriwa, but we might even jump right up to a commercial pool in Sydney, or possibly the Central Coast. Dan MacKensie, who has the land in Merriwa, will be involved with our first pool development no-matter what. So he is fine with it wherever it happens.

We can’t wait to surf it, Greg. You’ve got some designs on your website showing Olympic-style arenas. Is that where you see the future of Greg Webber Wave Pools?
Surfing is so good for you that it could grow beyond the Olympics. We want to do it daily and if the waves are nearby, and the cost is low, then it will grow hugely. It’s just a matter of making great waves in pools and artificial reefs, and spreading people out far more.

Webber Wave Pools Olympic Vision

Who will be surfing’s first Olympic Gold Medallist?

People go on about how crowded the planet is, but if you put us all shoulder to shoulder and chest to back, we can fit within a square plot of land 24.5 kilometers wide. There is plenty of space on earth and there is plenty of coastline, but we are all getting dragged towards best beaches and headlands on those coasts, and great waves are a part of the reason. So the only way I can see it all working is to make the inland more attractive, and to spread people along the coastlines further so that we are not living in each others pockets all the time.

For more, take a look at the Greg Webber Wave Pool website and check out the initial details about the KS Wave Co. pool for the Gold Coast. Also, keep up to date at the Webber Wave Pools Facebook page.People go on about how crowded the planet is, but if you put us all shoulder to shoulder and chest to back, we can fit within a square plot of land 24.5 kilometers wide. There is plenty of space on earth and there is plenty of coastline, but we are all getting dragged towards best beaches and headlands on those coasts, and great waves are a part of the reason. So the only way I can see it all working is to make the inland more attractive, and to spread people along the coastlines further so that we are not living in each others pockets all the time.

Greg Webber went on Channel 9’s Today show discussing plans to build his full scale prototype on a property in Merriwa west of Necastle. Watch the interview here.

 

Man-made waves are so hit right now. Take a look at Sally Fitzgibbons surfing The Emirate’s Wadi Adventure wave pool.

 

Webber Wave Pools R&D

The lab where tests are done on the various factors involved in making waves in a Webber Wave Pool: pool diameter, island diameter, hull speed, beach gradient, etc.

Webber Wave Pool Plan | Australia Surfing Life
Webber Wave Pool profile

A profile of the basic gradients and technology for Webber’s waves.

Crescent shaped wave pool

And a new model, “the crescent shaped version of the Webber Wave Pool increases the wave height ratio to the wave pool’s maintenance and building costs.”

To learn more check out the full company profile of Webber Wave Pools and visit Australia’s Surfing Life to view the original story on Greg Webber’s Wave Pool Plans by Sean Radich.

 

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