Wavegarden’s new wave pool ‘The Cove’ tested by top surfers; video

Back in April, Wavegarden teased that they were fine-tuning a new barreling wave technology for their wave pools called “The Cove”. On Wednesday, they finally released video evidence of it in action with some of the world’s top surfers.

The Wavegarden claims that The Cove can produce a wave every 8 seconds, and 1,000 waves an hour — they even published a separate video specifically dedicated to documenting the wave frequency capabilities of their technology.

According to the press release from Wavegarden, they built the only demo model of The Cove in October 2016 in Spain and have been conducting R&D since.

In the full-length video, professional surfers Filipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, Matt Wilkinson, Josh Kerr, Sebastian Zietz and others act as test pilots. They seem to enjoy themselves immensely, stroking into waves with ease and gliding themselves into tuck-kneed barrels.

“The high wave frequency of the Cove enables a high user capacity, which is essential for surfers wanting to catch lots of waves,” Wavegarden founder and CEO Josema Odriozola said in the press release. “The versatility of our technology means we can alter wave height, shape and power in an instant to match the experience level of all surfers. Also, wave frequency can be adjusted to cater precisely for the number of surfers in the water.”

It certainly comes at a time when Wavegarden needed to show the public they could make the next evolution of their wave pool. They sent shockwaves through the surf world when they unveiled their very first model back in 2011. While they have added multiple locations around the world since then that have been open to the public, they have also had a slew of setbacks.

Their first U.S. facility NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas faced legal battles and a delayed opening last year, only to eventually close indefinitely for repairs (it is supposed to re-open this week after a 6-month closure). Surf Snowdonia in the United Kingdom also closed down multiple times for extensive repairs shortly after opening in 2015. And of course, Kelly Slater unveiling his private wave pool in 2015 made the original non-barreling Wavegarden technology seem pointless and outdated.

Filipe Toledo enjoying The Cove. Photo: Courtesy of Wavegarden

But The Cove seems to put Wavegarden back in the battle for wave pool technology supremacy. This prototype of “The Cove” only takes up about 164 feet x 262 feet. And while Slater’s wave has seemed like the greater of the two since its unveiling, keep in mind that the public still has yet to see that firsthand — even though the World Surf League has purchased a majority holding of it.

“The machinery of the Cove is modular, eschewing complicated hydraulic or pneumatic systems in favor of a smart and simple electro-mechanical design,” the press release explained. “Consequently, very little energy is lost in the transmission of forces, which keeps running costs at a minimum and makes the Cove the most energy-efficient technology on the market today.”

It remains to be seen whether The Cove and Kelly Slater’s wave even stack up against each other, but it will be interesting to see how this perceived battle for artificial wave technology will evolve in the coming months and years.

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