Swatch teams up with Wave Loch to kick off the 2000 Mobile Wave Tour. Following is the Press release
for the first stop of the tour (and only US event).
Unique Multi-Discipline Boardsport Makes U.S. Debut
At Queen Mary In Long Beach
LONG BEACH, California - The world's first artificial, transportable wave makes its U.S. debut February 3 - 6 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. The revolutionary Swatch Wave Tour brings together world champions from snowboarding, skateboarding, skimboarding and surfing against each other and a 1,000 ton machine that generates a "perfect" 12 foot wave. The event also announces the opening of Wave House, a radically new destination sports/entertainment facility coming to San Diego in July 2000.
A union of leading Swiss watch brand Swatch and San Diego-based Wave Loch created the platform for this all new, multi-discipline boardsport. Delivered by forty-plus tractor trailers, the Swatch wave of the future features four submersible pumps jetting 145,000 gallons of water -- at a rate of 25,000 gallons per minute -- over a curved foam surface to form a perfect barrel, similar to Hawaii's famed Banzai Pipeline.
Riders drop in from the crest on specially designed Flowboards and use the wave's face as a freestyle ramp to perform aerial 360's and back flips. Variations in the velocity (from 15 - 30 mph) and water volume provide a range of skill levels.
"The Swatch Wave Tour is all about experiencing the unexpected," Nick Hayek, Jr., President of Swatch and an early supporter of Wave Loch technology, explained. "Riding the wave can't be categorized because it is unlike any sport that's existed before. It's a new way of testing yourself but, at the same time, it's just about having fun. And that's what we believe in at Swatch."
According to Wave Loch founder Tom Lochtefeld, the mystery of nature's primordial powerflow is at the core of this new sport. "It looks like a wave but rides like a mountain. It's half surfing, half snowboarding, with tricks derived from skateboarding. With two large waves, restaurants, and retail stores, the permanent Wave House facility will be the new royal palace of youth culture, ground zero for the boardriding lifestyle."
Lured by the attraction of riding this unique wave, the world's foremost boardsport athletes will compete including Tony Hawk (world champion skateboarder), Terje Haakonsen (world champion snowboarder), Rob Machado (surfer), Conan Hayes (surfer), Andy MacDonald (skateboarder), Chris Miller (skateboarder) and many more. Several prominent women surfers are expected to compete as well. A specially designed stadium will provide up close seating for over 1,000 people.
The Swatch Wave Tour festivities in Long Beach will include live entertainment and celebrity DJ's. Los Angeles area Swatch stores will have special passes to attend the event and details on opportunities to ride the wave during the Long Beach stop. Free admission is on a first-come, first-served basis for day passes at the event. Representatives from other sports disciplines can also "ride the wave".