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Wave pools are an increasingly common facility in all types of swimming pool projects for water parks. A key aspect in this area is the variety and the creativity in the design of the facilities, along with the theme and the safety aspects.

Among all the different available options, one of the most popular in recent years is the wave pool.

What is a wave pool?

Wave pools are usually large aquatic facilities, with a surface larger than that of a common swimming pool, where waves of different shape and size are artificially produced for the leisure and entertainment of the visitors.

The versatility of this type of facility means that it can be used for a wide range of applications. Wave pools are becoming more and more popular among both operators and users. From wave pools for the entertainment of the whole family and the children to the wave pools integrated in very shallow areas of a splash park where a beach area wants to be simulated.

Another of the most recurrent and innovative use of wave pools is for surfing, both for amateurs and even for professional athletes who require a higher level of difficulty.

It is an excellent aquatic space for those who want to have fun with the waves in a pleasant way and for users of all ages who want to learn the basics of surfing and improve in this water sport.

Main characteristics of wave pools

Wave pools are usually of large size and they often have a large beach area with a gentle gradual slope similar to an artificial lagoon.

They can either be an individual attraction (known as “wave parks”) or form part of a water park along with other attractions, such as swimming pools with slides, lazy rivers, splash parks and others. They can also link or represent the end of the course of some lazy or torrent rivers.

The mechanism that produces the waves allows to create different swells, simulating this way the movement of the ocean.

How does a wave pool work?

In a wave pool, the size, speed and flow are programmed to offer different accurate sensations, from a faster and funnier swell to a relative calm, which also transmits the continuous movement of the sea.

The mechanism that produces the waves is usually located in the deepest area and in the far end of the swimming pool.

To create the simulation, the bottom surface may be deeper in front of the wave machine, before rising rapidly, making the shape of the wave easier.

This mechanism can take different forms, such as by compressed air or with a spade or panel that pushes the water, with a water tank, etc. A recurrent solution is the “accordeon”. It consists of opening and closing to suck water and then push it out to create waves.

Design recommendations

It is important to adapt it to the conditions of the area so the sensation transmitted by the wave pool is more realistic. It is also important to consider design and theme options in the case of a recreational wave pool in a water park for the whole family.

In water parks located in an inland area fresh water is usually used, especially if the wave pool is linked to other facilities as the end of the course. However, in facilities located close to the coast salt water can be used and there could also be an artificial beach to create a more immersive experience.

In some facilities the wave pool is complemented with other activities and services such as a restaurant area, shops, live music, children’s area or entertainment, to offer more fun for the bathers. In order to do this, it is essential to set up a stage next to the pool area from which to organize all the action.

In terms of safety, it is essential to have a lifeguard, as in other bathing areas. It is also important to have appropriate water treatment systems.

The programming of the waves allows an almost independent functioning of the attraction. However, the supervision and vigilance must be constant to modify any parameter whenever it is considered necessary.

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