As early as next year, surfers may be able to grab a board and enjoy almost perfect waves any day of the week in two new locations proposed for Coral Springs and Fort Pierce.
Last night the second of two new Florida wave pools was proposed to the City of Coral Springs where the idea that “perfect waves could produce an Olympic athlete,” helped sway the City Commission to sign off on a proposal for what would become Broward’s first surf park using Webber Wave Pool technology.
Proposed Sketch of the Surf Park in Coral Springs (Credit: City of Coral Springs)
Just last week, the town of Fort Pierce set into motions the plans for a $600 million dollar development called "Willow Lakes" that would include 800 homes, 600 hotel rooms, 125,000 square feet of office space, 400,000 square feet of retail space and the massive surf park using the Wave Garden technology.
For both projects, the decision launch the first stages of the projects as they the negotiates over the details to turn their plans (and our dreams) into realty.
Surf in Coral Springs
The Coral Springs park developer, Margate-based Ocean Sports Development, Inc. pitched an idea for the surf pool where the waves (at least 240 waves an hour that stop and start on demand) could be custom designed. The system presented would allow staff the ability to change the waves as they move. The ability to shape the waves allows OSD to accentuate the experience of each surfer and accelerate their learning. The highly responsive hull drive system will allow a high wave rate with waves that surfers want on any level.
According to Webber's website, this is what we can look forward to in Coral Springs:
The waves are created at the same angle as a perfect point break, but can still be varied to be more angled or less angled. The waves do not need to bend in order to align with the gradient like some other wave pool designs. Only our waves have a trough, this is where the power is, and this is how you make top to bottom tubes.
"500 waves per hour in the waist high to overhead range in the main channels. 250 waves per hour in the knee high to waist high range in each of the learner ends. Potential of 8 riders per unbroken learner wave. 500 waves per hour in the open zones provide knee high to waist high waves which allow for learner paddling and surfing as part of entry fee."
Wave shape and size can be altered from day to day, wave to wave and actually during the ride. This degree of customization allows for all levels of surfing to take place in the same pool at the same time. Pro surfers and surf brands can design their own signature waves which can then be promoted and made available for all levels of surfers. Only the Webber Wave Pools independent hull drive system, and the inherent physical characteristics of the kelvin wake allow for anything like this degree of control over wave shape. If you can change the waves all the time, then surfers will never get bored.
We had the chance to speak with Anthony Brown, chairman of the OSD team. He explained that ultimately the project hopes to develop into a resource to launch a nationwide collegiate surf movement, impacting youth from elementary to college. OSD has also developed training tools that measure every aspect of a surfers performance, allowing young surfers to learn and develop into top-notch athletes. In addition, the Coral Springs project will take into account sustainability in how the wave the technology operates and impacts the area. Energy will be self-generated with the possibility of even supplying some of that energy back to FPL.
Goal to Build in 2021
OSD's goal is to have this new park up and running by 2021. With this first approval, they hope to work out the the land deal with the City this month and to submit building plans by the end of the year.
The future of surfing in South Florida is looking bright. We'd love to hear your thoughts about these two new park proposals. Leave a comment below.