‘Revolutionary’ wave pool coming to Coast
A REVOLUTIONARY man made 'surf park' featuring up to five waves at one time will open on the Gold Coast in what industry experts say is a major coup for the city.
Gold Coast based company Surf Lakes has announced its first commercial '5 Waves' wave pool will be built on the Gold Coast and is expected to be fully operational by the second half of 2020.
The park will be one of the first in Australia to open to the public and has the city's top surfers salivating over the prospect of a permanently perfect wave.Former world surfing champion Mark Occhilupo, who worked as the surf industry adviser for the project, said bringing a wave pool to the Coast would be 'massive' for local surfers.
"When I first started working with Surf Lakes I told them there had to be one on the Gold Coast," the Coolangatta local said.
"They thought we had enough waves. But we've got so many surfers and at times we get no surf, especially around September, October and November when there are bad winds and little swell.
"Even at the moment after the big swell has ruined all the banks. In those kind of situations we'd be coming to Surf Lakes."
Surf Lakes is estimated to cost anywhere between $20 - $40 million to build depending on surrounding infrastructure with the company hoping to see anywhere between 250,000 to 1 million visitors to the park each year.
Occhilupo said the Surf Lakes design will be unique to other wave pool designs, instead relying on a 'central machine' - similar to a giant plunger - pumping out five waves of various size, length and difficulty each time.
"We want it to be very productive for surfers of all skill levels," Occhilupo said.
"There are five waves from beginner to expert level so essentially you can learn to surf and become an expert in the one place.
"There are also six to eight wave sets, so there can be 30 people in the lake all surfing at the same time. It can turnover so many people like a theme park."
Surf Lakes Chief Executive Officer Mal Borgeaud remained tight-lipped on where exactly the surf park will be built as negotiations are yet to be completed.
"It makes sense, with the Gold Coast being our home town, that we construct a commercial facility here. We know the facility will bring tremendous benefits to the community, not just by providing waves and surf-oriented fun … it will be a boost for employment, tourism and the local economy," Mr Borgeaud said.
"Our aim is to make this site a genuine show piece not only for our technology but for the Gold Coast as well."
Gold Coast Tourism chairman Paul Donovan has welcomed the proposal and said the Surf Lakes will do "exceptionally well" in the city.
"Any added infrastructure on the Gold Coast will help get people to stay longer and spend more money in the city," Mr Donovan said.
"We're called Surfers Paradise in the centre of the Gold Coast for one reason. We have five world champions here and in my view it will do exceptionally well."
The Surf Lakes '5 Waves' park will be built and operated in a specifically designed lake and will produce up to 2400 surfing waves each hour.
Construction is set to begin late 2019 and will open in the second half of 2020.