Surf’s Up

The powerful, curling waves that draw surfers to beaches will soon be breaking inland, thanks to a novel shape-shifting rubber reef that can be fitted to the floor of a swimming pool. The Versareef, developed by New Zealand company ASR from Raglan and the USA’s Surf Pools, will generate four types of wave, named after the places in which they are typically found: Hawaii, Indonesia, California and Australia. Company directors Shaw Mead of ASR and New Zealander Dr Kerry Black of Surf Pools spent five years surveying the best reefs in the Pacific to find out which seabed characteristics generate the best surf. “Then we created computer-controlled, movable pool bottoms to mimic those characteristics and generate really powerful waves,” says Black. The first three Versareef pools are to be built at the Ron Jon Surf Park in Orlando, Florida, which opens next year. The largest will create a ride of up to 70 metres on 3-metre-high waves – the biggest wave facility in the world.

Tags: ARS  artificial waves  Australia  California  Hawaii  Indonesia  Kerry Black  New Scientist  New Zealand  Orlando Florida  Raglan  Ron Jon Surf Park  Shaw Mead  Surf Pools  The Versareef  United States