Wave Loch

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Wave Loch Inc.
Industry Water attraction manufacturer
Founded 1981 (1981)
Founder Tom Lochtefeld
Products SurfPool, FlowBarrel, FlowTour, Wave House[1]
Website Official Website

Wave Loch Inc. is a surf ride manufacturing company responsible for such water rides as the FlowBarrel, Flying Reef, SurfPool, Wave House franchises, and, formerly, FlowRider.

Kelly Slater carving the mobile FlowBarrel during the Swatch Wave Tour, 1999


During the 1980s, Tom Lochtefeld was a partner in the development of Raging Waters water parks in the United States. He created a water park attraction to simulate the riding of waves in the ocean. In 1988, a patent was taken out for "a wave-forming generator for generating inclined surfaces on a contained body of water". This was the concept of a sheet wave, the basis of most of Wave Loch's rides. Lochtefeld worked with Charles Sauerbier, Carl Ekstrom and others to model the wave using wave tanks at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.[2]

Tom Lochtefeld test flowing the first FlowBarrel at Bø Sommarland, Norway

The first WaveLoch FlowRider opened at the Schlitterbahn in Texas in 1991. This was followed by the first FlowBarrel at the Summerland Resort in Norway two years later.[3]

In 1999, Wave Loch built a portable FlowBarrel which was shipped around the world to support the SWATCH and Siemens Wave Tours, which visited Florence, Munich, Australia and other places. Wave House South Africa opened in 2001 with a double FlowBarrel called the D Rex, and two FlowRider Singles at the center of an entertainment, retail and food and beverage complex.[4]

In 2005, Wave House San Diego opened at the northwest corner of the Belmont Park amusement area in San Diego, where the company headquarters was located for ten years. By 2009, Wave Loch had sold more than 175 FlowRider sheet waves to locations around the world. In 2014, there were Wave Houses located in Durban, San Diego, Santiago, Chile, Sentosa, Singapore, and Mallorca. Additional locations are planned for Miami, Florida, Orange County, and three in China.[5]

In 2014, Wave Loch sold the FlowRider IP and technology to WhiteWater West, although it retained the Flow Barrel and Wave House brands.[6]

That same year, after ten years of R&D, Wave Loch introduced its Surf Pool technology.[7][8][9] With its goal of making surfing an Olympic sport,[10] Wave Loch’s Surf Pool generates 2-metre-high (6.6 ft) waves every ten seconds in a 5,000 m2 (1.2 acres) footprint. Larger pools allow for additional breaks to increase user capacity for no extra wave generating cost. Like waves in the real ocean, all of Wave Loch’s SurfPools are powered by changes in air pressure. The intensity of waves can be controlled at the turn of the dial from beginner to expert – allowing simultaneous surfing and general public attendance use. For the business owner / operator, SurfPool revenues are generated by hourly or pay-per-use, membership, corporate or group events, and through wave shows or competitions.[11]


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