Webber Wave Pools Update: US licenses and smart hulls

It started with an artist’s rendering of an arena wave pool featuring a perfect right and a mesmerised stadium audience. Next came an animated party scene celebrating a fat left. And just like that, Greg Webber stoked the fires of the world’s collective wave pool imagination.

For years Webber was synonymous with wave pools, predating Kelly’s, Surf Lakes and Wavegarden’s Cove design. We see bits and bobs of the Webber dream. Most recently Tunnel Visions planned to use the design for a development near Brisbane. We haven’t heard much else. But remember, wave pool developers are notoriously stingy with details unless it times their marketing push.

Without a full or even half-scale prototype, Webber Wave Pools’ visibility has slipped from the surfing world’s collective consciousness. Greg’s Instagram feed is all about surfboard design these days with nary a wave pool mention. So just what is going on with Webber Wave Pools?

Cross section of Webber Wave Pool design as applied to Ocean Sports Development project

USA Company Holds License

Ocean Sports Development, a Florida-based company, announced late last year they hold the exclusive USA license to Webber Wave Pool tech.

“Simplicity of design means we can make surfing pools in multiple sizes and shape configurations, including round, half-moon, straight, looped linear, and rectangular,” the company said, alluding to an expansion of wave pools across America.

More interesting is that OSD acquired rights to this wave pool technology to create the National Surfing League. The company anticipates that real estate developments, franchising and sports television programming will create a profitable institution.

“Our stadium resort locations make the proliferation of surfing possible by enabling municipalities, non-profits, high schools, NCAA, and the Olympics with the exact same training equipment which is economically feasible.”

Webber’s independent hull system offers a variety of wave control options

Current Webber Technology

In talking points years ago Webber said his tech can create 500 waves per hour. Estimates lately by Webber and company state the new number at 2500 waves per hour.

To make a wave pool successful commercially wave count is key. We’ve seen this with Wavegarden replacing the one-wave-every-90 seconds Lagoon model (Snowdonia and the former NLand setup) to the new one-wave-every-10-seconds Cove model.

“You need a high wave rate,” said Webber. “You need to make waves that surfers want, and you need to be able to change those waves from year to year, day to day, wave to wave or even during the ride. Only with the Kelvin wake and our highly responsive hull drive system is all of that possible.”

His responsive hull design departs from the traditional locomotive-driven foil of Kelly’s Wave. Webber’s design employs something called “roller bogies.”

“Each roller bogie can work in unison or independently by track zone,” added Ocean Sports Development. “Unlike inferior systems, the Webber system generates waves traveling in either direction in each zone of the pool. Hydraulic “Tilt, Trim, and Yaw” change the attack angles of the foil to provide any number of wave heights, wave speeds and tube shapes.”

Motors drive the wheeled carriages along a looped steel rail track kitted out with nitrogen-filled tires (to eliminate noise). So think of it as several smaller, rotating and adjustable wave foils working in unison across a large pool.

“Software controls the speed, the draft, and the angle of each hull,” added OSD. “Control software can be programmed to produce small changes in these three elements, resulting in immediate changes to the wave size and shape.”

As of this writing, no specific US locations are named as sites for Webber’s tech. We’ve reached out to both Greg Webber and Ocean Sports Development for more details. Stay tuned.

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