"A wave pool at the arse end of the earth is a fitting folly to kick off the boom’s next era, which exists somewhere between a nang’s headrush and a meth comedown."
If you call yourself a surfer and live in Perth, as I once did in a terrible long ago epoch, you’ll be counting the seven hundred or so days until Andrew Ross’ Wavegarden kicks into life in a bleak part of that wretched town called Jandakot.
Ross, whom you’ll remember as the driver behind the Tullamarine tank, has endured innumerable setbacks to get the tank built in his hometown.
But…he got it done.
The tank set-up looks pretty wild, elevated walkways around the pool, caravans around the perimeter mimicking Slater’s set-up at Surf Ranch and a low-rise building which may or may not have been designed by an architect overlooking the familiar wedge-shaped pool.
Very hard to argue with if you’ve ever tried to surf the all but waveless Perth coast.
But in a wild rant for Crikey, an independent online news outlet usually focussed on politics, the joint has been described by Patrick Marlborough, a comedian whose written for left-wing tribunes Vice and The Guardian, as a “depraved paradise” in a state with a “gutted soul.”
Perth, y’see, has been awash in mining riches for so long it’s created “a unique greed that necessitated a unique stupidity…Nothing has embodied this stupidity like the $100 million Perth Surf Park as proposed by Aventuur… But what might pass as exceptional elsewhere seems more like the rule here… The park is set to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, with 150-metre-long waves and the potential for something called “beast mode” surf, the beasts from which might compensate for the black cockatoo habitat that will be destroyed in the park’s construction.”
Marlborough takes exception that Perth, which is rimmed by pretty white sand beaches, needs a tank.
“There is something mordantly comical about building a wave park in a place globally renowned for its pristine beaches and choice surfing spots. Of course, not everyone can access said beaches, such as those in our far-flung satellite suburbs, a reflection of the idiocy of our urban planning, the underfunding of public transport and public spaces, and the steady erosion of community and culture via the vast alien mindstate spawned by the atomisation of people sprawled across the state like butter over too much bread.
“A wave pool at the arse end of the earth is a fitting folly to kick off the boom’s next era, which exists somewhere between a nang’s headrush and a meth comedown. The burnout from the unshakable churn of the mining industry and the Remora businesses (and governments) that live off its scraps is embedded into the very operation of the city and the state, a kind of bone-tired wariness that’s meant to carry us beyond a finish line that’s always being moved back — no backdowns, no break rooms.”
I sure don’t agree, but kid’s anger and dexterity on the keys must be applauded.