Introduction: The vision to revolutionize the surfing industry – a five-part series

By Steve Hartman
How digitalization creates the perfect wave

What is it about surfing? For many, it’s freedom. It’s a sense of adventure and the feel of riding the wave with the wind and spray hitting you as you come into shore. It’s sun-tanned skin and a sense of community that spans across the globe.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets to experience this. Surfing is dependent on weather and wind conditions; the good spots are generally crowded and beginners struggle to catch waves that seem few and far between.

Why not find a way to give everyone access to the perfect wave?

That’s the vision behind Surf Loch’s latest technology. This California-based company has been developing wave-making technology  since its start in the early-1980s when Surf Loch founder and CEO Tom Lochtefeld created the first waterpark west of Florida. Out in California, he built the regionally-famous Raging Waters. He also created FlowRider, one of the first wave producing machines for surfing, which acts similar to a water treadmill and has been used everywhere from hotels and resorts to waterparks and standalones.

His dream was always to build a wave park where surfers feel like they’re riding on the ocean wave. Now, nearly forty years later, Lochtefeld has waterpark experience coursing through his veins, a surfer’s heart and the knowledge built upon decades of passion. And that dream has come true because today, there is the technology available to build the personalized surf parks of tomorrow. Built by a dedicated team of just five engineers that know how to work with the technology, Surf Loch has created something truly unique in the industry.

Why does Surf Loch use Siemens hardware and software?

By embracing digital transformation, Surf Loch used the fundamentals of the Siemens Xcelerator and the Digital Enterprise portfolio to design, simulate and optimize their surf wave technology. This included software such as NX, Simcenter, Teamcenter and Mindsphere, as well as automation such as TIA Portal or Sinamics controllers.

In this blog series, we gathered five takeaways during the many conversations with the Surf Loch team and professional surfers who grew up riding in the ocean barrels and what it means when advanced technology meets the wave pool waters.

Part 1: How do you create a surfer’s perfect wave?

Part 2: How do you create a digital twin of an ocean wave?

Part 3: How do you customize waves for both first time riders and pro surfers?

Part 4: How do you expand the geographic limitations of surfing?

Part 5: How do you combine technology and passion to realize your vision?

Click to learn more about the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at