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Wave pool tweaks: Japan crafts three new settings

Wave pool connoisseur Evan Geiselman dishes details on three new wave settings at Surf Stadium Japan: The Drainer, The Wedge Pop and The Highball. In an interview with our friends at Stab, Evan goes into detail about each one, assigning clever names and elaborating about why the PerfectSwell settings appeal to him.

Which one is the ultimate performance wave in a pool? Read on to find out

The Drainer is a long, barrel that runs left or right and offers the potential to get pitted for a full 10 seconds. The takeoff is followed immediately by a hollow section that stays open and rolls along slowly. At the midpoint of the wave the barrel gets a tad smaller and faster, just like waves do in the wild.

“You can literally park it standing up and get barreled the entire wave,” said Evan. “All you have to do is set your line and you’re going to make the wave 9 times out of 10. It’s not like you’re in this tight little barrel, you’re in a legit barrel that you can weave through from start to finish.”

The Wedge Pop is a short air-specialty configuration that allows an easy entry then immediately confronts the surfer with a crumbling cross-section. The perfect air ramp.

“It’s a one pump, throw yourself, body, board as high as you can, and try to do the biggest air of your life,” said Evan. “When you hit it right you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, that was the best air of my life.’”

Evan added that when he ditched miscalculated air attempts he was concerned for his safety.

“You can go so high. Some of the bails were super uncomfortable. I would’ve been 8-feet in the air and getting reps doing that means going to the ocean airs feel kinda small now.” 

The Highball has an air section similar to the Wedge Pop. But this setting doesn’t throw that air section until close to the end of the wave. The result is an easy takeoff followed by a bendy section perfect for wraps, snaps and blow tails. After a couple of these (if you’re surfing at an expert level) up pops a whitewater ramp.

“In my mind, The Highball is the best wave ever made in a pool. You can go super high and do any air in the book. That first section is so bowly and fun, it has so much push, and then to go and have an air section at the end like that is every progressive surfers’ dream. It’s the ultimate performance wave in a pool that you can have.” 

When will you get to try these waves? Not anytime soon. Surf Stadium Japan is still a mystery beyond the country’s borders. Open only to elite athletes and pros during the initial stages, the surf park just recently allowed paying surfers entry after a lengthy COVID shutdown. Requests for information about the Surf Park Japan facility have not been answered. We will share that information with you as soon as we have it.


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