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What is Swellspot tech and will it pump in Richmond Virgina?

While the number of wave pool plans expand across the globe, the number of companies making waves remains steady with the lion’s share of licenses have been inked with KSWCo, Surf Lakes, American Wave Macines and Wavegarden. But that could all change. Swellspot is a wave pool company based out of the US who is working on lighting up Richmond Virginia with its first surf spot.

“We’ve taken 30+ years of wave engineering and combined it within a complete surf system,” the company said in a statement. “SwellSpot has designed all pieces to the surf puzzle from generating waves, to harnessing the power in a closed surf system. SwellSpot is actively working towards building our first surf park in Central Virginia.”

While news reports of the Richmond Virginia pool are spotty, the Cove development pushed by Pharrell Williams at Virginia Beach is well publicised and on track.

So who will a Swellspot wave pool serve? According to their website the surf lake is designed to cater to a wide variety of users.

“In terms of skill, we expect expert surfers to be able to use the park for training, recreation and competition and complete beginners to be able to use the park (with an instructor and smaller waves) as a safe entry point into the sport.”

Their design provides an “in-theater” experience while delivering up to 300 swells per hour. The company said waves are computer controlled through sophisticated software with size, shape, frequency and direction all adjusted at the push of a button.

“Waves are produced by a mechanical modular system that uses hydraulic motor power to mimic the velocity profile and circular particle motion of ocean surf. You may have 10 similar waves, but each with some variation. Waves can be as frequent as one every 12 seconds. Wave reefs vary from 3 feet to 6 feet in height. Multiple breaks are created on the same wave in (through reefs and bathymetry) in order to increase the number of surfers in the surf lake at any one time.”

Swell spot says that at full capacity, surfers can expect to wait at most five minutes between rides.

“Guest time in the main surf lake will be divided into 1-hour sessions. Individual wave ride time is 20 seconds and surfers will get approximately 10 – 12 waves to themselves in each session.”

If you have the cash and the land (minimum 6 acres), you could be surfing your own pool by summer 2020.

“The total capital expenditure, prior to opening, is $1.8 million for the main surf lake and an additional $1.25 million for supporting infrastructure. Operating costs are US $600,000 per annum. The park will take an estimated (6) months to construct from the day of breaking ground.”

We’ve reached out to Swellspot and will return with a full interview in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


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