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Turning Pro Surfing Into an Arena Sport

The next big thing in surfing is artificial waves you can ride anywhere any time Quartz

The next big thing in surfing is artificial waves you can ride anywhere any time Quartz


One of the few places where you currently can surf a “real” artificial wave is one of the driest places on earth—Abu Dhabi. At Wadi Adventure, a year-old, $85 million surf park, a hydraulic system forces water from tanks through an opening into an outdoor pool. “It’s like flushing a toilet,” says Douglas Murphy, whose UK company, Murphy’s Waves, invented the technology. As the water hits an artificial reef, it rises up it in facsimile of an ocean wave. The ride, however, lasts only a few seconds.


The world’s longest artificial wave is breaking in Spain’s Basque country, where a company called Wavegarden has built a lagoon-like outdoor surf pool to demonstrate its technology. A hydrofoil runs underneath a pier that bisects the lagoon, pushing the water over a contoured surface to create two waves that break on either side of the structure (see picture above and video below).


The four-foot waves peel like ocean waves and run for 220 meters (722 feet), giving surfers a 20-second ride. That’s practically an eternity—a long ride in the ocean might last 10 seconds. Wavegarden spokesman Felip Verger says the company has signed deals to supply its technology to 25 surf parks to be built in the US and five in Australia. 

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Words cannot describe how cool this is. 

25 parks in the USA? Cowabunga!

I had a chance to invest in, but never did.  It was way too before its time, but now? 

Now seems like the right timing. Water parks are on the uptick, right?

That's so cool, I want one in my garden!

Wait, I don't have any garden.

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