Surfing in the Pacific Northwest generally comes across as a more hardcore pursuit than the vision of the sport popularized by warmer-water locations. But a venture planned for Issaquah, Wash., will bring the sport to more folks who may have shied from stepping into chilly waters off the Washington or Oregon coasts.
CitySurf Seattle says it will be home to the first deep water, standing surf wave in the United States thanks to its patent-pending technology called the “Rogue Wave.” The machine moves 240,000 gallons of water per minute to form a 32-foot-wide standing wave that can be adjusted to as much as 5-feet high.
Co-founders Trisha and John Hoss were inspired to create the facility after seeing a surfing competition in Munich, Germany, about three years ago.
“As gravity sports people (we grew up waterskiing, wake boarding, snowboarding and eventually wake surfing) we were mesmerized by watching the surfers, from beginner to pro on the standing (outdoor) wave,” Trisha Hoss told GeekWire via email this week. “The energy of the spectators was electric. My son and husband attempted to surf, as I watched for hours/days with a beer in hand, listening to the music. This is where the vision of ‘bringing surfing to the city’ was born.”
John Hoss tried for a year to import to the U.S. the technology that he witnessed in Germany. But the “true geek” as Trisha Hoss calls him — with his background in engineering, aviation, finance, and a passion for physics — eventually decided to make his own. Two years later, the Rogue Wave was born.
“To our knowledge, there are not currently any machines that compare to our technology in the U.S.,” Trisha Hoss said. “The closest comparable would be the man-made, standing waves, like in Bend or Boise, or a naturally created, standing river wave that kayakers use on the Payette River in Idaho.”
After many inquiries, here's a peek at our patent-pending technology. Unlike anything in the US!The Rogue Wave™ is a standing, deep-water wave, similar to a river wave or the wave produced by a wakeboat. The difference is that the sweet spot is 33-feet wide and adjustable up to 5-feet plus. A pillow of water cushions the fall. You can use a real surfboard, bodyboard, paddleboard or kayak…GET READY to SURF!!! #SurfEatRepeat #Surf #SurfPark #StandingWave #RiverSurfer #WakeSurfer #MakingWaves #IssaquahHighlands#PNW #Seattle #Stoneburner #SurfyChefy John Hoss
Posted by CitySurf Seattle on Friday, September 15, 2017
She said that for surfers looking for a wave generated by technology, there are two types — progressive and standing waves. Professional surfer Kelly Slater made headlines for creating what some called “the world’s greatest artificial wave” with his progressive Kelly Slater Wave Co. in Lemoore, Calif. NLand in Austin, Texas, is also capitalizing on that tech.
Without advertising and broadcasting revenue, Trisha Hoss called that type of venture unfeasible. She said there are a few standing wave competitors in the U.S.,
“Their waves are shallow, and although fun, not transferable to real surfing,” Hoss said. “These waves are currently used (mostly) to attract customers as part of an overall experience. The Rogue Wave will be the primary revenue generator at CitySurf.”
She also said that Rogue Wave has been designed in a variety of sizes, making it possible to put a wave machine in as little as a 2,000-square-foot footprint for urban, street-level retail — making it possible to surf in any city.
CitySurf will cater to board riders of all types in sessions timed at around an hour and a half and priced at approximately $30. The other attraction will be a restaurant from Seattle chef Jason Stoneburner, of the Ballard neighborhood restaurants Bastille and Stoneburner, who is also an avid surfer.
“As food lovers, we knew the combination of surfing + healthy food + good drinks + music and other lifestyle activities, would make a captivating venue in the U.S.,” Hoss said. “Especially after years of subjecting ourselves to loud, over-stimulating, kid-themed restaurants and amusement parks (I won’t mention any names) and bouncy-house birthday parties with disgusting processed food — we loved the idea of creating a modern space where parents could relax, have chef-crafted food and a glass of wine and watch their kids. That said, we don’t see this as a ‘kids place,’ but more of a community hub with an urban, surfy atmosphere that will appeal to all ages.”
According to a Facebook post on Monday, CitySurf just received a site development permit from the City of Issaquah to build its two-story, 10,180-square-foot building on a 1.24-acre site at the southwest corner of 10th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Falls Drive.
Hoss said funding from a seed round got them to the point where they are now, and more funding will get things moving forward toward a goal of opening in mid to late summer of 2018.
“We feel we have a great package (the land, the technology, celebrated Seattle chef/partner, Jason Stoneburner, our architectural/structural team) to offer a venture partner,” Hoss said. “Ideally, this partner would be local and excited to champion indoor surfing starting in Seattle. With surfing coming to the Olympics in 2020 and millennials driving the consumer experience, we think we’re on the cusp of an activity that’s about to explode.”