Firsthand Surf Lakes: Average bro surfs pro’s namesake break

What’s it like catching a few waves with Occy at Surf Lakes? YouTuber and tireless digital curater Chris Stevens strokes into a few waves, films Mr. Occhhilupo and marvels at the sense of “open-ness” of the pool design.

The R&D facility was running the following setup during the visit:

Beach Break – ideal for longboarders and learner surfers
Occys Peak – the signature wave, which offers a long reeling wave with cover ups and whackable walls
The Island – a heavy, draining slab wave
There are also 2 other waves that are currently being tweaked but weren’t accessible during my trip…

So this is the big question – what are the waves like to surf and how’s the in-water experience. The R&D facility was only pumping out 2 wave sets every 10 minutes during the test day, but at commercial capacity Surf Lakes can generate 2,000 rideable waves an hour across all the breaks.

In surfing terms that means 4 waves sets, with about a minute between sets, and surfers will be able to paddle into at least 12 waves an hour.

Surf Lakes is certainly something else. Despite the looming metal structure and Jurassic Park-style noises as the plunger geared up (something that will be contained and muffled in the final product) it still felt natural.

– Chris Stevens

For me, the surf experience at the Yeppoon wave pool was much more on par with the ocean than other wave pools I’ve surfed.

Sure the imposing plunger is very Mad Max-esque, but the way the swell rolls in and how you move around in the lineup is much more familiar. 

The waves themselves have a good punch behind them and are pretty quick (even at the R&D size!) but overall, they’re super fun. The full-size options apparently run for longer and slow down slightly, allowing you to set up for bigger turns and cover-ups, even still, I managed a few cheeky shampoo cover-ups on the left-hander.

The Barrels

When it comes to barrels Surf Lakes boasts the biggest wave potential of all the current options out there. A formidable 2.4m wave height, that’s 8 feet.

Even at 50% size, The Island was a shallow, powerful barrel that you had to backdoor to make the most of it, and even though Occy made it look easy, he still took the occasional beat down whilst I was in the water photographing!

I managed a few cheeky cover-ups on Occy’s Left during my time in the water, but unfortunately, the full barrel potential of Occy’s Peak would need the power to be cranked up a bit.

But as Pumped clearly shows – when it’s working, Surf Lakes will have some of the best barrel opportunities out there!

You can read Chris’ full review of Surf Lakes here. He runs the website StokedForTravel and covers surfing essentials for both saltwater and fresh.