Belgian wave pool makes international debut

Belgian wavemakers AllWaves introduced its innovative system this month through a demonstration featuring international surfers. The patented technology enables surfing on an artificial lake, offering surfing to a variety of abilities. AllWaves announced that the system is now available for purchase by surf park developers globally.

“The rising popularity of surfing, particularly during the global pandemic and its inclusion in the Olympics, has led to overcrowded surf spots during optimal conditions,” said AllWaves in a statement. “AllWaves aims to address this issue by providing a controlled and predictable environment for surfers of all skill levels. The technology allows for customization of wave size and type, utilizing underwater pillow technology for safety, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.”

AllWaves is known for their “pillow technology, an underwater fabric that moves up and down as well as laterally to produce waves.

AllWaves technology Belgium wave pool

Steven Nauwelaerts, the founder and CEO of AllWaves, expressed excitement about the market’s positive reception to the technology, emphasizing its energy-efficient design born from his background in renewable wave energy.

The company said they envision expanding access to surfing by offering perfect waves in convenient locations, catering to recreational surf parks, water parks, professional training facilities, and mixed-use real estate developments.

While the specific location of AllWaves’ first commercial wavepool remains undisclosed, Nauwelaerts hinted at potential international sites and confirmed at least one project in Belgium. The company is currently showcasing its wavepool technology at its R&D site in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, allowing interested surf park developers to experience the system firsthand.


AllWaves uses an underwater textile system powered by exterior hydraulics. They call this machine the “wavemaker.” When the wavemaker pushes out waves they break along a reef on each side of the pool. This creates right and left point break waves down the length of the pool. A second reef is situated at the front of the main pool. It’s an A-frame reef and offers another two surf rides, this time along the width of the pool. This means that on every single wave generated, four surfers can enjoy a ride: two on the point (right and left, lengthways) and two on the A frame reef (right and left, widthways).

The heart of the technology is a high-tech textile pillow submerged in the centre of the pool. It is a soft structure without grids, nets, ropes, or other components – the membrane can be best compared to a bouncy castle but filled with water. Each section of the membrane can be adjusted to pull or push water. It’s these actions that create swell at the water’s surface. The hydraulic power system is in a dedicated room outside of the pool and can be maintained just like an ordinary hydraulic installation. AllWaves says that there are just a few parts under the membrane used to manipulate the textile.

The makers claim the system can vary not only waves but also the parts of the wave. For each setting, the face, pocket, lip, and the white water can be programmed by the company’s software’s algorithm. Wave production is constant with no lulls and a wave produced each seven seconds, so 500 waves per hour. Each wave can accomodate four surfers – two on the point and two on the reef each going left and right. AllWaves says this translates to 2000 rides per hour.