According to New Scientist, two New Zealand companies have developed a wave machine that can emulate the best surf waves around the globe:
Wave machines, which make small, regularly shaped waves, already make pool games more fun. But until now, creating waves big enough for people to learn to surf on has been out of the question. The Versareef, developed by New Zealand companies ASR and Surf Pools, looks set to change all that.
Company directors Shaw Mead of ASR and 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.
Their secret? Computer-controlled pneumatic jacks beneath a tough rubber mat control its shape to within centimetres. By altering the gradient of the slope and the alignment of ridges on the pool bottom, the “reef” can produce breaking waves with different characteristics.
The Versareef will generate four types of wave, named after the places in which they are typically found: Hawaii, Indonesia, California and Australia. The Hawaiian has a steep take-off leading straight into a wall of water, while the Californian is a slower, easier wave, which is better for beginners, says Black.
Though hardcore surfers will never go for it, the Versareef will give you a 75 yard ride on 9 foot waves.