This 360-degree artificial wave simulator could change surfing

The way we watch and practice surfing could get a shake up.

Ian Knighton Video producer
Ian Knighton is CNET's video producer and photographer for the Australian team, based in Sydney. When he's not creating multimedia he can be found binging stand up comedy or playing guitar in his hard rock band.
Ian Knighton

Artificial wave simulators aren't exactly necessarily new, we've seen them before

However, there's a new system that's been making…waves in the surf park industry. 

The Surf Lakes prototype facility, based in Queensland, Australia, is a 360-degree system that sits in the middle of the water and generates up to five rideable waves simultaneously. A precision design using sand bars underneath the surface of the water allows the team to achieve varying and repeatable, wave shapes and lengths -- from rolling double barrels for professional level boarders through to gentle, more accessible waves for beginners. 

Although the operation isn't currently open to the public yet, founder and CEO Aaron Trevis says their patented system has received international interest. The team is currently in the process of expanding to the US, UK and beyond. 


A concept render of a future Surf Lakes park.

Surf Lakes

Bringing surfing to audiences that aren't based near coastlines could lead to a major leap in accessibility, and the 360-degree design makes for intriguing possibilities when it comes to competition viewing. With the ability to generate repeatable conditions in a controlled environment, perhaps we'll see this sort of design used for Olympic surfing events in the near future.