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VIDEO: UK model-slash-surfer hits desert wave pool

Sophie Hellyer © Lynx

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Wave pools are getting better, especially those wavepools in wealthy desert countries

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 August, 2012 : - - Wadi Adventure in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, boasts the largest artificial wave ever created, and the International Surfing Association (ISA) wants surfing to go Olympic and wave machines are crucial because conditions can be controlled, ensuring a fair contest. Twenty-five-year-old Sophie Hellyer, from Devon, is here at the wave pool to portray her sport – and the technology – in the best light.

Wadi Adventure provides the opportunity for surfing in the desert ‘It’s surf on demand, whenever you want it,’ she says. ‘I’d normally put on my 5mm wetsuit and paddle out into crappy little waves in the freezing cold. But here there’s no need to worry about the tide, wind, or the swell. The problem with surf contests is that wave conditions are rarely good enough but a pool like this would be simply amazing and a terrific addition to the Olympics.’

Al Ain might not seem like the most obvious location but, where there’s a will, the United Arab Emirates finds a way – even when planners said the park needed 2.4million gallons of water to operate. The pool is full thanks to an Arab spring of the geological variety – the city is built on a desert oasis served by water from mountains 30km (19 miles) away.

Lennard Otto, 26, is operations manager and the man making waves at the surf pool. He says: ‘The UAE is known for biggest, longest, best. If you want surfing to be an Olympic sport, this really is the only way you can do it. ‘The concept is simple: five large pumps draw the water back and ten chambers send the water to different levels depending on the type of wave you want.

‘It’s completely programmable, with six settings – break wave right, break wave left, break parallel, two separate half waves, a V-out, and a V-in. We can also adjust the height from 1ft to 11ft for our optimum wave.’ Ben Barker, 37, the park’s manager, adds: ‘It’s a hell of a wave. We had one guy from California who said he’d caught more waves in an hour here than he would in a month at home.’

Read the full article at Metro UK

 

 

Source: Metro UK

Author: James Day

Tags: United Arab Emirates, Wave Pools, Desert, Video, Sophie Hellyer

Video: Surfersvillage

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