– How did the idea come about?
The idea came from the founder/inventor of the company, Josema Odriozola, a lifelong surfer and industrial engineer, who wanted to find an alternative because the beaches, especially where we live, in San Sebastián, are more crowded with surfers every day. . He was testing different technologies until he saw the possibility of fully dedicating himself to it.
– Do you already have a Wavegarden in operation?
We don't have any in operation as such, except our own which is not open to the public and which we use to teach clients, the media, professional surfers and for R&D. Our Wavegarden is in our facilities, at the headquarters of our company, near Zarautz (Guipúzcoa).
Surely in early 2015 the first Wavegarden will open to the public, in Great Britain. Right now we are working with our British clients in the construction of it.
– Do you have a lot of orders?
Eighteen from around the world who have paid a deposit in order to be able to confirm their orders in the next few years.
– What is the profile of your client?
Investors, people with experience in attractions but looking for a different product. Curiously, in all projects there is always someone who surfs.
– Its headquarters are in the Basque Country, do you have any idea of expanding?
Of course, we are a manufacturer of Wavegarden installations. We are not going to operate facilities, but we design and build them (with proprietary and patented technology) so that our clients can operate them.
– How big can a wave get?
Currently 1.20 meters but those that will be opened to the public will reach 1.9m.
– Does it work with all kinds of water? Does salt water damage the machine?
Yes, fresh water or salt water. No problem with salt water.
– How deep do you need?
It depends but the deepest place is around 1.5 meters.
– Is it as easy to turn it on or off as with a switch?
– Is this the same idea as the wave of the “English garden” in Munich?
The Munich wave is a wave that depends on the flow of the river and is therefore not controlled by man. It only works when the river goes down with a high flow. It is a 100% natural wave. In fact, there are many more like that around the world (even in Spain), but they are not in the center of such a large city, which is why the one in Munich is so well known (the only comparable example would be the ones that break in the Saint Laurent River, in Montreal, also very close to the center of the city). On the other hand it is a static wave, since it does not advance. It would be something more similar to a flowrider. Our wave advances towards the "shore", like the waves of the sea, allowing us to carry out the same maneuvers as a beach wave (something that static waves do not allow).
– Which surfers has Wavegarden worked with?
I would say less with Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson, everyone: Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, Taj Burrow, JohnJohn Florence, Dane Reynolds, Travis Logie, Jordy Smith, Miguel Pupo, Filipe Toledo, Jadson André, Freddy Patachia, Bede Durbridge, Adam Melling, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Aritz Aranburu, Jeremy Flores, Sebastian Zietz, Tiago Pires, Craig Anderson, Pauline Ado, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Carissa Moore, etc., etc., etc.
The Wavgarden wave is not a technically difficult wave. In other words, it is for all audiences, like most waves in the world, including where 95% of the professional surfing championships are held. The pros like it because in a very short space of time they can catch a lot of waves and since each wave is identical to the one before, they can practice maneuvers or try different boards. Several pros have told us that after surfing at Wavegarden for a few days, the first day they got back to the beach they realized they were surfing much faster than usual.