Surf Lakes to build and run Gold Coast 5 Waves facility

Founder Aaron Trevis explains why you won’t find meat pies at their new 5 Waves facility

This week Surf Lakes announced they will take on both the construction and running of their upcoming 5 Waves facility at an undisclosed Gold Coast location.

“Rather than licensing off to a third party, our plan is to build, own and operate a fully commercial facility that will be open to the public within the next few years,” the company said in a statement.

Up to this point no other wave pools, except for first generation wave pool, Big Surf in Arizona did both the creation of the technology and the running of the facility. Even imagineering supernauts Disney left the technical side of Typhoon Lagoon to Scottish company Murphy’s Waves.

empty wave at 5 waves wave pool

Wavegarden makes wave pools. They don’t own and operate them. Wavegarden designs and sells them to places like URBNSURF and Snowdonia. Conversely, BSR Cable Park didn’t engineer their Waco masterpiece, they left that to the pocket protector set at American Wave Machines.

But Surf Lakes is up to big things. They’ve announced several new hires including new CEO Mal Borgeaud, Project Manager Keith Pottier and Project Delivery Manager Tom Lawson.

In keeping in step with wave pool makers around the world, Surf Lakes were super vague on specifics. We asked to talk to Aaron Trevis, Founder of Surf Lakes, to get more information. He’s a good bloke and agreed to talk. Here is what we found out.

Surf Lakes wave pool

In the last press release from Surf Lakes you mentioned that rather than licensing Surf Lakes 5 Waves tech off to an operating party, you will build, own and operate your own commercial facility. Why? There are companies like Surf Park Management that will do this for you. Aren’t you busy enough already?

This approach is only being applied to the Gold Coast at this stage. Our main priority is still to license the technology to developers and the project list is growing. We also plan to operate further sites under a management contract but do not intend to own multiple sites.

What will the overall Gold Coast facility’s vibe be? – Water Park, CrossFit center, ski lodge, hipster cafe?
This is still under review actually as there are so many options that can apply. It will become clear in the coming months.

At the NLand wave pool, they offer Tex Mex and microbrew, both very much staples in Austin cuisine. Will you have a Gold Coast-centric cafeteria – 47 types of meat pies and VB?
It’s really important that we maintain our core values right through to end user experience. With this in mind, we will be strict on partnering with other brands as we wish to ensure we don’t just become a shallow “theme park” without actually leaving people with a feeling that the surfing lifestyle is something more meaningful. We know we can’t replicate the ocean, but our intention is to keep the experience as close to the real thing as we can get while maintaining a “surfers only” soulful appreciation for the ocean and all its gifts.

Can you give us any clues as to price structure? Will season passes be available?
The base model is the hourly rate, but season passes will be introduced in a staged manner. This approach may then grow further as we refine the operation and optimize the pricing and offering. The reality for each site Is that the model can be tweaked to match the local market and adapted to seasons as well.

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