Aquatic Development Group Showcases New Deep-Water Standing Wave Technology
Written by Jason Hoover
Photos by Aquatic Development Group and James Bolton

Rideable waves come in all shapes and sizes. When most people think of riding waves, they imagine the ocean or a river wave. The folks at Aquatic Development Group are on a mission to remind us all that man-made waves can provide as much joy as mother nature. With over 40 years of water park industry experience, ADG has developed over 500 wave pools and systems across the world, and even boasts bragging rights on creating the movie set wave pool for the legendary “North Shore” movie. EpicSurf produces a wave of water that can be adjusted from between 3 and 5 feet, with a footprint about the size of a tennis court. Rick Kane’s mind would be blown with this new technology! Developed and manufactured by the Aquatic Development Group with engineering and design support from Bombora, LLC of Seattle Washington, the EpicSurf wave concept was brought to life and made its debut in June of 2021.

Trippy drone view of the Aquatic Devlopments newest wave tank. This all purpose baby is both Ben Gravy ( pictured ) surfed and approved for all you novelty wave seekers and beginners out there with his claim being the visit was a “totally awesome experience”.

ESM, along with a frothing crew from Surf Dreams Foundation of all ages, novelty king Ben Gravy, world champion skim boarder Blair Conklin, and Australian legend Ian Cairns converged on a small town north of Albany, New York to test out EpicSurf’s new technological masterpiece.

From the first wave ridden, it was apparent that this configuration was ideal for many uses. From a competitive surfing standpoint, it can be utilized as a training tool for both up and coming competitors as well as established veterans. Coaches and parents can be standing just a few feet away from the rider which allows real time feedback from coach to rider, as well as up close video footage and photography.

Carolina’s Mako Musilinas is a grom who shreds on shortboards, longboards, bodyboards and has the ESA hardware from local events, Regionals and Easterns to prove it. Here he kindly demonstrates the simple, brilliant idea of what amounts to wave pool training wheels for beginners to begin to feel and understand the basics of hydrodynamics and what it takes to ride a wave in the ocean. 

Another advantage of this intimate setting is the fact that the rider can see and hear their friends and family hooting and cheering them on from just a few feet away. One of the first thoughts that came to mind is what an amazing setting this would make for birthday parties, youth sport award celebrations, and school field trips!

Symcha Sachs carving the pool with style and power.

As the riders began to dial the wave in, the buzz around the pool grew to a controlled frenzy. Power carves, bomb drops, pop shove-its and airs by the surfing and skim boarding crew took place, and the body boarders started cracking El Rollos and 360s!

Watching this all unfold; it was apparent that the joy this wave brings to its riders and spectators is next level! We witnessed first time moms, dads and kids attempting and quickly picking up a new hobby, as well as legends like Ian Cairns and Ben Gravy. The obvious thing all riders shared was a pure stoke that riding waves brings. The joy wasn’t limited to the riders, as the happiness on the face of all the designers and engineers that have worked tirelessly to create this environment was front and center.

Pool ripper Liam Odriscoll pops one cleanly off the top. OK, this is not the Slater Surf Ranch, but how about cool would it be having one of these in your backyard like a skate ramp to help chase away the flat spell blues?

As the hum of the pool quieted at the end of the sessions, the smiles were still prevalent as the kids and adults excitedly discussed the wave. One of ADG’s engineers, Greg Kline, who was ripping all day, mentioned that this was the wave he learned to surf on. Ben Gravy called it a “totally awesome experience”. While former world champion, Ian Cairns stated, “If the stoke I saw from ocean surfers, river surfers, wakeboarders and skateboarders is any indication, Aquatic Development Group are going to blow up with this wave!”

Team Surf Dreams ( from back left ) Mako Musilinas, unidentified, AJ Jackson and Camden Hoover ( sitting ) with the biggest grom of all time, Ben Gravy. Notice the smiles? Pretty much sums up the experience for all.

Ten-year old Virginia Beach grom Asher Craft uttered three words in between sessions “This is Amazing!”. ADG’s Director of Marketing, Jessica Mahoney, sharing in the joy and laughter of the day emphasized the feelings on the EpicSurf wave many of the riders and spectators were feeling, “We are wave technicians, and we certainly know how to make fun waves. With EpicSurf we have made one of our best”. John Hoss, of Bombora, reflecting back on the many years of hard work he and his wife Trisha had put into this momentous day mentioned “This was one of the best days of our lives, right up there with getting married and having kids. It was very special.”

For more information on the Epic Surf wave, visit

Ben Gravy at home with anyway inland wave he can paddle – or bomb drop – into.