Man-Made Wave Pools Sure Are Proving Popular, But Are They Cool?

Wave Pool Revolution

The wave pool proposition does nothing for me. Perhaps due to the lack of salt brine, that intoxicating ionic mist known to promote that euphoric feeling of the ocean dipper inner. Perhaps the removal of the ‘daddy’ effect, no it is greater-than-me and stronger-than-me, no I-must-submit humility of the ocean swell rider. Perhaps because there is no marine life, no marine death. No cliff, no dune, no guano covered jump off rock. No horizon, no weather, no ephemeral beauty nor ugliness, no glass off, no moon rise, no symbolic return to the primeval soup, no… nature. It is the shopping mall just outside the ring road. It is the packet instant cappuccino powder of surfing experience. Just add tepid water. It is the utilitarian perversion of everything that ever appealed about going for a surf, to me at least. A plastic replica of one of nature’s great spectacles. Incredibly, despite surfing’s general masquerading as an eco-friendly (or at least eco-empathetic) nature-revering pass time, today’s great excitement is for the artificially generated surfing wave. Wave by generator, i.e. wave by carbon. Huey, get your hat and coat.

Forgive me, but getting past the fog of time-honoured cliché, wasn’t the very hook of the whole thing, that you weren’t in control? Wasn’t that the thing that made getting a decent wave so amazing was that it couldn’’t be repeated on demand? The no two waves the same, no guarantees, master the ride but never the ocean etc etc, wasn’’t that quasi masochistic relationship with big blue the one reason it happened to take over our lives? Possibly not, maybe it was that we just liked sitting out the back floating and looking back at the world from a different angle. Whatever.

Anti-surfing hero Dion Agius doing everything to make the new wave pool revolution look sexy.


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