Dream comes true for brave little boy!
The dour outskirts of Melbourne will soon house Australia’s first fully operational, and publicly accessible, surf tub.
The URBNsurf pool, tucked in near Tullamarine international airport, is almost done. Its Wavegarden Cove tech is proven, so there should be no Yeppoon-style false starts.
The tap’s about to be turned. A church for surfing will be created. A bright red door for that grey industrial strip.
I’m gonna be customer number one, or as close as I can get to it. I’m a wavepool fiend.
I grew up a westy. Not quite Tullamarine, but relative enough to my home town. Greater than five minutes drive from waves. Surfing meant public transport, scabbed lifts.
I walked once. Mostly it was trips with dad, when he could manage it.
Years were spent oozing with jealousy at the kids that lived nearer the beach.
At night I’d dream of heavy rains or big swells and king tide. The ocean would surge inland, kicking up a playground of wave form along my home street. A right hander would coalesce off the roots of Mrs Downey’s fig tree. A standing left cascaded over the Griffiths Road lights. I’d have it all to myself, or with a couple of my other westy mates, ‘til the rain eased or the tide dropped.
A typical grom. Selfish, insatiable dreams. I was ungrateful for what I had. My envy moved mountains.
Jeez, I wanted to surf.
Nowadays, I’m a little more tempered, a little more grateful.
But I’m still selfish, and I still wanna surf. All the time. Fuck quit lit. I desire it. Long for it. My fingers draw cutties along table tops during work meetings. I get mind barrelled in the old lady’s fringe. I surf it all.
And those childhood dreams of mine have manifested into a serious wave pool fetish. I fucken love ‘em. Can rattle off names like ex lovers. Ocean Dome, Japan. Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia. Dubai. Lemoore. Waco. Yeppoon.
But I’m still yet to get artificially wet.
Until now. URBNsurf. A $59, one-hour flight away.
The thought of my first ride’s got me giddier than a junkie on payday.
But what’s it gonna be like? And how’s it stack up against the other pools flashing their wares?
The website Empire Ave shares my fetish. Like downtown pimps cataloguing the midnight strip they’ve done a write up on the different types of wave tech currently on the market. There’s no new information but it is nice to see them all stacked up together in a line.
(Note: they do omit City Wave, a glorified version of the Munich river wave. I once asked how much to set up a small one in Oz and the owner’s response was enough to make a working gal blush. Nein danke.)
There’s the first-generation pumps and dumps, old school tech. Think Rick Kane’s bath tub, or Taj and Parko Malaysian whip-ins. Easy to produce but v short with a weak ejaculate.
Then you’ve got the foil tech. Snowdonia. Surf Ranch. Sustained performance throughout the act. The story’s been told a million times over. But they’re expensive. Slow to reload.
There’s Plungers. Some freaky BDSM shit. The steam punk aesthetic is rad but the wave still dissipates quickly and bends away from the peak. Plus, when the plunger breaks costs skyrocket.
Most promising are the new generation modular systems: BSR, Wave Cove. Individual pistons and air cushions that propel the wave down the line but also allow the shape to be customised.
Barrels, open walls, ramps, pockets. Catering to the users every proclivity. (Except size.)
URBNsurf says there’ll be three sections at Melbs, a beginner’s foamy, an intermediate waist high ‘green face’, and then the outside Cove for the advanced. A refined man’s Waco. All in “iridescent blue” water breaking over a flexible cement pavement with a membrane surface. It’s even got a rip to carry you back out.
Most importantly it’ll pump out thousands of waves compared to a foil’s dozens. Cost per wave is greatly reduced ($7.50/wave v $250/wave, according to the Ave/Wavepool mag).
It’s a Cornucopia of wave form. My wet dream. I can’t wait.
But when that iridescent blue lip throws over my outside shoulder, will it be as good as my first?
Will that flexible cement pavement with membrane surface, rearing up from below as I rush down the line, engage and engorge the senses like a proper world-class reef would?
Or will it just be a dull an empty climax when compared to the real thing? A dry hump on an old pillow?
What’s the dawn of the wave pool epoch mean to you?
Maybe you’ve already dabbled? Does it compare?
And if you had a fist full of dollars and were looking for a good time, which pool would you roll the window down for first?