Wavegarden Engineers The Perfect Wave

Traditional surf pools force large quantities of water over a hump to create their swells. Problem is, waves fall apart the further they travel, making for a less-than-gnarly curl. So the Wavegarden builds a better wave, mechanically.

Rather than pump water over a ridge, which also doesn't lend well to for creating the gnarly tubes surfers crave, the Wavegarden system pulls an underwater fin — shaped much like an aeroplane's wing — to systematically push a mass of water over the underlying seafloor (or lake bottom, wherever the device is installed) forming waves that fold over themselves and break like natural waves. Waves grow in height and energy the faster the submerged sled is pulled and can be changed at will. The available land area is the only limiting factor for the Wavegarden; the current prototype model can produce a 1.6m wave with a 30-second tube over a distance of 250 metres. Righteous. [Wavegarden via Wired]