Wave pools in the past vs now

Back in the 80s and 90s, wave pools used to be larger with huge tsunami like waves every 5 minutes, like "The wave" at old geauga lake. Now, they are tiny with undulating ripples and lifeguards never allow you to swim deep anymore or the pools altogether are only 5ft at the deepest. I miss the days of those old giant pools. I wonder why they've gotten smaller and more relaxed, is this due to too many kids drowning or people's preferences changing over the years?

My parents took me to geauga lake alot when I was a kid and I loved the huge wave pool. Now, at CP shores, it pales in comparison.


MF as a human eager to talk about my home park!

GL2CP's avatar

While I did enjoy the Wave very much as a kid, and would love to see that style come back, I do remember a lot of myself being scraped along the not so smooth bottom and I can imagine that much water is a lot to handle for some people who aren’t ready for it. When geauga lake filled there’s in It was a small part of my childhood being covered over as well. RIP wave.


First ride; Magnum 1994

Jeff's avatar

The Wave at GL was definitely legendary, and I believe one of the first few wave pools in the world. I don't think the change was a concession for safety though, I think it's because you got one giant wave, many minutes apart, whereas current wave pools can keep pushing smaller waves out for longer intervals.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

I think it's telling that when Funtime built their waterpark in Columbus (for the 1984 season, I think) they built a continuous action wave pool rather than a dump tank style pool as at Geauga Lake. THAT pool, Wyandot Lake's Wild Tide, could generate waves that were pretty enormous...the water level in the pool was about 5' below the top of the side walls, and the machinery could (though usually didn't) generate waves that would overtop that wall. At rest, the deep end of the pool was about 10' deep, which meant you could actually swim in it. The waves were big enough that at the point where the pool widened out and became about waist deep, the waves would actually break over the top slightly. You could actually swim over the top of these waves and get airtime when it ran out beneath you.

They don't build them like that anymore. Modern wave pools lack that high containment because the waves aren't nearly as high, and there is no wave breaking action because there is no deep water; most pools are about 5' to 6' deep maximum. They tend to run longer wave cycles and shorter rest cycles now, so I guess that's a plus, but I feel like I could get bigger waves by bouncing up and down on a beach ball like we used to in the pool at home...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



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For those of you who haven't read it, pick up Action Park by Andy Mulvihill. Imagine an amusement back in the 80's who was very laize faire about liability concerns, and very excited about being exciting. Imagine the chapter about their wave pool. I don't care what you are imagining right now, the story is crazier.

Kevinj's avatar

Am I the only one who, in a smallish hotel pool, used to (with the help of one or more friends) bounce up and down on various floaties (rafts, etc) to make our own "wave-ocean"?

Just like Saturday Night Live, wave pools peaked in the early 90's ;) (inside joke there).


Promoter of fog.

I had to be pulled out of Wyandotte Lake’s wave pool once. I went to the deep end and swam around, thinking the swells down there would be more fun than the waves crashing over the shallow end. It wasn’t. I somehow lost my breath and started panicking. The guards were walking around the high wall and thankfully one saw me struggling and used the hook to rescue me. They said it happened many times a day. I think the next time we went the deep end was closed to swimmers.

PDX Pointer said:

For those of you who haven't read it, pick up Action Park by Andy Mulvihill. Imagine an amusement back in the 80's who was very laize faire about liability concerns, and very excited about being exciting. Imagine the chapter about their wave pool. I don't care what you are imagining right now, the story is crazier.

Did they make a movie called “Class Action Park” regarding the same park?

They did, and it's very interesting. I recommend it to anyone that hasn't checked it out yet.

I have many memories of The Wave at Geauga Lake. But they are primarily memories of fear and unease. The nostalgia is fun, but if it were still around/rebuilt I can't say I'd have any interest in recreating the mass of humanity and scrapes that was The Wave.

TwistedWicker77 said:

Did they make a movie called “Class Action Park” regarding the same park?

I personally prefer Action Point. A far superior movie, and honestly looks like it would have been a lot more fun to go to.

Last edited by Red Garter Rob,

June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100
VertiGo Rides - 82
R.I.P. Fright Zone, and Cyrus along with it.

There are a couple of glaring anachronisms in that movie, and a couple of unexplained details. Like how they shot their little promo on a Super-8 camera and "delivered it" on VHS...when VHS really wasn't a thing, particularly at a television station. But the most glaring is the night shot of the Vekoma SLC at Gold Reef City. (It was easy to identify once you read the credits and see that the movie was shot in South Africa).

kevinj said...
Am I the only one who, in a smallish hotel pool, used to (with the help of one or more friends) bounce up and down on various floaties (rafts, etc) to make our own "wave-ocean"?

Apparently not, given that in my previous message I noted...

...but I feel like I could get bigger waves by bouncing up and down on a beach ball like we used to in the pool at home...

RCMAC told the story of being dragged out of the Wyandot Lake Wild Tide pool and noted...

...The guards were walking around the high wall and thankfully one saw me struggling and used the hook to rescue me. They said it happened many times a day. I think the next time we went the deep end was closed to swimmers.

At Wyandot Lake, they set the rope position based on the number of lifeguards on duty. They could actually eliminate *three* guards by chopping the last 20' off the end off the pool, and five by eliminating the deep end entirely.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\_/XXXXX\_/XXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\__/XXXXXX

e x i t english's avatar

There's always this one:


Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas...
e x i t english's avatar

Also, in case anyone is curious about the behind-the-scenes workings of those kinds of wave pools, this video is very informative:


Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas...

Kevinj said:

Am I the only one who, in a smallish hotel pool, used to (with the help of one or more friends) bounce up and down on various floaties (rafts, etc) to make our own "wave-ocean"?

Not jumping to make waves, but, to get a few folks to go round and round in a circle shaped pool. You could get a pretty good Vortex going and the water would just get pull you around a bit.

Havent thought of doing that in years.

Marco.
Polo.

RideMan said:

I think it's telling that when Funtime built their waterpark in Columbus (for the 1984 season, I think) they built a continuous action wave pool rather than a dump tank style pool as at Geauga Lake. THAT pool, Wyandot Lake's Wild Tide, could generate waves that were pretty enormous...the water level in the pool was about 5' below the top of the side walls, and the machinery could (though usually didn't) generate waves that would overtop that wall. At rest, the deep end of the pool was about 10' deep, which meant you could actually swim in it. The waves were big enough that at the point where the pool widened out and became about waist deep, the waves would actually break over the top slightly. You could actually swim over the top of these waves and get airtime when it ran out beneath you.

They don't build them like that anymore. Modern wave pools lack that high containment because the waves aren't nearly as high, and there is no wave breaking action because there is no deep water; most pools are about 5' to 6' deep maximum. They tend to run longer wave cycles and shorter rest cycles now, so I guess that's a plus, but I feel like I could get bigger waves by bouncing up and down on a beach ball like we used to in the pool at home...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

The good ole wild tide!

I also remember that every time I went, the action would stop because the life guards would have to jump in and save someone near the rope or being smashed along the wall.

When the horn went off, you better have an inner tube or its going to be a hard 5 minutes lol

This is why I always think they make pools different now, for safety. My friends and I always joke that you aren't from Columbus if you didn't almost drown in that thing.

negative g's avatar

Here's an old video about The Wave!


Jason

Why do they call it common sense, when it's so infrequently used?

Sollybeast's avatar

Ah, The Wave. Nightmare inducing backdrop. Sandpaper bottom. Giant waves. The unwary having to peel themselves off the intake grate.

I am now overwhelmed with nostalgia 😢


Proud 5th Liner and CP fan since 1986.

Jeff's avatar

That shot of the tanks emptying is extraordinary. That really makes you appreciate how much water is moved in a short amount of time.

Also, so weird to see TV from a time when it was edited in a slower, more deliberate manner, compared to the YouTube jump cut stuff of today.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Anyone here around when Dover Lake Waterpark (near Brandywine) was open? I am (or at least I was) a strong swimmer and their continuous wave was one of the few that really beat me up. I was exhausted after begin in it for a relatively short time and I just didn't go back.

On the plus side, they had some pretty unique tube slides that I recall being some fun.

I have a pretty funny Geauga Lake Wave story and will try to tell it without being politically incorrect. I was working there one summer when we have a significant corporate party that was made up of large percentage of African Americans. I'm not sure what hair products were popular at the time but the day after their event there was a significant problem in the wave pool with oils or some other type of (presumably) hair care product. In fact, we spent at least a day or two with some type of industrial "paper towels" that we used to try and soak up the oily substance.

New generation surf parks are coming soon. The "world's largest" is suppose to be breaking ground in Central Florida soon, if it hasn't already. https://beachgrit.com/2022/01/worlds-largest-surf-park-mind-melting...ast-coast/


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