URBNSURF is set to commence work on its Sydney wave pool in Spring this year.
While Homebush is typically a location Sydney residents visit to watch rugby matches and rock concerts it will soon be somewhere to get tubed. Yes, while it has long been the Sydney suburbanites who have had to make the trek east to the beach, it will now be the surfers who are heading west to get their fix.
URBNSURF surf has announced that it has completed its capital raising and will begin construction on its Sydney ‘lagoon’ in spring of this year. They are setting Autumn 2023 as a projected completion date, but Homebush is likely to barrel earlier if there are fewer COVID-related interruptions.
The Sydney pool will feature the same Wavegarden® Cove technology and range of wave types as the Melbourne URBNSURF facility, which has already proven to be wildly popular with surfers of all levels.
The biggest advantage for URBNSURF in the wave pool space race currently going down in Australia is its proven track record. The Melb/Syd model can churn out 600 waves a day that can all be ridden by Joe public at an accessible price. (sessions range between $80 and $130 depending on the setting). Meanwhile, Surf Lakes are still endeavouring to secure approval to open their Yeppoon pool aka ‘The Thunderdome Plunger’ to the public. Originally designed as a demonstration pool, the crew at Surf Lakes have suggested that it may be accessible by 2022 if they can jump through the necessary bureaucratic hoops, and raise funds to transform the surrounding area. Similarly, the team behind the Wiseman’s Ferry Surf Lodge has indicated their intention to be open by 2022, but it seems they are still in the process of raising capital for the project. The more elitist/country-club style Surf Lodge works on a hefty annual membership model, as opposed to a theme park approach where punters can roll through the gates.
Meanwhile, with its Melbourne pool, URBNSURF has demonstrated that it can get you barrelled and guarantee you and a bunch of friends a good day out.
Well aware that wave pool technology is developing rapidly, the team behind URBNSURF has also announced in a recent press release that in the future they will be taking an ‘agnostic’ approach to their wave-pool projects. That has nothing to do with their religious beliefs but indicates their willingness to utilize different wave-creating technologies in future pools. As indicated earlier the Melbourne and planned Sydney pool feature Wavegarden® Cove technology, however, the URBNSURF Group is already discussing the use of ‘Endless Surf’ as the technology provider at a proposed Perth location. “Rather than simply replicate an experience that is available elsewhere, our decisions are driven by the best solution for the surf and customer experience, safety, and project feasibility," stated URBANSURF's CEO, Damon Tudor. "The concept of creating an entirely different experience, like different breaks that surfers travel to, is great from a customer and tourism perspective.”
This 'Endless Surf' technology allows for different waves on the left and right at the same time and bigger wave settings. According to projections, the Perth pool will also be able to operate 160m/26-second rides. To put that in perspective a wave at URBNSURF Melbourne is currently 12-16 seconds, while a leg-burner at Kelly’s ranch lasts 45 seconds.
While Perth and its new technology is still a pipe dream, Homebush is definitely happening. We’re curious about when Sydney’s first Rick Kane will emerge from the ‘burbs; a born and bred pool surfer, like the iconic character from the movie North Shore. Someone who hones his/her skills on the Homebush ‘Beast’ mode before heading east to tackle Cape Solander. Perhaps Homebush will even play host to its own unique crew of locals, who shred the pool in footy shorts and Parramatta Eels jerseys, letting the ‘Beachies’ know whose territory they are in. Of course, URBNSURF’s well-regulated queue-for-wave system will ensure everyone gets their quota. Bring on the ’Bush barrels.