SANDUSKY - Waterpark enthusiasts can say "Aloha" to the country's first deep-water surf simulator when Maui Sands Resort opens Memorial Day weekend.
Area reporters on Friday received a sneak peak of the resort, located on U.S. 250 just past the Ohio 2 interchange. The $30 million project is creating a Hawaiian-themed resort by renovating two existing hotels and constructing a third all connected to a 55,000-square-foot indoor waterpark.
Maui Sauds' biggest attraction will be the SurfRider, which offers real surfing on deep water. It represents the next generation of indoor waterpark thrill rides, dropping riders right into the middle of an endless full-throttle pipeline. The attraction tests riders' ability to hang onto a boogie board or hang 10 on a real finned surfboard atop a continuous wave created with 150,000 gallons of rushing water.
Created froma massive wave generator below the surface of the pool, the perfect Waikiki-style breaker is shaped by blazing over a contoured surface.
Veteran surfers and novices alike will experience a wave that crests at nearly 4 feet. The attaction will enable riders to start the wave at a slower speed, allowing them to work their way up to real surfing at increased speeds.
This makes SurfRider different from the two FlowRiders at nearby Kalahari Resort because those lack control of the water speed and limit the board types riders can utilitze because of their near-zero depth surfaces, according to E. Scott Emerson, who heads the privately owned and operated company that owns the resort.
Learn-to-surf classes will be available to Maui Sands patrons. While all the riders must be at least 42 inches tall, there is no age restriction.
Maui Sands will be the area's second-largest indoors waterpark. An overall story about Maui Sands and video from the tour led by Emerson will appear next week.