Published on November 29th, 2017 | by RB TeamPhoto by THE WAVE | 0
THE WAVE: Prototyping A World Class River Wave
THE WAVE is the dream of an ambitious group of river surfers come true: Being able to surf in the middle of the mountains on a world class river wave. The team around Max Neuböck has been working hard on this project since 1,5 years and now made a huge step forward by testing their 1:8 scale river wave prototype, mimicking the conditions of the actual project site. The full-sized river wave will be 10m wide and up to 1,5 meters high – how does this sound to you? The local community is thrilled!
Wave designers from Austria, Germany and the US have teamed up with the goal to create one of the best river waves in Europe. The project site is located at the river Traun, in the beautiful Salzkammergut region in Austria. The location at the Miesenbachmühle in Ebensee was chosen due to the stable annual discharge levels and the natural drop, which makes this spot the ideal location for a river wave that can be surfed year round.
The Concept Behind THE WAVE
To maximise the number of surf days, THE WAVE will be installed in a separate canal, running parallel to the river: A portion of the river Traun will be channeled through an artificial canal in which the wave structure will be placed. This approach allows the engineers to design and build the wave under controlled and stable conditions. While operating the wave, the canal approach will allow wave operators to adjust the flow to different discharge levels in the main river Traun and create wave shapes for different kinds of surf styles.
THE WAVE’s mission is to make the stoke of surfing accessible to a landlocked community.
The canal concept has been proposed and discussed a number of times (e.g. at the River Wave Forums), but this is probably the first time it will be implemented. The approach is also promising for other communities, since discharge levels of most rivers vary significantly throughout the year, depending on precipitation, temperature and the time of the year (e.g. higher winter/spring runoffs).
In wave construction prototype testing is one of the most rewarding phases. Developing a prototype of a river wave allows the team to bring the wave to life for the first time, test the wave in action and identify opportunities for improvement and fine-tuning. Wave prototyping gives the project team the opportunity to gather feedback and make changes that will eventually maximise the surfability of the wave.
The results can be seen for themselves, with the 1:8 scale model of THE WAVE looking pretty damn good. Will this canal approach be a game-changer in wave building? Check out the videos and photos below and find out yourself!
Videos From The Prototype Site
This is what THE WAVE prototype looks like at the lowest expected flow level:
Experimenting with different wave shapes:
Steep face setting:
Make It Happen!
Impressive work on the prototype testing, let’s make this happen! Can’t wait to see THE WAVE operating in full size, best of luck with the next steps!