While a summer flat spell has kept most surfers in Spain and Southwest France out of the water, Basque surfer Aritz Aranburu was fortunate enough to unleash some of his powerful trademark hacks in between countless barrels at Wavegarden’s demo center in the Basque mountainside.
Just last week reporters from El País – one of Spain’s most prominent newspapers – visited Wavegarden HQ’s on a content gathering mission for a video they are making about Wavegarden. Their crew of photographers & cameramen were keen to see how the local hero would perform on the waves at his local surfspot… and they weren’t disappointed. “I just love riding the barrel and it’s great to get so many in one session”, said Aritz.
A test pilot since 2009, Aritz has witnessed the full evolution of the company. “I still get surprised every time I surf here. The team at Wavegarden really listen to the feedback provided by the surfers and we can see the results; the technology just keeps getting better.”
So here it is, the wave we heard about and have been harassing the lovely Spaniards to have go on since word got out they had cracked ‘The Cove’ – a barreling man made WaveGarden capable of delivering 1,000 barreling waves per hour.
At this point we are still not sure if that is 1,000 waves of this quality, or even if they could crank up the size a little, but it looks pretty sweet!
1,000 waves an hour is a lot, and that is the crucial part of the deal. Because at the moment, as far as we are aware, the most oft overlooked point from a punters point of view but most crucial aspect of any man made wave is how quickly they can subdue the wash created by the sled and set the wave back up for another rider. More rides equal happy customers and a better commercial model. Why? Because although you would pay £100 for a wave like Slaters right now, you wouldn’t want to pay £100 bucks for one wave an hour forever, right?
Currently due to the enormous amount of wash (check out the background in the videos) we estimate Slaters wave – which pretty much looks like the same tech as the Wavegarden with different bathymetry – can only produce one quality wave at period of around 14 minutes. Of course things may have changed since the last video, and as we aren’t on the guest list we have to guesstimate – Kelly?!! Anyway that is about four waves an hour, and the reason why you don’t see long videos featuring lots of pros rip slash tearing between tee offs.
The Wavegarden, as is, produces a softer wave (due to the sled and bathymetry) once every minute. It is a fun (as those who have ridden it will testify) ride, that doesn’t keep you waiting too long, but more importantly is commercial. As far as surfers and accountants are concerned this works. Sure it isn’t mini Snapper, but no one claimed it was. Just FYI A perfect, glassy WG wave at Snowdonia takes a period of three minutes in between waves to set up due to wash at the moment.
So the Holy Grail, or silvery cup of non specific religious origin, is a perfect wave with no wash. Rumours are that this is what ‘The Cove’ delivers. And if it does, it’s coming to a facility near you soon!
As soon as we get our tickets, we will let you know!
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