Surfing a chest to head high, glassy and perfect wave sounds great, doesn’t it?
Well how about if that wave turned on when you want? If Dayton Beach, Florida’s Kevin Roberts has his way, we’ll be surfing 365 days of the year in perfect conditions with a new mega-contraption he has conceived, called Surf the Ring. Roberts has invented a man-made wave that appears to propagate around a ring. Picture a donut (mmm!), where the middle is a circular beach island, with a racetrack of water surrounding it. The wave is generated perpendicular to the ring itself, which allows it to create a perfect, breaking right. Or a left, if a switch is flipped.
And before you think “Oh god, another Flowrider” – this man-made wave is the real deal. I’ve seen a prototype in action – a 1:36th scale model – and I was impressed with what I saw. A video is below, and you can see the photos and judge for yourself.
Here’s how Roberts explains it: “Each wave is actually not traveling around the ring, rather towards the beach. However, the waves are continually being propagated so that each surfer is riding on a newly created wave that is perfectly synchronized with the wave he or she is already riding. In sci-fi terms the ring creates a warped sine-wave imbalance in the ring shaped pool that is reflected and focused towards the islands’ shore to produce multiple endless dynamically changing “living” waves.”
Whoa. Trippy. But real and if you close your eyes and tap you heels, you can definitely imagine Surf the Ring some 36 times bigger, and at a park near you.
The distance from the point the waves break to the shoreline is about 25 feet, and Roberts has said that the water is quite deep. Because of the nature of the wave, Roberts is confident kooks and victims of rail-catching will be swept to a safe part of the ring, and away from other surfers that are ripping the wave up.
Roberts speaks like a man who has got the cred to make Surf the Ring work. He hails from a family of inventors, and while he’s not an engineer, Roberts may as well be. So what are Robert’s plan for Surf the Ring? He is seeking investment in the project – a project that should be on President Obama’s stimulus package list of must dos. Says Roberts, not skipping a beat: “It will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million to go from scratch to surfable wave.” Roberts is confident that there’s a huge market for his idea. And he might be right, given that his ring is not a flow rider, not typhoon Lagoon, and doesn’t need 3 minutes to reload. Still, in the economic sh!tstorm, it may be difficult to finance a project of this magnitude. But when it comes out – watch out.
Will we someday have our first ASP World Tour Champ born and raised in Kentucky? With Surf the Ring, it’s not so far fetched.
Check out a video showing a 1/36th model, and see for yourself. Despite the video quality and a dollop of cheese factor, the concept is definitely workable.
DailyStoke.com believes, and is stoked!
For more information about Surf The Ring, check out the Surf The Ring website, and contact Kevin directly if you’ve got some coin to spare for a project every surfer will love.