Tom Lochtefeld, inventor of the FlowRider® and FlowBarrel® sheet waves, Wave House® beach lifestyle venues, and now the SurfLoch SurfPool®, brings 30 years’ experience to bear weighing in on this question with Dr. Jess Ponting. Dr. Ponting is a professor at San Diego State University, and the Director of the Center For Surf Research, with a Ph.D. focusing on sustainable surf tourism management.
Lochtefeld, who designed, developed and operated waterparks and venues (Raging Waters and Wave Houses), forever changed the world of boardsports by creating the sport of Flowboarding which takes place on his FlowRider® and FlowBarrel® sheet waves. He has been doing R&D on water-based attractions for over 30 years (successfully with over 100 patents and trademarks, and 200+ installations), and is himself a life-long dedicated surfer.
The Right Waves in the Right Park
Wave pools have in face been around for a very long time. But SURFABLE wave pools have been few and far between in the world of water-based attractions, for a variety of reasons. However we are on the cusp of change, as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee has recommended surfing for inclusion as a new sport in the Olympics.
There are now two main questions facing professionals, experienced surfers, groms, wannabees, park developers, and even Olympic Committees: (1) What makes a good surfing wave; and (2) what makes a good surf park? (and better yet – what makes a MEANINGFUL surf park that is economically viable?).
Tom Lochtefeld’s interview with Dr. Ponting addresses the latter.