A new shot was fired in the war of the wave pools, as another faction – this one led by former world champ Mark Occhilupo – looks to win the battle for wave-hungry hearts and minds.
According to Fox Sports Australia, Brisbane startup Surf Lakes has plans for a multi-break surf park, differentiating their technology from Kelly Slater's Wave Pool and Perth-based Wave Park Group's "The Cove" by seeking to offer a variety of waves.
From Fox Sports Australia:
"Developers say versatility will be the key, with a capability for up to eight breaks of varying size and length running simultaneously, from those suitable for beginners to "extreme" barrels…Surf Lakes then hopes to license the technology around the world to theme parks, resorts and property developers."
Occy, meanwhile, has joined Surf Lakes as both a financial backer and advisor. The company also told Fox Sports Australia that with the help of the former Teahupoo champ, they've designed a wave capable of breaking similar to the perilous reef pass. Sending six- to eight-foot tubes across a 60-yard pool, already nicknamed "Occy's Peak" by Surf Lakes – if genuinely viable – would be a game-changer.
Occy, sounding both confident and patronizing, talked to Fox Sports Australia about Surf Lake's technology and the wave pool war.
"The other wave pools we've seen out there, they're pretty good, but this one is next level," Occhilupo says in the article. "That (footage of 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."
While construction of a testing and demonstration pool is said to be underway, Surf Lakes, unlike its competition (The Cove, Kelly's Wave Pool), has not provided any visual evidence to verify the company's technological capabilities – just a few photos of waves of unknowable origin and size, and an artist’s rendering of Occhilupo purportedly surfing his namesake freshwater peak.