In February 2011, a group of Spanish engineers debuted a project they had been working on for over six years called Wavegarden — a wave pool concept that uses an active system for creating waves that have the shape and power that surfers normally travel thousands of miles to ride. The initial prototype showed videos of guys ripping on knee-to-waist-high, barreling waves and caused quite a murmur in the surf community: “How does it work? Where is it located? When will one be built near me?” Those questions unanswered, the Wavegarden team shortly afterward announced that they were busy at work on an oversized new prototype that would deliver shoulder-high waves–the height where surfing gets truly competitive.
I reached out to the Wavegarden folks that put this system together, and wrote a piece for Wired magazine about what it is and how it works. Check it out in the August 2011 issue (on newsstands right now), or read the online version (complete with video). And keep your eyes open for their new pool, which is forecasted to be finished around September.
Also, not in the magazine, but available online via the patent that Wavegarden filed, here are some diagrams of how the setup functions.