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Podcast: Digging deep into New York’s new wave pool

Brett Portera talks about the Long Island Surf Park

Brett grew up surfing in Long Island, New York and I caught up with him online to talk about the project he has been working on for over four and a half years.

Apologies for the audio quality, (it’s tough when you’re doing these things over the web), however, you can hear him pretty clearly. Let us know on our Instagram if you have any questions about the park and we’ll ask him on to answer them.

Hang on for the end of the podcast where I discuss the “state of the industry” – 5 parks open, 1 imminent and 7 under construction plus another 30 or so in the planning process. — Nick Robinson

Interview outline

Establishing personal context:

  1. Are you from Long Island? I only really know it from the Great Gatsby, Storm Shirley and Montauk which was mentioned in Barbarian Days. What was it like growing up there?
  2. Have you taken any good surf trips?
  3. Surfing in Long Island and Montauk.
  4. Take us back to the very first time you paddled a surfboard. Could you paint us a picture of the scene?

Long Island Surf park

  1. Wave pools have been around for ages. What sparked your interest in them? Let’s dig deep into that moment… 
  2. We talk about the Ron Jon wave pool near Disney in Orlando and general development problems with surf parks.
  3. Naturally, wave tech currently plays a huge role in any surf park. Looking at the WSL, American Wave Machines, Wave Garden and Surf Lakes are there any other wave technology competitors you are aware of?
  4. We talk about protecting the pool from the wind, the only environmental variable in play.
  5. The pool is 52,500 square feet in area and the reason Long Island surf park won’t be using Wavegarden technology.
  6. How on earth did you start with the project? What key items did you think were vital to deal with in the early stages?
  7. As Steve Jobs once said: “Great things are never done by one person, they’re done by a team”. Who’s on your team?
  8. Can you give us a spoken tour of the park? Take me through the gates as you envision it.
  9. What would you love to include in the park but can’t? Why?
  10. Us surfers are highly focused on environmental issues.  How are you going to deal with the large energy requirements and the sustainability question?
  11. Will you use seawater in the pool. It sounds like you’re pretty well located next to the ocean. 
  12. Talking about the location, how did you find it?

The Future of Surfing 

  1. There is now a reality of going down to the New Jersey mall for a surf. What do you think that does to surf culture?

You can find more information on the Long Island Surf Park on the Long Island Surf Park website.


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