ALOHA surfhouse, Australia’s first surfable indoor wave pool, has opened its doors in Joondalup.
The business opened to the public on Monday, taking bookings for the Clip ‘n’ Climb indoor rock climbing and walk-ins for the wave pool as part of a soft launch, with bookings for the pool starting today.
In its first day, the Winton Road centre saw visitors coming from as far as Mundaring, Kwinana and Booragoon to check out the surf-stream technology from America, which has never been seen in Australia before.
The project, which has been more than two years in the making and cost more than $6 million, is the dream of Karrinyup resident Adam Blackwood.
“We are over the moon that we finally got there,” he said.
“I just wanted to run the wave for two days non-stop so if there were going to be any issues, we could sort through them.”
The pool, which holds 500,000 litres of water being recycled 24 hours a day, also features a $260,000 air filtering system that pushes out the chlorine and brings in fresh air so there is no chlorine smell.
At the moment, the pool is able to run its training and river waves, which can cater for beginners through to advanced body boarders and surfers, and its party wave for up to 12 riders.
The barrel wave is not yet available.
“We received the moulds but they were too thin,” Mr Blackwood said.
“We tried to do everything but we couldn’t get it right and it wasn’t going to be safe for people to ride.
“We are waiting for new ones to arrive now.”
So far the centre has employed almost 40 people including six caf staff, 10 for Clip ‘n’ Climb and 12 surf coaches.
Trigg Junior Board Riders member Courtney Nation was the first girl to surf the wave and now has her first casual job as a coach.
The 17-year-old, who has been surfing for five years and was named the top senior girls surfer for the Trigg club in 2016, said it was “heaps of fun”.
“You’ve got to get used to it but once you’ve learnt how the wave works and you’ve watched others, it’s a lot easier,” she said.
“Beginners who have never surfed before have managed to surf it.”
Dunsborough pro Dylan Vernon, who won the under 14s division at the weekend’s Surfer Groms Comp in Trigg also gave the facility the thumbs up.
“He came down with his brother and they loved it,” Mr Blackwood said.
“They had a great time and said it was a good workout.”
As well as the pool and Clip ‘n’ Climb, the centre also has its caf and boutique store up and running, with the yoga studio looking to open later next month.
Mr Blackwood, who grew up in Hillarys, said he was looking forward to “getting it all rolling and getting feedback”.
“Of course there’s going to be teething problems so we just ask for a little patience and eventually everything will run smoothly,” he said.
The centre will operate from 10am to 10pm every day of the week, with the coffee window and outdoor alfresco area open from 8am.
It is expected the yoga studio will operate earlier in the mornings.
The centre also plans to host Australia-wide surf competitions.