Kelly Slater, Mike Schwab, 10 Years discussed on Morning Edition
In both the science and technology of wave making. Wave here is generated by powerful fans housed in a concrete wall that runs along one side of the surf pool. Mike Schwab is the resorts general manager. He says those fans compressed air inside a series of chambers in the wall. There's a proprietary way that that air gets released displaces water. And that specific displacement paired with the way that the concrete bottom is designed is what creates a breaking wave. The system was designed by American Wave machines in Solana Beach, California. It's one of several companies that uses air pressure to generate surfing waves. Other companies use paddles, plungers pistons or a hydrofoil dragged through the water. Schwab says in Waco, a computer algorithm controls the size, shape and direction of each wave. You can have a beginner wave. That's fun on a long boarder, a phone board. You can have an expert wave. You can have a wave specifically to get barreled. You can have a wave to try and work on your heirs and things like that. Artificial waves have been around for decades. For example, Disney World opened its Typhoon Lagoon in 1989. But the waves in these pools tended to be slow and mushy. They were designed for tourists, not surfers. Then in 2015 11 time, World Surf League champion Kelly Slater unveiled a different kind of wave. It breaks in an abandoned water ski park in central California. A massive hydro foil is propelled through the water to generate the sort of fast barreling waves that surfers dreams are made of. Later had spent 10 years on the project and a promotional video captured his reaction to the finished.