10 May, 2017

Brian Keaulana’s First Impressions of Wavegarden’s Cove Technology

10 May, 2017

The moment of truth. Honokea Team arrives at Wavegarden’s Cove Prototype deep in the Pyrenees mountains

Last October, the Honokea team took a trip across the globe to visit our friends at Wavegarden in San Sebastian to see what their new Cove technology was all about. Traveling to the beautiful Basque country is always a special experience, and when you also get to surf a top secret new wave pool, well it doesn’t get much better than that. Yesterday, Wavegarden released their 1 minute teaser featuring the Cove, so now that the world has finally seen it, what is it really like?

Hawaiian surfing icon and Honokea president Brian Keaulana has been on countless surf trips in his career, but he was as excited as a grom about this trip, having heard how incredible the new wave was, and knowing what this technology could mean for the sport of surfing.

Much like the first time we surfed the original Wavegarden Lagoon, our heads were full of questions before we arrived.  Our hopes were confirmed once the pool came to life and our jaws hit the gravel. Wave after wave after perfect wave. And it barrels.

Hodei Collazo in the liquid skatepark

“Its unlike any other wave machine,” said Brian. “It’s the closest you can get to simulating real surf, and not just one type of wave, it can create different types of waves for every different type of surfer and surfboard, just like the ocean.”

The frequency of waves created and how easily the waves could be altered at the push of a button were mind-blowing. From a slabbing barrel to rippable air sections to crumbling longboard heaven, all on demand.

“The ocean is not always perfect. What they did was not only design the perfection but the imperfections as well.” Brian noted.

The fact that the waves always travel in the same direction (unlike the original Wavegarden lagoon) means the water must find its way back, just like a rip current in the ocean. One wave every 8 seconds is a lot of water, so how would this work with the backwash and currents created by so many waves?

“Rather than affecting wave quality or causing a safety hazard, the current actually acts like a ski lift. It pushes you out of the impact zone when you fall, and circles you back to the takeoff spot.” Said Brian.

Our trip to the Cove far exceeded our expectations, and as we packed up and left the testing facility, we couldn’t stop talking about the future of surfing. Both as developers and as surfers, we couldn’t contain our excitement. Wether we’re talking about a wave pool or your home break, the fact is there are rarely enough good waves to go around. That constant yearning is something we have all become accustomed to, but when you’ve got 1,000+ perfect waves per hour without any hassles and hazards, surfing truly becomes pure fun. As Brian put it, “This new technology is like a liquid skatepark or ski resort. You get so much ride time it’s UNREAL.”