In May, former world champion Mark Occhilupo enlisted in the wave pool wars as a financial backer and advisor for Australia’s Surf Lakes, the Brisbane startup with technology that can supposedly create up to eight breaks of different sizes and lengths.
“The other wave pools we’ve seen out there, they’re pretty good, but this one is next level,” Occy told Fox Sports Australia, referring to the park’s highlight claim of a reeling, 8-foot wave said to resemble Teahupoo. “That [footage of Kelly Slater’s wave] was incredible and, I’m not being biased, but I really think this is going to outdo it. Kelly’s is perfect, don’t get me wrong, and it’s long. But this is just a lot bigger and we’ve got variety.”
As of this morning, another former world champ is on board for Surf Lakes: ’88 world champion Barton Lynch, who will join the team as a brand ambassador, according to a company announcement.
From the Surf Lakes website:
We are proud to announce that former professional world surfing champion Barton Lynch has joined the team.
The 1988 world champion, who currently features as a regular commentator on the World Surf League (WSL), is highly regarded within the surfing industry and will commence as a brand ambassador taking immediate effect.
Lynch's role will be centered on promotion of the Surf Lakes brand during the ongoing roll out of Surf Lakes sites across the globe. With Mark Occhilupo maintaining his position as the face of the brand, Lynch's communications skills will be used to the full.
A full-sized demonstration pool is under construction in North Queensland, and will reportedly be operational by the end of the year, though the location has remained a secret. An artist’s early rendition of the park placed it at the end of the Gold Coast’s Southport Spit.
“It’s a secret location at the moment,” Occy told Australia’s 7 News in May. “It’s definitely in Queensland, I can tell you that. It’s not going to be too far from the coast.”
Once Surf Lakes creates a sustainable business model, the company hopes to license the technology around the world to resorts, property developers, and theme parks, according to Fox Sports Australia.