Surf industry hopes surf parks will expand sport

Surf parks — massive pools with repeating, artificial waves — are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost sales and create a standardized way to train that could help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree.




This month, dozens of industry leaders, surfers and investors met in Laguna Beach in Southern California for the first annual Surf Park Summit to spark interest in a business proposition that could breathe life into a sport that struggled during the recession.


— Associated Press

Professional surfer Gabriel Medina, of Brazil, behind, rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego, as Sammantha Aker, right, of Huntington Beach, Calif., waits for her turn Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost surf-related sales and create a standardized way to train that could ultimately help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A surfer rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community. Momentum around surf parks has been growing since the 1960s and but fewer than a dozen serious parks currently exist in locations from Florida to Malaysia _ and cost and wave technology have always been stumbling blocks. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A surfer rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego, as others sit at tables Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community. Momentum around surf parks has been growing since the 1960s and but fewer than a dozen serious parks currently exist in locations from Florida to Malaysia _ and cost and wave technology have always been stumbling blocks. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A surfer falls as he rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost surf-related sales and create a standardized way to train that could ultimately help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A surfer rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community. Momentum around surf parks has been growing since the 1960s and but fewer than a dozen serious parks currently exist in locations from Florida to Malaysia _ and cost and wave technology have always been stumbling blocks. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Sammantha Aker, of Huntington Beach, Calif., rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost surf-related sales and create a standardized way to train that could ultimately help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Professional surfer Gabriel Medina, of Brazil, back, rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego, as two men sit in a jacuzzi Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost surf-related sales and create a standardized way to train that could ultimately help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A surfer rides the machine-made wave at Wavehouse San Diego Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, in San Diego. Surf parks - massive pools with repeating, artificial waves - are the latest buzzword in the surf community, as everyone from top athletes to retailers look for ways to expand the sport, boost surf-related sales and create a standardized way to train that could ultimately help surfing earn an Olympic pedigree. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)