New Zealand company launches inflatable rapid wave

Gleefully ricocheting off the battlements of inflatable, bouncy rubber castles is a right of passage when you’re young. And when you’re a little older and likely too tall for the rubber Barrons of fun to allow you entry, surfing steps in. But why not combine both? 

YourWave, set to launch later this year, is an inflatable, durable, and expandable standing/rapid/stationary wave from the brain of New Zealand’s Ross McCarthy, founder of the company.

“The waveform is based around the physics of a standing wave . . using patented chambered air-filled waveforms and inflatable surroundings making it very safe to surf and even safer to wipe-out on,” said Ross.

The inflatables are made mostly of PVC “and some other technology”, he continues, saying that they want to keep that information secret for the time being.

With several standing wave technologies already on the market YourWave stands out by changing wave shapes by simply adding or removing air from the inflatables.

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Testing the YourWave system deep in New Zealand’s South Island

“The wave shape and height can be quickly and easily adjusted, and can change left to right without moving forms – it can happen in under a minute,” added Ross.

According to Ross, having the ability to change the face shape, height, barreling to non-barreling, left to right makes YourWave “The World’s most versatile standing wave.”

The lack of infrastructure required to set up YourWave also piqued our interest. Physically it simply comes down to rolling it out, pumping it up, and then accessing water and electricity. For their current wave, around 1000 cubic meters of water are stored under the waveform to feed the pumps.

A two-meter barreling wave is the target-sized wave for YourWave’s R&D facility in Hawea, New Zealand. Their current setup sees a wave nine meters across, but the system is modular and can be added to.

“We can build a wave to whatever the customer requires; there’s no real limit other than space and money,” said Ross.

A better look at the rapid wave pool setup shows some of the technology that’s typically under the water

The system also allows for wakeboarding, water skiing, and kayaking. And importantly, surfers can use fins due to the deep water.

And who may be in the market for an inflatable standing wave? According to Ross, there are three likely options; waterparks looking for a new attraction, Olympic surf training facilities (due to YourWave’s ability to customize waves), and established wave parks and pools that may want an additional facility. 

The companyey hopes to have their R&D facility near Wanaka, on NZ’s South Island, open for business by Easter 2023. Sessions will likely be NZ$99 (US$61) per adult for an hour, with the option to privately reserve the wave for an hour.

“We’ve chosen just to have one rider on this machine as we want to focus on a high-fidelity surfing experience. Other machines can be split up as you like,” said Ross. The machine can be made wider by adding in more pumps or made narrower by having fewer pumps.

As for wave types, YourWave is planning to have special sessions, which will consist of a good beginner and intermediate wave, and then a “Pumping wave” session, a bigger, faster wave with the potential for barrels.