Swimplex riding crest of a wave

BUILDING MOMENTUM: LatiTube inventor Steve Kriticos trials his invention in Coffs Harbour in 2011. Swimplex Aquatics has now completed three of the rides, including the wave simulator at the West Sydney Wet ‘N’ Wild.
BUILDING MOMENTUM: LatiTube inventor Steve Kriticos trials his invention in Coffs Harbour in 2011. Swimplex Aquatics has now completed three of the rides, including the wave simulator at the West Sydney Wet ‘N’ Wild. Leigh Jensen Coffs Coast Advoca

COFFS Harbour company Swimplex Aquatics has installed Australia's third LatiTube surf wave simulator following the success of its work with Western Sydney's Wet 'N' Wild theme park.

The pipedream of local inventor Steve Kriticos, the LatiTube wave simulator has effectively captured the rush, velocity and intensity of a barrelling wave.

After the success of its Wet 'N' Wild project, commissioned by Village Roadshow last year, the company has completed a $3.5 million project at the Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre to offer Sydneysiders north of the harbour a surfboard riding thrill.

Branded the SurfRyder, the simulator provides waves that can be adjusted to suit riders of all abilities and can form a range of wave shapes and heights, from a three-metre tube to a two-metre roller.

Water from a 90,000-litre holding tank is pushed through the riding surface from two 132kW pumps to create the wave in comfortable 29-degree water.

Prior to the wave simulator taking off, aquatic projects had been the mainstay of the company.

Over the past 30 years, company director Geoff Leaver said Swimplex Aquatics has completed more than 250 projects, such as major town pool renovations.

"We still have aquatic centre projects to complete but the biggest thing for us now is this surfing ride," Mr Leaver said.

The company says the wave simulator is a worthy investment, given it can take up to 48 riders an hour at a cost of $17.50 a person for half an hour of riding.

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