Surf’s Up opened for business in Nashua, New Hampshire, last December, and is now the world’s largest indoor surf machine.
Rapid caught up with Jeff Fluet, owner of the nearby New Hampshire Kayak Center who recently rode the wave in a Jackson Rockstar, to see how the fabricated flow compares to real river waves.
“You can front surf, side surf, spin and roll,” he says. “It’s fantastic.”
Fluet says the water starts about a foot deep but when the four pumps—each about eight feet long—are switched on to full speed, the pool will pump 240,000 gallons a minute.
The pool has been most popular with surfers on boards so far, and has been met with some skepticism, Surf’s Up owner Rob Greer said in an interview with the New Hampshire Chronicle. But, he says, everyone who’s tried it has left impressed by the wave’s natural feel.
Rapid’s written about the evolution of artificial flow for years. In 2010 publisher Scott MacGregor mused that “for real adventures you need real rivers,” but more recently wrote about how the trend of grab-and-go boating is truly what gets people out on the water more often. While whitewater purists are sure to have their doubts, it’s hard to argue with a freestyle or surf session that’s as easy as a trip to the gym.
Taking man-made whitewater venues to the next level, the pool’s already been featured on ESPN and a variety of New Hampshire news outlets.
Catch video of a kayak on the Surf’s Up swell as Fluet shreds a Jackson Rockstar in this report.