Throwback to beginner-friendly concept pool in West Java

In the wave-rich Indonesian archipelago, some inventive persons built a wave pool prototype in Sukabumi City. This 2013 clip shows how beginner-friendly the waves are. Not so beginner-friendly is the concrete wall at the end of the ride.

“This wave pool is incomplete at only half of its intended length,” says the YouTube description. “This video was created to attract Indonesian investors for its completion. Anyone wishing to build anywhere else (other than the US) is welcome to inquire.”

While the prototype would never be confused with Surf Lakes in Yeppoon, the shrieks from riders enjoying their first waves are unmistakable.

The prototype is by Fred Island, a mysterious wavemaker who posted two clips of the design on YouTube. In the second clip, we discover how this wave pool qualifies as a zero-carbon-footprint design, as it’s hand-operated.

“Prototype surf pool, creating waves with human energy,” the post says. “This pool is incomplete and will need support from those wanting to see progress. $70 000 AU was used to get to this stage, another 26k to get to 20-meter long waist-high barrels with gromit surfers in them.”

How did Fred Island do? We don’t know. But an article five years ago in Surf Total credited Australian Fred Coblyn with the design. The article says that Coblyn wanted “to engineer a wave pool that requires some arm strength to work, with not so edgy technology, but just enough to give the kids a chance to feel how it’s like to slide on top of a board.”

And it looks like he’s achieved that.