While the world has been laser-focused on Kelly's Wave -- aka Surf Ranch by Kelly Slater Wave Co. in Lemoore, CA -- a sleeping giant has been in the background creating arguably better, more perfect waves. Enter into the equation American Wave Machines (AWM), a Solana Beach, CA, company that has their own unique approach to creating the perfect wave for surfing.
Historically, surfing has been limited to coastal destinations with bodies of water in front of them. AWM aims to take surfing, the world's most aspirational sport, inland to populations that may not have beach access.
Inspired by footage of Oahu's Waimea river blown out, flowing and being surfed by locals...AWM began research and development on the world's first artificial standing wave, SurfStream®. Testing started with a 1/12th scale model in founder Bruce McFarland's backyard. Then, in 2004, the first rideable prototype was installed into shipping containers and tested by local New Jersey surfers. Since then, incremental improvements of the technology and a growing interest in surfing outside of the ocean has led to the opening of more than a dozen SurfStream® surf parks worldwide.
In 2007 The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA commissioned AWM to produce a wave model that could help visualize and define the differences between Tsunamis and regular ocean swells. The system created for that exhibit evolved into technology called PerfectSwell®, AWM's answer to creating the fun and infinite variety of surf found in the ocean. Working incrementally along the way, large scale PerfectSwell® surf pools are now being built around the world.
AWM is focused on advancing artificial wave technology and providing surf to populations where it is otherwise unavailable. Through testing, incremental scaling, and reliable engineering, AWM delivers quality and memorable experiences for any level of surfer.
With Surfing making its premier appearance at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan...one can only wonder what this means for the future of competitive surfing? The future looks bright.