Wave Loch

Last updated

Wave Loch LLC.
IndustryWater attraction manufacturer
Founded1991 (1991)
FounderTom Lochtefeld
9747 Olson Drive, San Diego, California, 92121 [1]
United States
ProductsSurfPool, 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 Slater swatch carve.jpg
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 Bo Sommarland, Norway Lochtefeld flowbarrel norway.jpg
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] As of 2018, there are over 230 FlowRiders installed around the world. [7]

That same year, after ten years of R&D, Wave Loch introduced its Surf Pool technology. [8] [9] [10] With its goal of making surfing an Olympic sport, [11] 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. Like waves in the real ocean, all of Wave Loch’s SurfPools are powered by changes in air pressure. [12]

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  1. 1 2 Czech (March 3, 2014). "Wave Pools | Wave Machines | Surf Pools". Wave Loch. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  2. "Tom Lochtefeld in The Encyclopedia of Surfing". Matt Warshaw. June 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  3. "Wave Loch – A short history of Wave Loch and Wave House & Surfing Machines". Wave Loch. June 23, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
  4. "Making Waves". Wired. June 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  5. "Wave Loch History". Wave Loch. June 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  6. "Wave Loch turns their attention to surf pools after selling their world-leading FlowRider sheet-wave product to WhiteWater West Industries". waveloch.com. Wave Loch. February 27, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  7. "FlowRider® Official | The Ultimate Surf Machine | Buy A FlowRider". FlowRider | The Ultimate Surf Machine | Buy A FlowRider -. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  8. Beamish, Christian. "Jumping In The [Wave] Pool". Surfline.Com. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  9. "Wave Loch SurfPool IAAPA 2014". YouTube. November 24, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  10. Čeština. "World's Largest Professional Network". LinkedIn. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  11. "Tom Lochtefeld Discusses New Focus on Surf Pools at Wave Loch - PODCAST #1". Surf Park Central. March 27, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  12. Czech (June 20, 2014). "SurfLoch SurfPool™ Frequently Asked Questions | Wave Loch LLC". Waveloch.com. Retrieved January 29, 2016.