On coastlines all over the world there are certain rock ledges and break walls that align with the swells in just the right way, to make wedge waves. Some famous ones being the Newport wedge in CA and the Whale beach wedge in Sydney, the Newport wedge being the result of a man made break wall and the Whale beach wedge the result of a natural rock ledge.
These surf breaks still need the swell to come from a certain direction in order for the reflected waves to overlap with the oncoming swells at the ideal angle. Most of these waves do not work at all when the swells are from only a slightly different angle.
When two hollow concrete walls are joined to form a vee shaped semi-submersible structure, and the tip or bow is anchored just beyond the break, and it is designed to float with only 25% above the water line, then the whole structure can pivot to point perfectly into all swells at all times.
And what results is two perfect wedge waves either side of each Vwall, in every swell direction.
Although the smaller 50m base model can be constructed for as little as $100,000, adjustable versions can be made whereby the forward tip and the internal support arms are strongly hinged to allow for adjustments to be made remotely from shore, while retaining structural integrity.
As swells periods and wave heights change, or just for the hell of it, different reflected cross wave angles can be made to offer a greater range of wedge waves. Further, if the angle at the tip is altered to be greater than 90 degrees then the swells will be reflected at more than 90 degrees and so they will actually be sent back out to sea. This then offers an additional and highly beneficial second function to reduce coastal erosion without having to build expensive and permanent break walls.
Because each wave is being reflected over a period of several seconds as it travels down the Vwall, then the force of each wave is transferred to the wall gradually over that time period as against all in one moment as is the case with barriers that are parallel to the waves angle. As a result the peak forces per wave on the structure are far lower.
The additional benefit of the hinged Vwall is that the two arms can be closed to become parallel to each other which makes towing to and from any location far more efficient since drag will be greatly reduced. It also means that the entire structure can be removed at low cost merely by raising the large anchor. This ease of removal then alleviates virtually all environmental concerns since it can be removed at low cost within hours.
As for monetising this wave making breakthrough, the value will be connected to what one or multiples of these Vwalls will do for property values immediately shoreward of them. For example, along the 5 kilometre stretch of the Casurina development just north of Cabarita on the NSW north coast, there are over 1000 properties. What would ten Vwalls do to the value of each property? All of sudden there are 20 new wedging waves to ride, where there was nothing but closeouts. None of the residents surf out front of their homes. They drive south to Cabarita or north to the Goldy. Even if there was only a 10% increase in value, that’s a total increase in value of about $70,000,000, at a cost of only $2m. The swells are there, on coastlines all over the world, but now super fun waves can be created at the lowest cost ever.
And here’s the best bit, we have an agreement with Mr Mike Simm, one of the partners of Perth Surf Parks, which is the Webber Wave pools licensee for WA, to build the Vwall prototype. Initial engineering talks have just taken place. (late may 2019) and the proposed site is Triggs beach.
The wedge effect can be achieved by joining two walls at the appropriate angle so they always retain the perfect alignment with the oncoming swell.
By anchoring the device at the bow of the structure, it can pivot freely, because it does not touch the seabed. As a result, the cost is vastly lower than any fixed structure and environmental concerns are virtually negated, since it can be removed at low cost.
By including a hinge point at the bow of the structure, with internal structural beams that can be adjusted, the wall angles can be altered to vary the reflected swell angle. Additionally, the walls can be closed together for ease of transport.