Working on the SurfPoel and developing our technology is something that we are spending our time on every day. When selecting our partners, we want to make sure they have the same passion for their part of the job. Having the same kind of curiosity, outlook on quality and validation is something that is key in a successful collaboration and turning a project in to a success.
As the construction crew is essential for the SurfPoel and we believe in building long-term partnerships, we are very excited to have Johann Geiger and his G-Ramps crew as part of our core team! Over the last few months, the crew has been working hard on the construction. So it’s about time we sit down with Johann and introduce him to all of you. Keep reading to find out more about Johann (or Hans as we call him) and G-Ramps work.
How did G-Ramps start?
After being a skateboarder in the very early days (early 70’s) I was one of the first rollerbladers in Germany and I bumped into a group of kids from another valley. Together we started building some ramps and at some point this moved to building ramps so we could do demo’s in other locations and at events. And then we got hooked up to the German federation. They asked us to build everything for the national championships. There were things we wanted to incorporate in our course design, but we couldn’t find the products anywhere. That’s when we really started to build things ourselves. It had all gotten to a point then, where I basically had to open up an official company because we kept getting orders from other organizations, companies and events. That’s how G-Ramps was born. I have to say, at the time I thought this is something I would do for a year or two… now we are 25 years down the line!
Being curious and trusting my gut feeling has helped me build G-Ramps from simple small skateparks to supplying contest, companies and individual top athletes around the world. Our big breakthrough was the first SOUL BOWL and traveling around the world with that. From there on, we have set the standard for vert-ramps at X-Games, Dew Tour and so on. We are used to working with different materials: concrete, wood, steel and more, to make the best construction for what we want to build.
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How did you get in touch with wave pools?
I got introduced to a guy from Australia, 9 years ago, here in Germany and he told me about wave pools. I was immediately hooked by what he was telling me because I was interested in the technical part of it. How is a wave created? How does it all work? I have been building things for over 25 years already but it’s all very static. The people who used it move, but the products we make don’t move. And me, being curious me, I started investigating straight away.
Funny enough they didn’t have a very definite idea at the time how the technic behind the wave would work. So I was sitting down by myself, and I was writing down and basically drawing up a concept for the build of it. I was meeting with companies such as Doppelmayr. But it was clear that their cable system wouldn’t work with the looped design we were looking at, at the time. It would have required a lot of technical attention and the force on the cable would be so big and intense that we would have to use a very thick cable. And it would ware out fast due to going around the corners and the big amount of force on it.
Then I started with a new system but that type of pool never got build in the time. We kept re-inventing all the time. The group I worked with back then fell apart but it always stayed in my mind. Then a couple of years ago I met Steven and we started combining our knowledge. Steven is obvious the guy with the wave technology idea that we are working on now. But I was able to put in my technical building knowledge on the table, to make sure we could actually make it a reality and that the necessary equipment is available. And to make it efficient.
At first I didn’t’ know much about other pools because it wasn’t much known. I’ve now spent 9 years at looking at wave pools and investigating all the technologies and materials that are being used in the different concepts. This pool that we are building know, is very efficient. Especially compared to other wave pools now. And the wave we create is very popular with surfers. It is very surfable. I am convinced because of the financial and energy and technology and quality of the wave that we have a very, very good solution for the majority of the surfers.
What do you think is the biggest challenge with the build now?
I can tell you from 25 years of experience that there will always be things that will be a surprise and a challenge. Things you haven’t thought of in advance. But solving those kinds of challenges is what I’ve been doing for a very long time now, so I’m not really worried! Especially because our technology is basically already proven. And we have strong technology partners with Liebherr. They prove to be very professional and love the project just as much as we. So I’m very much looking forward to. It’s a new process and we have technology that is moving. It’s alive and transforming and it’s going to be amazing. The overall project makes me very excited and I love the new dynamics of it.
And I’m very happy with my crew, they love the project and we look forward to finishing the build and see the first waves rolling!