Title:
River water ride apparatus and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Embodiments of the invention provide a river water ride including a wave generator, a ride surface, and nozzles or jets coupled to the ride surface. The nozzles or jets can be configured to form an artificial wave upon the ride surface. Embodiments of the invention also provide an apparatus and method of forming an artificial wave that moves in a direction against current flow. Some embodiments of the invention can also be used to make a standing wave that is suitable for recreational use by causing water to flow through nozzles or jets. Some embodiments of the invention include a concave feature with a depression and a de-watering grate positioned upstream of the nozzles or jets.



Inventors:
Carnahan, Brandon (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Carnahan, Richard (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Carnahan, Cheyne (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Application Number:
12/074847
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
03/06/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02B3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SINGH, SUNIL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBERG TRAURIG (DAL) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A method of making an artificial wave, the method comprising forming an artificial wave that moves in a direction against current flow.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the artificial wave moves against current flow in a channel.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the current flow slows down a speed of the artificial wave.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the current flow slows down the speed of the artificial wave to about one quarter of its original speed.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising causing water to flow through at least one jet to change a shape of the artificial wave.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising causing water to flow through at least one jet to enhance a shape of the artificial wave.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the jet is disposed beneath a water surface.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of jets are used to change a shape of the artificial wave.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of jets are used to enhance a shape of the artificial wave.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of jets are used to make the artificial wave higher.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of jets are used to make the artificial wave steeper.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of jets are used to make the artificial wave curl over.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein a combination of a plurality of jets and the current flow are used to make the artificial wave curl over.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein a combination of a plurality of jets and the current flow are used to make the artificial wave higher.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein a depth of the current flow is between about 24 inches and about 36 inches.

16. The method of claim 1, further comprising forming a depression upstream of the artificial wave that moves in a direction against current flow.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising forming a non-curling wave upstream of the depression.

18. A method of making an artificial wave, the method comprising forming an artificial wave that moves in one direction and using current moving in another direction to slow the speed of the artificial wave.

19. A method of making a standing wave that is suitable for recreational use, the method comprising causing water to flow through at least one jet.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein a plurality of jets are used to change a shape of the artificial wave.

21. The method of claim 19, wherein at least one jet is articulated to vary a shape of the standing wave.

22. The method of claim 19, further comprising forming a depression upstream of the standing wave.

23. The method of claim 22, further comprising forming a non-curling wave upstream of the depression.

24. An apparatus for making an artificial wave, the apparatus comprising a wave-generating device that causes the artificial waves to move in a direction against current flow.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the artificial wave moves against current flow in a channel.

26. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the current flow slows down the speed of the artificial wave.

27. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the current flow slows down the speed of the wave to about one quarter of its original speed.

28. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising at least one jet through which water flows to change a shape of the artificial wave.

29. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising at least one jet through which water flows to enhance a shape of the artificial wave.

30. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein the jet is disposed beneath a water surface.

31. The apparatus of claim 30, wherein the jet is disposed about 24 inches to about 36 inches beneath the water surface.

32. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of jets configured to change a shape of the artificial wave.

33. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of jets configured to enhance a shape of the artificial wave.

34. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of jets configured to make the artificial wave higher.

35. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of jets configured to make the artificial wave steeper.

36. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of jets configured to make the artificial wave curl over.

37. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a plurality of jets configured to cooperate with the current flow to make the artificial wave curl over.

38. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein a combination of a plurality of jets and the current flow are used to make the artificial wave higher.

39. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a concave feature upstream of the wave-generating device.

40. The apparatus of claim 39, wherein the concave feature includes a depression and a de-watering grate.

41. An apparatus for making artificial waves, the apparatus comprising a wave-generating device configured to make artificial waves that move in a direction so that current moving in another direction causes the speed of the artificial waves to be reduced.

42. A apparatus for making a standing wave that is suitable for recreational use, the apparatus comprising at least one jet through which water flows.

43. The apparatus of claim 42, wherein a plurality of jets are used to change a shape of the standing wave.

44. The apparatus of claim 42, wherein the at least one jet is articulated to facilitate varying a shape of the standing wave.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119 to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/893,923 filed on Mar. 9, 2007, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/003,081 filed on Nov. 14, 2007, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Wave pools and water rides often use conventional wave generators to produce waves. The design of the pool is very important for producing waves. If the design of the pool is flawed, the pool will not produce waves. Even in nature with the correct beach, perfect waves are rare, because the waves depend upon environmental conditions, such as tides, wind, and off-shore storms.

One conventional wave generator is the pneumatic surf wave. The pneumatic surf wave stores water in caissons and uses the water to produce the desired wave. The pneumatic surf wave uses gravity to discharge the water from the caissons. The pneumatic surf wave uses a fan to expel the air in the chamber, causing a vacuum to draw the air upward. When the air is at its maximum capacity, the air is released into the chamber to create the wave. The caissons of the pneumatic surf wave are generally positioned upright.

Another conventional wave generator is the surf wave generator. The surf wave generator uses compressed air to release water from caissons to form a wave. The surf wave generator uses rows of caissons positioned along a side of the pool. More specifically, the caissons of the surf wave generator are generally positioned vertically along a back side of the pool.

Yet another conventional wave generator is the pneumatic wave generator. The pneumatic wave generator uses water-filled caissons to produce the desired wave. The pneumatic wave generator uses compressed air to expel the wave from the caisson. The pneumatic wave generator includes many caissons in a single pool. The pneumatic wave generator includes caissons that are generally positioned vertically on a back side of the pool.

SUMMARY

Some embodiments of the invention provide an apparatus and method for creating an artificial wave for a river water ride with pneumatic wave generators enhanced by nozzles or jets. Embodiments of the invention provide an apparatus and method of forming an artificial wave that moves in a direction against current flow in a river water ride. An apparatus and method of making an artificial wave can include forming an artificial wave that moves in one direction and using current moving in another direction to slow the speed of the artificial wave. Some embodiments of the invention can also be used to make a standing wave that is suitable for recreational use by causing water to flow through nozzles or jets. Some embodiments of the invention include a concave feature with a depression and a de-watering grate positioned upstream of the nozzles or jets.

Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top schematic view of a water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is side perspective view of the water ride of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 3A-3E are top views of a water ride including various configurations of nozzles or jets according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 4A-4E are end perspective views of a water ride including various configurations of nozzles or jets according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 5A-5E are top views of a water ride including various configurations of nozzles or jets according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a top view of a wave-generating device including nozzles formed in a rifling pattern according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a top view of a water ride including the wave-generating device of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a water ride according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a water ride according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 10A-10J are schematic top views of a wave-generating device for use with water rides according to embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a schematic top view of a wave-generating device for use with the water rides according to embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 12A-12D are front and side views of artificial waves created by jets or nozzles.

FIGS. 13A-13B are side and front views of artificial waves created by jets or nozzles.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a water ride according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 15 is a top view of the water ride of FIG. 14.

FIGS. 16A-16b are perspective and side views of a concave feature for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 17A-17C are side and perspective views of a concave feature for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 18A-18C are perspective and side views of a concave feature for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 19 is a top view of a concave feature for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 20 is a top view of a concave feature for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 21A-21B are top views of concave features for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 22 is a top view of a concave feature for use with water rides according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 23 is a top view of a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 24A-24B are top and side views of a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 25 is a side view of a decline slope of a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 26A-26B are top and side views of a river water ride including a weir according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 27A-27B are top and side views of a river water ride including a convex back according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 28 is a top view of a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 29 is a top view of a rotating jet system for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 30 is a top view of a convex back for a left hand wave face for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 31 is a top view of a convex back for a right hand wave face for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 32 is a top view of a convex back for a point break wave for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 33 is a top view of a convex back for a double face wave for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 34 is a top view of a river water ride including moveable walls and a beach area according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 35A-35C are top views of three power systems for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 36 is a top view of a wave-generating device for use with two independent pumps according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 37 is a table of dimensions for a wave contour and a weir slope according to some embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 38A-38B are top and perspective views of a tidal bore water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 39 is a top view of another tidal bore water ride according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. Unless specified or limited otherwise, the terms “mounted,” “connected,” “supported,” and “coupled” and variations thereof are used broadly and encompass both direct and indirect mountings, connections, supports, and couplings. Further, “connected” and “coupled” are not restricted to physical or mechanical connections or couplings.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a water ride 100 according to one embodiment of the invention. The water ride 100 can include one or more chambers or caissons 1, a primary pump room 2, and wave-generating devices 3. The water ride 100 can include water return grates 4, water return pipes 5, a water pump 7, a water suction intake system 8, and a secondary pump room 9. The water ride 100 can include one or more sets of stairs 14 that allow a rider to enter and exit the water ride 100. In some embodiments, the water ride 100 can be positioned adjacent to various commercial establishments or recreational activities, such as a concession stand 10, a hot tub 11, or a restaurant 12. In some embodiments, a bar or wall 13 can be positioned within the water ride 100 to divide the water ride 100 into two or more sections.

The primary pump room 2 can include pumps positioned close to the surface of the pool in order to produce a current to propel riders. The wave-generating devices 3 can be coupled to the water return pipes 5 in order to use water flowing through the water return grates 4 to power the wave-generating devices 3. The water return pipes 5 can be connected to the water pump 7. The water pump 7 can also be connected to the water suction intake system 8. The secondary pump room 9 can supply the caissons 1 with air and/or water to produce the primary wave of the water ride 100.

The wave-generating devices 3 can include pipes with nozzles or individual jets that force water upward to create a wave that moves in a direction against the current flow of the primary wave generated by the caissons 1. As used herein and in the appended claims, the terms “nozzle” and “jet” may be used interchangeably, with both terms referring to any device capable of propelling water upward from a surface in a desired direction and at a desired pressure. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 6, a pattern of nozzles 102 formed in a pipe can generate a wave at a starting location 15.

In some embodiments, additional wave-generating devices can be used to create a small non-curling wave or “bump” before a curling wave created by the wave-generating devices 3. This small non-curling wave can cause the rider to dip down before rising up the curling wave.

In some embodiments, the water ride 100 can use gravity to force water out of the caissons 1 to produce the primary wave. The water ride 100 can include one or more caissons 1 positioned vertically along a back side of the pool. In other embodiments, the water ride 100 can use a set wave system to generate primary and/or secondary waves as disclosed in applicant's co-pending U.S. utility patent application entitled “Set Wave System for Wave Generation,” the entire contents of which is herein incorporated by reference, and which also claims priority to U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/893,923.

The wave-generating devices 3 can be used to form an artificial wave that moves in a direction against current flow, such as the current flow produced by the primary wave generated by the caissons 1. The artificial wave generated by the wave-generating devices 3 can also move in a direction that is against the current flow of a river type of water ride that does not provide primary waves.

In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 1, the artificial wave formed by the wave-generating devices 3 can move against the current flow in a channel (such as a stream or river, whether natural or artificial). The current flow in the channel can slow down the speed of the artificial wave. For example, in some embodiments, the current flow can slow down the speed of the artificial wave to about one-quarter of its original speed. In general, the water ride 100 can form an artificial wave that moves in one direction and can use current moving in another direction to slow the speed of the artificial wave.

In some embodiments, the wave-generating devices 3 include one or more nozzles or jets that can be used to change or enhance the shape of the artificial wave. In some embodiments, the nozzles or jets can be positioned beneath a surface of the water. In some embodiments, a series of nozzles or jets can be positioned on a floor of the water ride and can be used to change or enhance the shape of the artificial wave. For example, a series of nozzles or jets can be used to make the wave higher, steeper, and/or curl over. Also, a combination of nozzles or jets and current flow caused by the caissons 1 can be used to make the wave higher, steeper, and/or curl over.

In some embodiments, the water ride 100 can be used to make a standing wave that is suitable for recreational use by causing water to flow through nozzles or jets. In some embodiments, the nozzles or jets can be articulated or moveable to facilitate varying a shape of the standing wave.

As shown in FIGS. 3-5, some embodiments of the invention provide a wave ride including a ride surface and a series of nozzles or jets coupled to, formed in, or positioned proximate to the ride surface. The nozzles or jets can be configured to form an artificial wave upon the ride surface. The ride surface can be generally planar. The ride surface can be positioned to be substantially horizontal or inclined with respect to the ground. The nozzles or jets can be configured to cause water to flow across the ride surface. If the ride surface is inclined, the nozzles or jets can be configured to cause water to flow upwardly over the ride surface. For a river water ride, the nozzles or jets can be configured to define water depths on the ride surface from approximately 24 inches to approximately 36 inches.

In some embodiments, the nozzles or jets are angled to cause the wave to curl forward on one side. The pressure of the water flowing through the nozzles or jets can be varied. For example, the pressure can be varied through each individual nozzle or jet or through groups of nozzles or jets. The water pressure can be varied through the nozzles or jets to change the shape and/or position of the wave. In some embodiments, the nozzles or jets can be articulated either in groups or individually. The nozzles or jets can be articulated to change the shape and/or position of the wave. In some embodiments, the water pressure can be varied through the nozzles or jets and the nozzles or jets can be articulated to move the wave left or right, move the wave up or down, and/or vary the shape of the wave. In some embodiments, the water pressure is higher in the front (or lower or upstream) nozzles or jets than in the back (or higher or downstream) nozzles or jets. In some embodiments, a portion of the nozzles or jets are positioned along a front end (or lower end or upstream) of the ride surface to cause water flow upwardly across the ride surface. In some embodiments, a drain can be formed at the back end (upper end or downstream) of the ride surface.

FIG. 3A illustrates one embodiment of a water ride 200 with a ride surface 202. The water ride 200 can include wave-generating devices 3, water return grates 4, a water suction intake system 8, and stairs 14. The wave-generating devices 3 can be used to create artificial waves on the ride surface 202. The wave-generating devices 3 can be configured in a number of manners, such as those shown in FIGS. 3B-3E. If the configuration of FIG. 3B is used, the artificial wave can be formed at a central portion 204 of the wave-generating devices 3. If the configuration of FIG. 3C is used, the artificial wave can be formed at a diagonal portion 206 of the wave-generating devices 3. If the configuration of FIG. 3D is used, the artificial wave can substantially span the width of the water ride 200. If the configuration of FIG. 3E is used, the artificial wave can be formed at another diagonal portion 208 of the wave-generating devices 3. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 3A, a bar or wall 13 can be positioned within the water ride 200 to create two ride surfaces for two riders. Each ride surface can include one of the nozzle or jet configurations shown in FIGS. 3B-3E.

FIGS. 4A-5E illustrate a water ride 300 similar to the water ride 200 shown in FIGS. 3A-3E, except that no bar or wall 13 is included in the water ride 300. As a result, the water ride 300 only includes a single ride surface 302.

In some embodiments, at least some of the nozzles of the wave-generating devices 3 are defined by openings formed in pipes. As shown in FIGS. 6-7, the openings in the pipes can spiral at least part of the way around the pipes in a rifling-like fashion. These types of nozzles can also be configured within the water rides described herein in the manner shown and described with respect to FIGS. 3A-5E.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate an artificial curling wave created by a combination of water flowing from jets up the incline of the ride surface and water being propelled upward by jets coupled to the ride surface. In some embodiments, the jets can be coupled to the ride surface in panels or groups (such as sixteen groups, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9), with each group being positioned in a particular direction and propelling water at a particular pressure. For example, the jets can be positioned in four rows and four sections across the width of the water ride to create sixteen groups of jets. In addition, the rows of jets can create an angled portion across part of the width of the water ride. The angled portion can be used to direct the curling portion of the artificial wave to the desired position on the ride surface. In one embodiment, each panel or group can be about 24 inches long and about 7½ inches wide. Four panels can span about 96 inches across the width of the water ride. In another embodiment, each panel or group can be about 8 inches long, with four panels spanning about 32 inches across the width of the water ride in order to create a two foot high barrel standing wave.

FIGS. 10A-10J illustrate a wave-generating device 700 for use with the water rides shown and described herein. The wave-generating device 700 can include groups of jets that can be operated, positioned, and/or pressurized in the same manner. FIG. 10A illustrates a top left group 702, a top right group 704, a top middle group 706, a bottom left group 708, a bottom right group 710, and a bottom middle group 712. By selectively controlling each of the groups of jets, the configurations shown in FIGS. 10B-10J can each be created. Each of the configurations shown in FIGS. 10B-10J can produce a different type, shape, or size of artificial wave. FIG. 10B illustrates the use of the top left group 702, the top middle group 706, and the bottom right group 710. FIG. 10C illustrates the use of the bottom left group 708, the top middle group 706, and the top right group 704. FIG. 10D illustrates the use of the bottom left group 708, the bottom middle group 712, and the bottom right group 710. FIG. 10E illustrates the use of the top left group 702 and the top right group 704. FIG. 10F illustrates the use all the groups except for the bottom middle group 712. FIG. 10G illustrates the use of the top left group 702, the top middle group 706, and the bottom left group 708. FIG. 10H illustrates the use of the top right group 706, the top middle group 706, and the bottom right group 310. FIG. 10I illustrates the use of the top left group 702, the top right group 704, and the bottom right group 710. FIG. 10J illustrates the use of the top left group 702, the bottom left group 708, and the bottom right group 710.

FIG. 11 illustrates a wave-generating device 800 for use with the water rides shown and described herein. The wave-generating device 800 can include a matrix 802 having a particular bed size. In one embodiment, the bed size is about 35½ inches by 20 inches. The matrix 802 can include a horizontal matrix 804 and an inclined matrix 806. The horizontal matrix 804 can include, for example, 66 jets (6 rows by 11 columns). The inclined matrix 806 can include, for example, 144 jets (6 rows by 24 columns). Accordingly, in one embodiment, the matrix 802 can include a total of 210 jets.

FIGS. 12A-12D illustrate wave profiles created with various embodiments of the invention. FIG. 12A is a side view of an artificial curling wave 900 created with jets 902 being operated at different pressures. FIG. 12B is a front view of the artificial curling wave of FIG. 12A. FIG. 12D is a side view of a rolling wave 904 and FIG. 12C is a front view of the rolling wave 904. FIG. 12D illustrates the jets 902 being positioned across two wavelengths. FIG. 13A also illustrates the jets 902 being positioned across two wavelengths including a first crest 906, a trough 908, and a second crest 910. FIG. 13B is a front view of the waves of FIG. 13A.

Rather than being controlled in groups or panels as described herein, each jet of the wave-generating devices can be individually controlled. For example, the jets can be connected to an automation system in order to be individually controlled. Also, rather than being positioned in relatively narrow rows across the width of the riding surface, the jets can cover more of the floor of the riding surface, for example, covering two or more wavelengths of the artificial wave.

FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate a water ride 1000 according to one embodiment of the invention. The water ride 1000 can include a channel 1001, a pump room 1002, wave-generating devices 1003, a concave feature 1004, a barrel area 1005, flow control fins 1006, and a concealed area 1007. In some embodiments, the channel 1001 can be generally oval in shape to create a recirculating water ride. The water can be pumped through the pump room 1002 toward the flow control fins 1006. The flow control fins can substantially prevent turbulence from occurring as the water flows around the bend in the channel 1001. The water can then flow into a concave feature 1004 that creates a dip in the height of the water with respect to the height of the channel 1001. The concave feature 1004 can have several suitable configurations as described below. In general, the concave feature 1004 results in the rider dropping down before reaching the barrel area 1005 where the rider is elevated onto a curling barrel wave created by the wave-generating devices 1003.

In some embodiments, the water ride 1000 can include additional wave-generating devices positioned upstream of the concave feature 1004. The additional wave-generating devices can create a small non-curling wave before the rider drops down into the concave feature 1004. Once passed over the wave-generating devices 1003, the water can be returned to the pump room 1002.

In some embodiments, the water ride 1000 can include a concealed area 1007, which can be covered by decking or other platform structures. For example, much of the water ride 1000 can be concealed by decking with only the areas above the wave-generating devices 1003 and the concave feature 1004 being open and visible to spectators. As shown in FIG. 15, the water ride 1000 can include panels or groups of wave-generating devices 1003, for example, as shown and described with respect to FIGS. 8-9.

FIGS. 16A-16B illustrate one embodiment of a concave feature 1100 for use with various water rides as described herein. The concave feature 1100 can include a generally planar bed 1102, a perimeter 1104, a depression 1106, a de-watering grate 1108, wave-generating devices 1110, a primary flow area 1112, a secondary flow area 1114, and a surfing zone 1116.

FIGS. 17A-18C also illustrate embodiments of a concave feature similar to the concave feature 1100 of FIGS. 16A-16B. In addition to the structure shown in FIGS. 16A-16B, FIGS. 17A and 18C illustrate a platform 1118, water return piping 1120, and piping 1122 for the wave-generating devices 1110. FIG. 17B illustrates that the depression 1106 can include various zones with different elevation levels. FIG. 17C illustrates a curling barrel wave that can be created in the secondary flow area 1114. FIG. 18A illustrates the depression 1106 without any wave-generating devices 1110. FIG. 18B illustrates platforms 1118 that can be positioned, in some embodiments, upstream and downstream of the depression 1106 and the wave-generating devices 1110.

FIG. 19 illustrates a concave feature 1100 similar to the concave feature of FIGS. 16A-18C. The concave feature 1100 of FIG. 19 can include various zones with different elevation levels. The wave-generating devices 1110 of FIG. 19 can include several panels of nozzles or jets, such as left side panels 1124, left diagonal panels 1126, center panels 1128, right diagonal panels 1130, and right side panels 1132. The wave-generating devices 1110 of FIG. 19 can generate a curling wave in a central portion of the depression 1106, for example, upstream of the center panels 1128. The water ride of FIG. 19 can also include grating 1108 at the bottom of the depression 1106 and grating 1134 downstream from the wave-generating devices 1110.

FIG. 20 illustrates another concave feature 1100 similar to the concave feature of FIG. 19, except that the wave-generating devices 1110 are configured in a different manner. The wave-generating devices 1110 of FIG. 20 include several panels of nozzles or jets, including left top panels 1136, diagonal panels 1138, and right bottom panels 1140.

FIGS. 21A-21B illustrate another concave feature 1100 including two depressions 1106 and wave-generating devices 1110 in a V-shaped configuration that can create two separate curling waves. The wave-generating devices 1110 of FIG. 21A can include several panels of nozzles or jets, including top left panels 1142, left diagonal panels 1144, central panels 1146, right diagonal panels 1148, and top right panels 1150. FIG. 21B illustrates a depression 1106 with three elevation zones. FIG. 22 illustrates a concave feature 1100 positioned between an inclined surface 1152 and a flat surface 1154. The concave feature 1100 can include grating 1108.

FIG. 23 illustrates a water ride 1200 according to one embodiment of the invention. The water ride 1200 can include four sets of wave-generating devices 1202 evenly-spaced around a generally oval recirculating channel 1204. The water ride 1200 can include an island 1206. In some embodiments, the water ride 1200 has a substantially constant depth of about 4 feet. The wave-generating devices 1202 can include four or five pipes with nozzles, in some embodiments. In one embodiments, the channel 1204 can include an arena wall that is about 7 to 8 feet in height above the floor of the water ride 1200. In one embodiment, the water ride 1200 can be about 35 feet in length L and about 20 feet in width W.

FIGS. 24A-24B illustrate a water ride 1300 according to one embodiment of the invention. The water ride 1300 can include a weir slope 1302, a concave contour 1304, de-watering drains 1306, a first jet system 1308, and a second jet system 1310. The water ride 1300 can include a bottom wave contour 1312, a face wave contour 1314, and a wave back contour 1316. The water ride 1300 can include a beach entry area 1318. The water ride 1300 can include wall wedge 1320 and an eddy wall 1322. As shown in FIG. 24B, the water ride 1300 can include a water level 1324 flowing to create a wave form 1328. As shown in FIG. 24A, the water flow can also create an eddy 1326 downstream of the wave form 1328. In some embodiments, the water ride 1300 can include an air mix system 1330 that can introduce air into the first jet system 1308 and the second jet system 1310. The air mix system 1330 can be used to enhance the performance of the jets.

As shown in FIG. 24B, the water flows down the weir slope 1302 so that the water has a substantially constant flow rate across the water ride 1300 perpendicular to the flow. The water flows from the weir slope 1302 into the concave contour 1304. After the concave contour 1304, the water flows past the de-watering drains 1306 where some of the water is removed from the water ride 1300. The remaining water then flows over the first jet system 1308 and the bottom wave contour 1312. The water then continues onto the second jet system 1310 and the face wave contour 1214. Finally, the water passes over the wave back contour 1316. The jet systems and the contours can be designed to achieve particular types wave forms 1328. In some embodiments, the water flows past the wave back contour 1316 and creates an eddy 1326 due to the eddy wall 1322. The area adjacent to the eddy 1326 can be used as a beach entry area 1318 where riders can exit the water ride 1300. FIG. 25 illustrates a decline slope 1332 for use as the weir slope 1302 of the water ride 1300 according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 26A-26B illustrate a water ride 1400 including a weir velocity control system 1402 according to one embodiment of the invention. The water ride 1400 can include an upstream section 1404 followed by a decline slope 1406 and a downstream section 1408. The upstream section 1404 can have a width W1 and the downstream section 1406 can have a width W2. In some embodiments, the width W1 can be greater than the width W2. In other embodiments, the width W1 can be substantially the same as the width W2. In order to create the decline slope 1406, the upstream section 1404 can be at a height A that is higher than a height B of the downstream section 1408. The weir velocity control system 1402 can include one or more water injectors 1410 coupled to valves 1412. The water injectors 1410 can include elongated openings that can extend substantially across the width W2 of the water ride 1400. The valves 1412 can be used to control the velocity of the water being provided to the decline slope 1406 and the downstream portion 1408. As shown in FIG. 26B, the water injectors 1410 can be positioned under a portion of the decline slope 1406. The water can flow from the water injectors 1410 into a concave portion 1422 and past de-watering grates 1414. The water can then flow over a first jet system 1416 and a second jet system 1418 to create a wave form 1420.

FIGS. 27A-27B illustrate a convex back 1500 for use with a water ride. Water can flow past a concave contour 1502 and past de-watering grates 1504 to the convex back 1500. The convex back 1500 can include a bottom wave contour 1506 with a first jet system 1508, a face wave contour 1510, and a top wave contour 1512 with a second jet system 1514. The convex back 1500 can also include back wave contours 1516 and side wave contours 1518.

FIG. 28 illustrates a water ride 1600 according to one embodiment of the invention. The water ride 1600 can include a first pump system 1602 and a second pump system 1604 coupled to outlets 1606 that deliver water to the water ride 1600. The outlets 1606 can be coupled to an upper reservoir 1608 that can provide water to a weir slope or decline portion 1612. Water can also be provided to the decline portion 1612 by a water injector 1610. The water injector 1610 can use water provided from a third pump system 1614 and piping 1616. The water can then flow into a downstream or concave portion 1618 and can pass over a first set of de-watering grates 1620. The de-watering grates 1620 can be coupled to pump 1621 that can return water to a portion 1623 of the upper reservoir 1608 adjacent to the outlets 1606. The water can pass over a convex back 1622 including one or more jet systems and one or more contours in order to create a wave form. The water can then flow over a second set of de-watering grates 1624 that are coupled to water return pipes 1628. The water return pipes 1628 can return the water to a pump room 1634 where pumps 1635 can be positioned to return water to the upper reservoir 1608. The water ride 1600 can also include a lower reservoir 1630. A third set of de-watering grates 1632 can be used to de-water a final portion of the water ride 1600 and/or provide water to the lower reservoir 1630 through lateral grates 1636.

FIG. 29 illustrates a rotating jet system 1700 for use with a river water ride according to one embodiment of the invention. The rotating jet system 1700 can include an outer sheath 1702 surrounding an inner cylinder 1704. The inner cylinder 1704 can include holes, jets, or nozzles 1706 used to generate or enhance wave forms. The inner cylinder 1704 can be rotated with respect to the outer sheath 1702 in order to create a division in a breaking wave. In some embodiments, two outer sheaths 1702 with two rotating inner cylinders 1704 can be positioned adjacent to one another. In other embodiments, a second non-rotating inner cylinder 1704 can be positioned adjacent to a rotating inner cylinder 1704.

FIG. 30 illustrates a convex back 1800 for use in creating a left hand wave form. The convex back 1800 can include a bottom wave contour 1802 with a first jet system 1803, a face wave contour 1804, a top wave contour 1806 with a second jet system 1807, back wave contours 1808, and side wave contours 1810. A de-watering grate 1812 can be positioned at a diagonal that approximates a front edge of the 1814 of the bottom wave contour 1802 and the face wave contour 1804.

FIG. 31 illustrates a convex back 1900 for use in creating a right hand wave form. The convex back 1900 can include a bottom wave contour 1902 with a first jet system 1903, a face wave contour 1904, a top wave contour 1906 with a second jet system 1907, back wave contours 1908, and side wave contours 1910. A de-watering grate 1912 can be positioned at a diagonal that approximates a front edge of the 1914 of the bottom wave contour 1902 and the face wave contour 1904.

FIG. 32 illustrates a convex back 2000 for use in creating a point break wave. The convex back 2000 can include three bottom wave contours 2002 with a first jet system 2003, three face wave contours 2004, two top wave contours 2006 with a second jet system 2007, a back wave contour 2008, and two side wave contours 2010. A de-watering grate 2012 can be positioned to approximate a front edge of the 2014 of the bottom wave contours 2002.

FIG. 33 illustrates a convex back 2100 for use in creating a double face wave. The convex back 2100 can include two bottom wave contours 2102 with two corresponding jet systems 2103, three face wave contours 2104 (the center one including a jet system 2105), two top wave contours 2106 (each with a jet system 2107), five back wave contours 2108, and four side wave contours 2110. A de-watering grate 2112 can be substantially V-shaped to approximate a front edge of the 2114 of the bottom wave contours 2102 and the face wave contours 2104.

FIG. 34 illustrates a water ride 2200 including moveable walls 2202 and a beach area 2204 according to one embodiment of the invention. The moveable walls 2202 can be moveable inward with respect to side walls 2206 of the water ride 2200. The moveable walls 2202 can be adjusted using pistons, such as hydraulic or pneumatic pistons. The moveable walls 2202 can be used to create particular water flow patterns 2208 and a first eddy 2210. The first eddy 2210 can be created so that the beach area 2204 can be formed adjacent to wave generating devices 2212. In this way, the riders can exit the water ride 2200 near the wave form. The water ride 2200 can also include jets 2214 positioned on the side walls 2206 in order to cause water to flow toward the center of the water ride's main channel 2216. In some embodiments, the water ride 2200 can include outwardly-extending walls 2218 that create a second eddy 2220 and a third eddy 2222 downstream of the wave generating devices 2212.

FIGS. 35A-35C illustrate three different power systems for use with a water ride according to some embodiments of the invention. FIG. 35A illustrates a wedge power system 2300 including a weir slope or decline portion 2302 that causes a flow of water toward a contour portion 2304, de-watering grates 2306, and wave-generating devices 2308. A pipe 2310 can provide water from the de-watering grates 2306 to the wave-generating devices 2308.

FIG. 35B illustrates a recirculation power system 2400 including pumps 2402 that provide water to a contour portion 2404. The water flows toward wave-generating devices 2408 and then toward de-watering grates 2406. From the de-watering grates 2406, the water is returned to the pumps 2402 using water return channels 2410 that can be positioned adjacent to side walls 2412 of the water ride.

FIG. 35C illustrates a river-type power system 2500 including a main channel 2502 that creates a circle, oval, or ring to reuse substantially all of the water in the ride. The main channel 2502 can include a contour portion 2504, de-watering grates 2506, and wave-generating devices 2508. The de-watering grates 2506 can be used to provide water to the wave-generating devices 2508 with suitable piping.

FIG. 36 illustrates a wave-generating device 2600 coupled to a first pump 2602 by a pipe 2603 and coupled to a second pump 2604 by a pipe 2605. The wave-generating device 2600 can include a series of jets, holes, or nozzles. In one embodiment, the first pump 2602 can be a lower powered pump (such as a 2 horsepower pump) and the second pump 2604 can be a higher powered pump (such as a 5 horsepower pump). Alternatively, the first pump 2602 and the second pump 2604 can have the same horsepower rating, but one pump can be operated at a lower speed than the other pump. In either of these manners, a center point 2606 for the resulting wave 2608 can be off center with respect to the length of the wave-generating device 2600. The center point 2606 can also be moved along the length of the wave-generating device by operating or controlling the first pump 2602 independently from the second pump 2604.

FIG. 37 includes a table of dimensions for a convex back or wave contour and a weir slope according to some embodiments of the invention. The wave contour can include eight triangular surfaces having sides with the dimensions given in the size column of the table. The eight surfaces can also have the degree of angle listed in the table. In one embodiment, the top of the weir slope can be about 11 feet in height and can have a slope of about 20 degrees. In one embodiment, the bottom of the weir slope can have a slope of about 3 degrees. In some embodiments, the wave contour can be positioned on the weir face at an angle of about 5 degrees to about 7 degrees. In some embodiments, the wave contour can be positioned at about 45 degrees to about 60 degrees with respect to vertical side walls of the water ride. In one embodiment, the weir slope can have an overall length of about 48 feet. In some embodiments, the depth of the water flowing over the weir can be about 2 feet to about 4 feet deep.

FIGS. 38A-38B illustrate a tidal bore water ride 2700 according to another embodiment of the invention. The tidal bore water ride 2700 can include a water circuit 2710, an island area 2712, a primary pump room 2714, primary wave chambers 2716, a secondary pump room 2720, and secondary wave chambers 2722. The primary pump room 2714 and the primary wave chambers 2716 can be used to create a primary flow 2718 in the water circuit 2710. The secondary pump room 2720 and the secondary wave chambers 2722 can be used to create a secondary flow 2724 in the opposite direction of the primary flow 2718. The secondary flow 2724 can simulate a tidal bore that occurs in rivers in nature. In general, a tidal bore is a wave that travels on top of the current flow of a river and in a direction generally opposite to the current flow of the river. In some embodiments, the water ride 2700 can also include primary wave generating devices 2728 and secondary wave generating devices 2726 including nozzles or jets that can enhance the primary flow 2718 or the secondary flow 2724 that creates the tidal bore. The water ride 2700 can also include de-watering grates 2730 that can return the water to the secondary pump room 2720 and de-watering grates 2732 that can return the water to the primary pump room 2714. FIG. 38B illustrates a tidal bore wave 2736 enhanced into a wave form 2734 by the secondary wave generating devices 2726. In some embodiments, the secondary wave generating devices 2726 can be timed to operate when the tidal bore 2736 passes over them in order to enhance the tidal bore 2736 into the wave form 2734. In some embodiments, the primary flow 2718 can slow the tidal bore 2736 of the secondary flow 2724 to one-half its original speed, one-quarter its original speed, one-fifth its original speed, or even slower. In general, the faster the primary flow 2718, the slower the tidal bore 2736 will travel.

FIG. 39 illustrates another embodiment of the water ride 2700 in which the water is returned under the floor of the water ride 2700 so that the water ride 2700 can have a generally rectangular shape. The water ride 2700 shown in FIG. 39 can have a primary flow 2718 and a secondary flow 2724 that creates the tidal bore. The rectangular water ride 2700 can have a pool floor 2740 that can become shallower as its slopes upward from the secondary pump room 2720 to the primary pump room 2714 (e.g., at a ratio of about 25 to 1, about 20 to 1, or any ratio about 15 to 1). In some embodiments, the water ride 2700 can include reefs 2742 along its length. The reefs 2742 can create barrel waves that travel outward to beach areas 2744 as the secondary flow 2724 moves against the primary flow 2718.

Various features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the following claims.