Watch: Dylan Graves Surfs The New Palm Springs Wavepool On Hyper Mode

by stab March 17, 2020 2 min read

Dylan Graves saved his best Weird Waves Season 2 episode for last. 

The wavepool edition is as entertaining as it is educational, as the Puerto Rican novelty-hunter goes from Malaysia’s Sunway Lagoon (first built in 1997) to Waco’s modern ramp (2018) and finishes his journey at the Palm Springs Surf Club, where alongside founder and fake-wave visionary Cheyne Magnusson, shares perhaps the heaviest waves we’ve seen in a pool to date. 

To quote Dylan: “Hold on, I just pulled back in a pool!”

Along his journey, Dylan learns all about the different types of wavepools from the godfather of surf-specific hydrodynamics, Tom Lochtefeld. According to Tom, there’s the: 

Plow system: pushes water down a specific path with a plow, like Slater’s pool or the first-gen Wavegarden tech

Paddle system: pushes water in a specific direction with a paddle, like the new Wavgarden tech (The Cove, as seen in Melbourne and Bristol).

Plunger system: pushes water in all directions with a plunger, like Surf Lakes in Yeppoon.

Pneumatic System: pushes water in a specific direction using air, like American Wave Machines’ Perfect Wave tech (Waco) and Surf Lochs (Palm Springs Surf Club)

One of the things that we found most interesting in this film is the current quality of the Malaysian pool, which you probably remember from Taj Burrow’s 2005 motion picture, Fair Bits. In the film, Taj, Parko, and a few others use jetskis to propel one another off meager-but-fun-looking waves. It’s a functional wavepool, to be sure, but nothing in comparison to today’s modern tech. 

Nowadays, however, the Sunway Lagoon is producing more substantial and desirably-shaped waves, particularly a big wedge into an air ramp. 

The biggest takeaway is this: wavepools are incredibly fun (if currently cost-prohibitve) and should be seen as a wonderful addition to surfing’s broader zeitgeist, while taking nothing away from the pure, ocean-based form of the act.

Dive in!

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