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Quick guide to Urbnsurf settings for your post-COVID session

Urbnsurf has opened back up after serpentining through COVID during another long, cold, lonely winter. But now Australia is opening up to the public – the sun’s out, days are getting longer and the flight traffic at Melbourne International is stacking up. This means the Lucky Country’s favorite public wave pool at the moment (OK, the only one) is firing waves from dawn into the late hours of the evening.

Before you commit to a trip to Melbourne, prepare yourself. We have great insight from Surf Better Now on your first session post-COVID here. And right here right now we have Stoked for Travel’s Chris Stevens breaking down the different settings at Urbnsurf: Cruiser, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced Turns and Expert.

The toughest thing about surfing a wave pool can be deciding on which session setting you want. So here’s some information to get you running and up to speed.

Cruiser Session

Cruiser sessions from URBNSURF on Vimeo.

Wave Face Height = 1m
Wave Length = 12-16 seconds
Price = $69-$79

The Cruiser Session is perfect for those who have gained their confidence in the white water, can pop to their feet quickly and consistently and are looking at taking their first steps into riding unbroken waves. Waves are about knee to waist high and are pretty mellow and forgiving – much like a chilled day at spots like The Pass in Byron Bay or the points at Noosa.

If this is your first attempt at surfing on unbroken waves, or even your first wave pool experience they also offer Cruiser Lessons, so you’ll have guidance from an instructor to help you make the most of it.

Intermediate Session

Intermediate sessions from URBNSURF on Vimeo.

Wave Height = 1.5m
Wave Length = 12-16 seconds
Price = $69-$79

The take-off on Intermediate is a big step up from Cruiser and with wave heights around the waist to shoulder height the URBNSURF intermediate sessions are going to be the go-to for the vast majority.

It’s a good size wave with plenty of power so for those looking at pushing their turns this is a solid choice, as well as getting yourself comfortable with a faster takeoff. If you’re worried about the transition, want some more guidance or simply haven’t surfed a wave pool before you can also opt for an Intermediate Lesson to get your confidence up.

Advanced Session

Advanced turns sessions from URBNSURF on Vimeo.

Wave Height = 1.2m-2m
Wave Length = 12-16 seconds
Price = $79-$89

This is where things start getting a lot more solid. The Advanced Session starts off with a fast, whackable, head high way which is ideal for those looking to practice their skills in bigger waves.

The second part of the session then changes over into the famed barrel mode, where a nice easy roll-in quickly becomes a sucky, hollow barrel section. Just as a word of warning – it really isn’t as easy as it looks and the lip packs some serious punch, so make sure you cover your head and get prepared to take a beating!

Advanced Turns Session

Wave Height = 1.2m-2m
Wave Length = 12-16 seconds
Price = $79-$89

Unlike the Advanced Session the Advanced Turns Session doesn’t offer barrels – instead, the second part of the session offers up a big, long, perfect wall which is ideal for big cutbacks and roundhouse turns. If you’re looking to practice your face work on the biggest wavepool option available this one if for you.

Expert Session

Expert sessions from URBNSURF on Vimeo.

Wave Height = 1.2m-2m
Wave Length = 12-16 seconds
Price = $129

Got your confidence up in the Advanced Session and want even more barrels?
Well the Expert Session (aka Beast Mode) skips out the turns and offers heavy, hollow barrels from start to finish. Again – this isn’t as easy as it looks, so I wouldn’t be booking one of these sessions unless you’re already a super-competent tube rider or have done a few Advanced Sessions first!

urbnsurf paddling out

My Top Tips

When it comes to your wave choice at URBNSURF wave pool, the best advice I can give is to not just book a single session. If you’re making the trip there you’ll want at least 2 sessions across the day – spaced out for some recovery of course!

With this in mind, I’d book a skill level lower than you think you need for the first session. Not only will this ease you into your wave pool experience, but more importantly it’s going to help you figure out the takeoff, which is the most difficult part of surfing there!

Trust me, you’ll stack it or miss waves at least a couple of times on your first session as you get in the groove of positioning and reading the take-off. This will take the pressure off and allow you to really settle in, feel out the wave and of course how the whole lineup works. Then for your second session go for the main event go for your wave of choice – paddling out knowing you have the takeoff dialed will allow you to make the most of it.

I’m a pretty confident surfer, but for my next trip I’ll be going for 2 x intermediate sessions, followed by an Advanced or Expert mode. The URBNSURF Intermediate waves will be my training sessions, where I’ll go in with a specific goal in mind and make the most of the perfect, repetitive nature of the wave pool experience. The Advanced or Expert Session is simply to get the barrel shot and challenge myself!


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