21 Mar, 2017

Aquatic Development Group/Wavetek

21 Mar, 2017

Aquatic Development Group has been in the amusement industry for some time, creating everything from waterparks to aquariums to wave pools. They bought the rights to Tom Lochtefeld’s Flowrider sheet-wave technology in 2014, and have built several hundred  “wave pools” in waterparks around the world, including the one used for the 1985 Inland Surfing Championships in Allentown, PA. While their wave pool technology is marketed with surf-related verbiage, their technology is much better suited for high-capacity splash pool applications than for actual surfing, as their design creates very small, weak waves that lack the steepness and speed for performance surfing.

Their last attempt at tapping into the surf pool market was the disastrous failure of the Ron Jon Surf Park in Orlando in 2008. ADG was the technology partner for their ambitious wave pool concept, which included a movable bottom that could change shape to alter the waves. Engineers failed to account for the tremendous pressure exerted downward when waves break, and their prototype destroyed itself during testing. After their $9 million technology budget was exhausted, the project was halted indefinitely. This project, and the money it lost, continues to haunt the surf park industry to this day.

ADG has been immensely successful in the waterpark attractions industry, and will likely continue to do so without needing to dip into the surf park industry.

  • Wave generation style: Pneumatic or Hydraulic Displacement
  • Phase of Technology: Commercial
  • Quality of wave for surfing: Poor
  • Frequency: 15/min
  • Energy cost per wave: Unknown
  • Construction Cost: Unknown
  • Footprint: >1 acre
  • Projects: Ron Jon SurfPark (failed), Allentown (1985)
Inland Surfing Championships, 1985