A few days ago, as the Founders Cup went down in Lemoore, American Wave Machines unveiled their brand new wave pool in Texas.
The pool functions more like the Japan and Dubai based pools that dominated the pre KSWC and Wavegarden age, with large air chambers rather than a plough. Jamie O’Brien and Cheyne Magnussen collaborated with the engineers to design the various wave types, setting out to create much more variety than those offered by their rival technologies:
“We are going to get lefts that spit, rights that spit, ramps, and draining sections.” JOB told Stab “We even made a wave that looked just like the wedge. Whatever you can dream of you can build with this. Using the prototype we made waves ranging from points to hollow rampy stuff. I’m so excited to be involved in it.”
A few days ago, during the Founders Cup, the company released a video of a long glassy emerald barrel in what many saw as a thunder-stealing attempt akin to Slaters initial unveiling, which took place directly after a De Souza’s world title. The hype didn’t quite match up though, until the following clip of Seth Moniz sticking a huge backflip at the pool surfaced on instagram earlier today:
Ever since the wave pool arms race began, the world has been waiting for the technology than can provide high quality, consistent air sections and while the Dubai pool came close, its proximity to the world’s major surf zones meant it never really made a dent in the progression of our sport. However, having a wave like this in US could be a real game changer.
“As the pools get better, the surfers are going to get better with it,” John John told us last year on the subject “and it’s pretty amazing when you’re on that wave in the pool and you know that section’s coming every time, and so you can really start to think about it and almost break down every part, over and over, and go back out and try it again and again.”
“Like Kelly’s wave right now is an amazing wave, but it’s not big enough for that stuff yet,” he continued. “You need a bigger wave than that. You watch the guys on the vert ramps in skating and the big half pipes in snowboarding and they’re going fast and they’ve got a lot of airtime and you need that airtime, you need that speed, you need that power.”
Watching the above clip it seems like the new pool offers surfers much more of the kind of speed and air time required to really try new stuff and we can’t wait to see the spins, grabs and flips that are bound to unfold out there in the coming years.
Perhaps, in ten years when all the best aerialists in the world come from Texas, we’ll look back on this as a truly seminal moment in our sport’s history.