The practice of sea surfing is limited geographically and also uncertain because of two other conditions which are the wind and the tide. Moreover, the practice of river surfing, quite exceptionnal and only known by a few, also depends on hydrological conditions that can rapidly change.
To find an aswer to these constraints several products have been developped and have met partially with the expectations of the surfers.
They are created by the movement of a mass of water along a swimming pool. Whatever the system creating the wave (moving a gate, water injection, air injection bottom movements) the lasting time of the wave depends on the length of the swimming pool.
Advantages: Safety (fall into the water) and smooth wave (the same sensation as sea surfing).
Disadvantages: Big structure; storage basin and the force of inertia when the pumps stop.
Until now the creation of static waves has been based on the following principle: Firstly, a concrete slope is built and covered with foam rubber and a liner. Then, a thin layer of water is projected on the liner by an injection device with pumps.
Advantages: A small structure which is immediately off-water when the injection device is stopped and a low water discharge for simple waves.
Disadvantages: This wave is static and not upgradeable and can only be used for surfing. Moreover, a high water discharge is necessary for the wave having a tube form and there’s a real risk for injuries when falling down in spite of the foam rubber undercoat.
Based on its experience regarding torrential and hydraulic engineering Hydrostadium started a new research phase for the creation of an artificial surf wave having the same characteristics as river waves but reproducing the same gliding sensations as sea waves.
The re-modelling of a river or an artificial course makes it possible to create the same type of surfwaves as river waves that is to say static ones.
Safety (fall into deep water), the wave is upgradeable, the structure is immediately off-water when the pumps are stopped.
In order to reinforce its principle axis of research, Hydrostadium worked together with Dreamwave, a German company created by Ulrich Hautzel (surfer and businessman) and Markus Aufleger (professor in hydraulics).
The results are very promising and patents have been taken out.
Two types of waves can be created: the tube and the smooth wave. The necessary length can be adapted to the needs of the users. The requested surface of land for the construction of such a wave is approximately 800 m2 (plus the landscaping around the basin).
The principle developped by Dreamwave and Hydrostadium consists in offering the client a catalogue with several types of surf waves. Dreamwave will look after the marketing and Hydrostadium will do the follow-up the construction. Standardization of the product should make the marketing easier and thus also the return on investment.