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the big holes at the back of wave pools

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I find it's totally acceptable to have an interest in the mechanics of wave machines. Normally those who know the parts of the machine can fear them less than those who don't. It's almost parallel to us being okay with hopping on some knock-off roller coaster in a third world country, or any given carnival ride, knowing how the ride operates while the GP would have second thoughts.


I think a lot of us find that the creepiness of this thread stems off of the reports of people injuring themselves from the machines (likely from doing something they shouldn't have, or playing/swimming too close to an old system). I think this thread was cleaned of them, but there were a lot of other darker reports that were previously posted on here (and frankly do not need to be reposted).



That is probley before my time. I take it was very graphic. I understand what you mean. The wave machine I put pictures of is a very old system (Over 30 years old). When the Pool had to be drained out I had the oppertunity to get pics of inside there as I been trying to work out this system, I have seen it run in the plantroom. This wave machine back in 1980's people used to be able to swim in there and resurface in the water. 1 person from my swimming club describe the pipes having hats on top and was willing to go back in there again. 1 of the manager of this pool did that too at young age, he described a large air pocket. When the previous lifeguard described his thing about swimming inside the chambers this kind of stuff clicked with the stories I heard at this pool of people swimming through a bar that can be unscrewed. That is no longer possible now.


I can understand people being graphic with the pool drain or other pool injuries. 1 user can be quote graphic with that kind of stuff.

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It's not just that. Different manufacturers have different methods of creating waves, and a some of them involve a lot of large pipework versus the large chamber system you show. I'll just leave it at that.


Back on a lighter note, I think the system used at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is the coolest system in my opinion. It doesn't suck any water back in to its chamber. It fills multiple chambers with water, then completely flushes them into the wave pool individually once those ones become full.

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Back on a lighter note, I think the system used at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is the coolest system in my opinion. It doesn't suck any water back in to its chamber. It fills multiple chambers with water, then completely flushes them into the wave pool individually once those ones become full.



These types of wave machines, I think people cannot ever get near to the holes at the back. I knew someone going to a similar pool at Siam Park and he said people are not allowed to be next to the holes. Probley health and safety issues with that type of thing. I never went in to a pool that uses this type of system. So waveywonder would be quite safe then. If you look at his 1st post. There was a video on youtube that showed this one.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I used to be a lifeguard at a well known Dutch vacation park, loved my job. Had to quit unfortunately, now I am studying to be a nurse. Strange fact: I almost drowned once as a child and since then, I was/am still afraid of wave pools, deep water etc. I know, not exactly good characteristics to be a lifeguard right?


Well, one of the jobs (listen to and shudder) was to clean the wave pool. Which sometimes included, removing part of the bars, diving through and surfacing in the chamber. There you had to remove leaves and other things from the underwater pool drain (suction for the water slides).


You can breathe because not the whole room is flooded. But it feels very scary because of the pressure in the chamber. The first time I dived together with another collegue, because we were together I didn't feel scared. But some time after that I had to go in alone, and got a panic attack in there, I didn't go underwater, I just grabbed a plastic cup floating on the water and got the hell out of there. Luckily that was the only time I had to do that. Good too, because else there would be countless water slide errors because of the pool drain being clogged.


There were safety measures when somebody had to dive in there. At the lifeguard post the waves were turned off, and the emergency stop button is in use. And there is somebody waiting at the other side of the bars. In the case they felt it took too long for you to come out, they would come and get you.



Your story reminds me of similar things that occurred at my local pool, used to have members of publics swimming inside the wave machine's chambers by unscrewing a bar and then swimming through. I believe this was in 1986 times roughly. I did actually look up this pool and I was able to see the wave machine's bars as if it has 2 set of bars. I wanted to compare it to the one in the US Patent as it looked very similar. How many chambers did this wave machine have?


The 1 in the US Patent has 5 chambers 2 smaller outer chambers and 3 larger inside chambers.


This is the top half of the Bars of that Wave machine in your picture




This appears to be the same pool you was talking.


Look underwater you see the orignal openings.




I assume the bars u removed to get inside 1 of the chambers is that front bar as the chamber looks like its missing bars.

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  • 1 month later...

Update on the Story about the happenings at the local pool relating to wave machines. I met the person who did this and asked him to give more details about his doings with the wave machine in 1980. The story about a lifeguard who swam inside the chambers and resurfacing inside the chambers to remove stuff from the chamber found it as a scary experience. Also he said he was able to remove the "Right bars". I learned from the manager the pool had bars similar to this that you were able to unscrew or pull down and then pull out. Kids back then were in to dares and happend to be doing it with the wave machine. When I recently asked the manager about that activity as it is never been seen by me and the fact how they got away with it.


According to the Duty manager who carried this out he said: The lifeguards were not really aware of this happening especially removal of the bars. When the machine is not running the deep end is not roped off. When they do rope off the deep end it is usually 5 metres away from the wave machine. What I got from him is the fact there was a lot of peer pressure to swim inside of the wave machine's chambers as it was seen as being cool to do this. Many people who swam in this pool in 1980s times would of probley done this too as it was something that a lot of people did. The manager described an air pocket roughly about 25 cm (Upper Chamber area which is above water) but however air in there is not pure oxygen but a lot of chlorine gas. You can smell chlorine from exhausted air at the vent at the back when air is being circulated through the blower room as it is pressurised weather the wave machine is running or not unless it actually has cut out. The chambers has no seperate exhaust valve either so air travels in/out of the chambers via the pipes inside the chamber.


I have asked the manager if he felt the pressure inside the chamber he does not recall it. He would also describe the kids used to block the gap preventing you from coming out in a while, as they probley thought it was quite funny to be doing that. However this apparantly did scare him a bit and did not feel any happier about it. Another person who did this he swam in and then back out only to find lifeguards laying down the rope to start the wave machine, that really scared this guy.


Few people from the swimming club also did this and they apparantly enjoyed going inside there. 1 guy described the pipe's wearing hats this is probley where I got the name pipe's hat from.



At this pool this activity is no longer possible because the bars has been replaced, the deep end is closed off when not enough lifeguards are present. You probley have more chance to be kicked out if a lifeguard caught you taking out a bar. As this is a well known thing in this pool.


When I showed the manager the pics of the chambers, he was quite suprised how it looked as he thought it looked totally different.

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  • 1 year later...
Having worked at a six flags water park i can say that the caissons are in no way dangerous, in fact I've swam down to them many times while the machine was running just for the thrill of be thrown back and forth against the grates (call me crazy). The rope is really just so no one bumps into the side of the pool to hard and hurts themselves.

...or stupid.


Keep striving. That Darwin Award is within reach!



Its fun, what the point of living if you cant do something a little dangerous every once and a while.



My advice? If you do that just to live a little on the edge, then don't even step foot into a water park and put yourself and the lifeguards who would try to rescue you because of your stupidity, at risk!

Just another reason why I hate the phrase YOLO.


I remember when I was young, I was afraid of the drains on the bottom of a normal pool and of possibly being sucked into one of the wavemaking machines. I am still leary of the machines and usually keep a good ten foot distance from the ropes.


Its funny how much grief people gave me over my post a couple years ago. We were the lifeguards. We trained countless hours in the wavepool and were extremely strong swimmers. If you spent a quarter of the time in that pool as had, you would realize those machines arnt as strong as they seem.

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