The location has been revealed for the southern hemisphere’s first man-made surfable wave, and it’s 25 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.
URBNSURF Melbourne will feature a wave pool almost twice the size of the MCG on a on a seven-hectare plot next to the Essendon Football Club on Airport Drive, near Tullamarine.
Wave Park Group’s Executive Chairman Andrew Ross says that even though Victoria has great natural surf, it is too far from metropolitan populations.
“We solve that huge problem of the inconvenience of surfing and unlock it geographically,” says Ross. “The type of wave we are delivering is going to be pretty much the best wave you can ride anywhere within an hour of the city.”
While Ross’ first quote may raise eyebrows among those who have never thought of surfing as particularly inconvenient, it’s impossible to deny his second statement, given all beaches with reliably good surf are more than an hour’s drive of the CBD.
The pool will generate waves which vary from half a metre to almost two metres high, with three different zones of the pool to accommodate both beginners and more skilled surfers.
“What we are offering is surf all day, everyday, under lights at night, and in controlled situations,” says Ross.
Unlike the proposal for the Docklands floating surf pool, which was sidelined in 2014, Ross has guaranteed this venture will be going ahead.
“I can tell you hand-on-heart this technology works. It’s being used elsewhere in the world, and we are bringing it to Melbourne,” he says.
URBNSURF will open in Tullamarine in late 2017.