Couple finally catches a surf break in dream to bring man-made wave facility to Seattle area

A young surfer is carving on the man-made EpicSurf wave created by a couple from Seattle. (CitySurf photo)

Surfing is not the easiest sport. But it’s definitely harder to get funding, secure land, and actually build a man-made deep-water wave for surfing in the Seattle area.

John and Trisha Hoss have learned from the experiences of the past five years as they tried and tried to make their CitySurf concept a reality. In order not to lean too heavily on a term that will be popular with their prospective clientele, the Hosses are delighted where they are now. All they had to do was walk across the country.

The technology developed by John Hoss, previously known as “Rogue Wave”, is now called “EpicSurf” and is manufactured by the Aquatic Development Group (ADG), an Upstate New York company with decades of experience in the water and leisure sectors, sold and serviced industry.

The stationary wave of the Hoss debuted in late June – the culmination of what the co-founders called Years of Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Most of the battle was trying to convince traditional investors in software-centric Seattle that the hardware could work.

“It was a painful experience,” John Hoss told GeekWire. “We really had to believe in physics and in economics in order not to give up.”

“It just made us work harder and go beyond the usual funding sources,” added Trisha Hoss.

John and Trisha Hoss with a truckload of the equipment used to build their shaft in New York. (CitySurf photo)

The couple drove 2,500 miles amid the COVID-19 pandemic to spend five months at ADG headquarters north of Albany, NY, developing a wave concept that Hoss had tried to sell through simulations on his computer.

EpicSurf creates a water wave that can be adjusted between 3 and 5 feet for a more authentic surfing experience than machines that push a thin layer of water over a sculpted surface. A footprint about the size of a tennis court makes the technology ideal for amusement parks or urban areas and fulfills the goal of making the ocean sport surfing more accessible to more people.

ADG and the Hosses hosted a handful of professional surfers, including YouTube star Ben Gravy (below), whose videos show him surfing all kinds of waves. Gravy called it “a totally amazing experience” and said he had “more fun shredding this wave than any other wave anywhere.”

After months of testing and engineering modifications, in June the Hosses were beside themselves, watching kids and professionals ride the wave they knew they could build.

“It was one of the best days of our lives, at the very top of getting married and having children. It was very special, ”said John Hoss.

Back in Seattle, CitySurf’s dream is still alive. The Hosses are still planning to build facilities with the EpicSurf wave attached to restaurants run by Seattle chef Jason Stoneburner. The plan is a little different from where it started a few years ago and would require a 6,000 square foot footprint as opposed to 13,000.

“We learned a lot more about the industry. We have refined our business plan, ”said John Hoss. “We looked a little too big. We learned the hard way that we can’t finance it without proving the technology. So we went back to the drawing board. “

The couple are still looking for their first CitySurf location in Issaquah, Washington, and are about to secure a plot of land.

The EpicSurf wave in a parking lot in Upstate New York. (CitySurf photo)

But they will no longer be the first deep-sea wave to hit the US as originally planned – and not even the first in Washington State. Lakeside Surf at Slidewaters Waterpark in Chelan, Washington beat the Hosses with a facility that opened in May.

Dubbed the “largest and largest standing wave in the world,” Lakeside is operated by Citywave, a company with waves in Europe and Japan. John and Trisha Hoss were inspired to begin their journey after witnessing a surfing competition at a Citywave facility in Munich.

“We were beaten by who surfed a deep water wave first, but this is a marathon, not a sprint,” said John Hoss, adding that CitySurf will have an indoor wave for surfing all season. “In winter, when Chelan is closed, [surfers] will be in Issaquah. “

And in the end, in a year in which surfing celebrates its premiere at the Olympic Games, it will be about getting more people excited about the sport.

“It’s a big country,” said John Hoss. “The more our competitor gets its waves out there, the more people get addicted to it.”

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