Beyond the Ocean is an interview series exploring the intersection of technology and surfing, especially surf parks. We speak to industry insiders, investors, technology leaders, and surfing legends about their experiences in and beyond the ocean
Beyond the Ocean #19 - Seán Young
Wavegarden is a leader in the surf park space, with multiple facilities currently open and operating with dozens more in the works.
Seán Young, Wavegarden’s Head of Development Projects, joins episode 19 of Beyond the Ocean. Young discusses his role in helping parks go from concept to reality and the steps new surf parks must take to create a successful surfing experience. He also looks at what’s to come for Wavegarden and the surf park industry as a whole.
Beyond the Ocean #18 - Ryder Thomas
In an honest conversation about finances, costs, and other factors in making surf parks a reality, we hear from Ryder Thomas with Pro Swell in episode 18 of Beyond the Ocean. Thomas shares what makes surf parks jump from the sketch pad to a viable business and what blocks so many parks from ever opening in the first place.
In this episode, Thomas discusses the industry's growth and how it has become a huge investment center today, as well as where the industry is heading with park ownership as expansion continues.
Beyond the Ocean #17 - Kristina Chang
In the 17th episode of Beyond the Ocean, we hear from Kristina Chang, president of Westlake Wave Co. Kristina and her team work to be the leaders when it comes to creating waves for any surfer, with an emphasis on newcomers. Westlake Wave Co. aims to make waves that work for beginners and other newer surfers to create a more inviting entrance into surfing.
In this episode, Chang discusses her start in surfing and how it inspired her to lead the team at Westlake Wave Co. Not only is the wave technology company focused on teaching the next generation of surfers, but they’re also aiming to create a space-efficient and cost-effective model in the artificial wave world.
Beyond the Ocean #16 - Bruce Quay
Beyond the Ocean returns with Episode 16 with Bruce Quay, the COO of Aquatic Development Group (ADG), the team behind EpicSurf. Quay discusses the path that led him to become COO of a water park design and wave manufacturing company, as well as ADG’s extensive background in the industry, getting people outside and into water sports; and explains how EpicSurf and stationary surf waves will create a more inclusive surf experience at surf parks and other adventure parks.
In this episode, Quay also discusses Play Surf Ride, ADG’s concept for water-based adventure parks that incorporate everything from recreational water play and waves, to surf pools, to dry-park adventures, that provide a complete family experience. He also discusses their history with the FlowRider system and how some of ADG’s initiatives will create more surfing opportunities sooner than later.
Beyond the Ocean #15 - Dr. Mike Roberts
In this very special episode, we’re joined by co-host and Co-Founder of Surf Park Central, Dr. Jess Ponting. Jess is also a Professor of Sustainable Surf Tourism at San Diego State, and the Co-Founder of Stoke, a sustainability certification organization. This episode will be the first of a variety from our INSIDER series, featuring long-form expert interviews conducted by Jess along with industry leaders and change-makers. In today’s episode, Jess is joined by a friend and colleague, Dr. Mike Roberts Professor of Sociology, to discuss the evolution of surfing culture in the context of surf pools.
Waves of Simulation: Arguing authenticity in an era of surfing the hyperreal. The third generation of surf parks have had an enormous impact on surf culture since they came online in 2015. Surfing culture has always been underpinned by romantic notions of nature and the surfer’s relationship to it, but now perfect waves have been decoupled from nature and entered the realm of the hyperreal. This episode explores what it all means for surf culture. Dr. Jess Ponting and Dr. Michael Roberts invoke theorists Jean Baudrillard and Walter Benjamin in a riveting conversation about surf parks and their impacts and implications for surfing and surf culture.
Beyond the Ocean #14 - - Damon Tudor, CEO of URBNSURF
On this episode of the Beyond the Ocean podcast we’re joined by Damon Tudor. Damon is the CEO of URBNSURF and joined the business at the start of 2019. Having successfully led the completion and launch of URBNSURF Melbourne, the group has now commenced construction on its second location in Sydney. An experienced CEO and General Manager, Damon has spent over 25 years in a range of consumer-focused industries across goods and services, delivering several transformation projects, holding key executive roles with African & Eastern Middle East (as part of AB Inbev), Nakheel Middle East and NRMA in Australia.
Damon and our host, Chris Kluesener, talk about the uniqueness of the URBNSURF experience and URBNSURF’s new Sydney location. They also dig into lessons that Damon has learned and best practices for surf park operators. This is a great conversation with one of the leading surf park operators.
At Surf Park Summit 2021 this year, URBNSURF took home three of the six awards in the first-ever Surf Park Awards, voted on by consumers.