Surf Session Magazine – Okahina Wave, an increasingly credible alternative

Prejudices and carbon footprint, Surf Session Magazine investigates


In a context where climate change and biodiversity loss are challenging our modern societies like never before, the environmental impact of wave pools is seen by many as environmental nonsense.

The summer we have just experienced has dried up the soil and emptied the water tables as rarely in recent years. These facts are big warning signs.

Among the alternatives to wave pools and different technologies that seem unreasonable in the eyes of many, we talked about the case of Okahina’s floating atoll. This French greentech innovation consists of a light floating infrastructure in the shape of a Polynesian atoll positioning itself on already existing bodies of water that it would not tamper.

An easily removable structure, without a permanent impact on natural sites and that would be in tune with the challenges of its time, presented as an absolute paradigm shift in the world of artificial surfing waves.

Okahina Wave's low-carbon strategy

The estimated carbon footprint of the Okahina Wave floating atoll at Futuroscope was produced by the independent specialist firm INUK, with the support of ADEME (The French Agency for Ecological Transition).

And the figures prove it: the Okahina Wave floating atoll offers a solution whose carbon footprint would be much lower than any of the concrete wave pools currently on the market.

The Okahina wave system emits between 25 and 500 times less CO2eq than surf pools. The yearly carbon footprint of the infrastructure (taking into account its construction, operation and its end of life) is approximately 20 tons of CO2eq, which represent the annual carbon footprint of two persons in France. The use of wood and composite instead of concrete and steel makes all the difference.

Consequently, the Okahina Wave floating atoll is offering a surf session emitting the equivalent of 1kg of CO2 per hour, much less than the existing technologies!

Laurent HEQUILY (founder): “We can do something that is pleasing and fun for people but which can also and above all be beneficial for the environment. Parallel to the path towards degrowth, there is the path of sobriety. We can also find solutions that are efficient and beneficial for the environment to replace inefficient and destructive solutions such as concrete surf pools.

Mankind is still able to do great things. Everyone must find solutions to solve the environmental problems we are now facing. With Okahina, we want to try to be one of those solutions. One of many. There are plenty of initiatives now that are going in the right direction. Barriers are mainly psychological, in our habits, and not technological. We must learn to change the paradigm to build a more sober future that reassures, that gives confidence and no longer participate in a race to excess with frightening consequences. This is what we are trying to do modestly at our level with Okahina”.

Full article available in french on Surf Session website:


Follow us!