The surf has been up and down this Winter. Some great days mixed in with a few flat days, windy, on-shore and bloody cold! Such is the life of a surfer in Victoria.
What to do on a cold, windy or flat day…?
That could all be about to change if/when Victoria’s first wave pool opens in Melbourne this year.
Wave pools have been around for decades (centuries actually… in the 19th century Ludwig II of Bavaria electrified a lake to create waves). The first surfable wave pool was the ‘Surf-a-torium’ in Akiruno, Japan which created a gently rolling wave that required a longboard to ride.
Since then there have been multiple attempts to create a decent artificial wave in a pool that can be ridden 24/7. The best examples can be found in the UK, Middle East, Japan and the USA where Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch at Lemoore in California has hosted WSL contests and set the benchmark for new artificial wave technologies with its super long barrels and ability to change the wave height, power and shape of the wave to suit everyone from professional surfers to beginners.
Here is Australia there are currently a number of wave pools planned for Queensland and Western Australia but the one grabbing everyone’s attention on the Surf Coast is the URBNSURF pool being built in Melbourne.
URBNSURF in Tullamarine (near the airport) will be Australia’s first urban surf park powered by the WaveGarden Cove technology which has had success in Europe. The wave pool is intended to deliver ‘authentic surfing waves’ during the day and at night due to advanced LED lagoon lighting.
According to their website construction is well underway, the wave generator has been installed and the lagoon is almost ready to be filled (with the rain we have had lately it is probably full anyway).
According to Facebook URBNSURF is expected to open in Spring 2019 (which is basically next week).
So it is all happening and I’m sure Melbourne (and Surf Coast surfers) will be keeping a keen eye on developments in Tullamarine for the big day when URBANSURF opens.
Warm water, cafes, night surfing, no sharks…. what’s not to like about a surf pool in Melbourne!
Written by John Foss