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Australia first surfing wave pool to open in Queensland

Greg Stolz, September 16, 2018 7:17PM Kids News

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An artist’s impression of Surf Lakes’ Yeppoon surf wave pool. media_cameraAn artist’s impression of Surf Lakes’ Yeppoon surf wave pool.

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Australia’s first surfing wave pool will open in Queensland next month.

It will allow surfers to ride the waves without being anywhere near a beach.

The opening of the inland pool near Yeppoon comes as excitement for man-made surf breaks* continues to grow across the globe.

Kelly Slater, the 11-time world surfing champion, started the craze* for wave pools when he opened his surf ranch in inland California in 2016.

An artist’s impression of Surf Lakes’ Yeppoon surf wave pool. media_cameraAn artist’s impression of Surf Lakes’ Yeppoon surf wave pool.

And just last week, professional surfers competed in the first world championship surf event in his pool — the Surf Ranch Pro — in mind-blowing perfect waves.

The man-made waves a the $30 million pool are created by a huge vehicle moving through the water on the side of the competition area and creating breaks.

Brazil's Gabriel Medina does a cutback during the qualifying round of the WSL Surf Ranch Pro, at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. Picture: AFP media_cameraBrazil’s Gabriel Medina does a cutback during the qualifying round of the WSL Surf Ranch Pro, at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. Picture: AFP

Slater said it was amazing to see his vision come to life.

“The first time I came to this property, it was just dirt,” Slater said. “I saw how big it was and how overwhelming this project was. It was terrifying. I was 100 per cent confident the wave would be good and that it would work as we designed it, but it was my first time working on a project that was so big and so unknown.

“I wanted the wave to visually stand out from anything anyone had seen. I think it’s a big thing for surfing, if done the right way.”

Now, Gold Coast-based company Surf Lakes is about to unveil* Australia’s first wave pool. The company, whose backers include world surfing champions Mark “Occy” Occhilupo and Barton Lynch, is banking on a growing desire for wave pools to ease pressure on increasingly crowded natural beach breaks and to cater for surfing’s inclusion in the Olympics.

The site of Kelly Slater’s surf ranch before construction. media_cameraThe site of Kelly Slater’s surf ranch before construction.
Kelly Slater at his surf ranch last week. Picture: AFP media_cameraKelly Slater at his surf ranch last week. Picture: AFP

But don’t plan on packing your surfboard for the new pool just yet.

The central Queensland wave pool will not be open to the public – it’s a demonstration venue to attract investors to build $20 million wave parks across Australia and the world.

Surf Lakes director Reuben Buchanan said the company had already had more than 150 worldwide inquiries, including from southeast Queensland, from potential licensees*.

“The immediate focus as a company is to license our technology to resorts, theme parks and property developers around the world,” he said.

He said the Surf Lakes wave pool offered eight separate waves graded for beginners through to professionals. and could pump out up to 2400 waves an hour.

GLOSSARY

  • surf breaks: obstructions or devices that cause a wave to break
  • craze: enthusiasm for something
  • unveil: show for the first time
  • licensees: holder of a licence for something

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

QUICK QUIZ

  • Which town has Australia’s first surfing wave pool?
  • Which official surf event was held at the surf ranch?
  • How much did the surf ranch cost?
  • Who built the surf ranch?
  • How many separate wave cycles will Australia’s surf wave pool have?

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Presenting the wave pool
Let’s imagine that you work for the company Surf Lakes and it is your job to present this product to potential investors. Write a short script that you could use when telling people about the surfing wave pool for the very first time. Some important points you should remember to make:

  • Tell them what the product is and what it can do
  • Tell them why the product is unique and why it will be popular
  • Tell them how they can become involved in the business

Practise presenting your script with confidence and enthusiasm. When you are ready, present it to a classmate, your teacher, or your whole class.

2. Extension
Write down some questions that you think people might ask you when you present the surfing wave pool to them, along with how you would answer those questions.

Time: Allow 30 minutes
Curriculum links: English

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Would you like to surf artificial waves? Why or why not?
Use full sentences to explain your answers. No one-word answers.

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