Is Texas pool the equivalent of film in a brave digital world?
Y’gotta give it to the German inventors of Wavegarden. They don’t fuck around.
When Kelly Slater squashed the presumption that the burgeoning artificial wave market would be theirs, they spent two years building a pool that at least puts it in the same realm as Surf Ranch.
You might’ve heard about their new version of a wave-tank called Cove. All we got is PR propaganda and a handful of WCT surfers who rode it, but who signed non-disclosure agreements and therefore can’t offer an independently verified opinion, so who knows how good it is?
But how do we know if the KS pool’s got legs? More NDAs etc.
Anyway, while all the confected hoo-ha about Cove was going on, poor little NLand Surf Park has finally re-opened. If you’ll remember, the tank was open for only one month before shutting its doors last November.
A bummer since nearly every session y’tried to squeeze into had been booked out, making a mockery of the naysayers who said they wouldn’t be able to find chumps willing to spend ninety bucks on a ten-wave session. Even Ozzie Wright was dying to gun his fist into it.
Now that it’s open, and you can watch Wavegarden Mach 1 in action below if you want to form an opinion, do you think the owners are sad they poured millions into a pool that has been so roughly superseded by Cove?
Do you think the owner, in this case Mr Doug Coors from the fabulously wealthy beer family, wants to unscrew the fountain, unplug the plough and start again?
Do you think the vibration of a slamming door was heard all over Austin when Cove was loosed?
Or do you think nothing will matter when Kelly finally unveils to the world?
And then, of course, we have the mysterious Greg Webber who claims to hold the key to the greatest secret of them all.
Wavegarden, says Webber, will “end up being redundant. They’d be horrified at what Kelly did and and even more fucking horrified when I build my one. (But) only one is going to make money. My one. There’s only one design and it revolves around using the Kelvin wake. It allows us to do 500 waves an hour as a base rate. We can have a ride rate of 5000 rides per hour. That’s fucked up. That’s proper money. “