Updated: Oct 27, 2020
There is arguably common ground between skydiving in a wind tunnel and surfing in a wave pool. The New York Times looks at the latter in the article Bringing Perfect Waves to the Masses, as more and more facilities open up around the world.
"Whether welcomed or feared, a long promised surge in surf parks seems close," is how the author of the article," Jared Whitlock, an "average surfer" by his own admission, concludes his analysis of a global race between different manufacturers to produce the perfect wave through state-of-the-art technology.
That is one similarity between "artificial" surfing and skydiving right there: it requires inspired engineering to produce both machines, the one imitating the Ocean swell and the one generating the airflow. Another would probably be the investment required to put these machines up somewhere for people to enjoy them. Between 10 million and 30 million US dollars, all depending on how expansive the surf park ends up. Maybe slightly less for the wind tunnel.
We recommend that you read Bringing Perfect Waves to the Masses before we get started on the differences in a later post. And there are quite a few.
We also addressed the topic in Session One, Sporting Variations, of the Indoor Skydiving Global Summit in February.
A comparison is made between skydiving/indoor skydiving and surfing/pool surfing. But the statements by Andrey Karr, the only panelist who is – all at once – a surfer, a skydiver and a tunnel entrepreneur, question whether the correlation between the two sports and their variations is indeed appropriate.
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