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Tour the world’s wave pools from space

Surf exploration used to be full of mystery. The first generation of adventurers poured over nautical logs and maps then hit the coastal deserts and jungles of the world. It was analog adventuring at its finest. It was also random. Surfers hoping to discover a new Jeffreys Bay were just as likely to sit out a flat spell on a mosquito-infested beach.

But even for this current generation of armchair explorers parked in a Starbucks booth pouring over data, the randomness of searching still comes through.

The satellite images used by Google can either be days old or years old. Sometimes their timing is just right. The image of Lemoore just happened to catch a peeling left at the Surf Ranch midway down the pool. You can almost make out Raimana Van Bastolaer on the jet ski.

wavegarden spain
The Wavegarden R&D facility in the Basque Country of Spain is clearly visible with Google Earth, as are a host of other wave pools in various states of completion.

In other images, the Google hand of fate isn’t so kind. The Yeppoon satellite shows beautiful empty, open Australian bush with only the towering mono rock identifiable in the background. No Surf Lakes facility with a giant plunger. No Occy sitting on the beach. Likewise, the famed peaks of BSR Surf Resort show up as a big patch of dirt.

In the spirit of the explorers of old, we put together a quick clip, a global tour of the world’s wave pools. By no means complete, it is a fun romp through some primary destinations including chlorinated gems like Wadi Adventure in Dubai and upcoming locations in Palm Springs and Oceanside.


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