You ever see a clip of a windswept, rocky ledge near the ocean that has waves perpetually pounding against it? Naturally, you understand fully that those types of ledges are extremely dangerous. The slippery rocks and the relentless waves could sweep you off your feet if you’re not careful and drag you into the ocean. You’d be in serious danger, as it would be nearly impossible to get your bearings, and the heavy waves could send your body crashing up against the rocks.
Still, a little part of your brain can’t help but think, “Man, it would be fun to swim in that, if it could only be safe somehow.”
Evidently, the makers of Australia’s Bondi Iceberg Pool had that same thought. Located on Sydney’s eastern shore, this swimming pool puts up a rather shoddy barrier between the swimming pool and the ocean. In fact, the barrier is designed more to keep swimmers in than keep the ocean water out. Every wave crashes over the pool barrier, buffeting swimmers with the raw force of the ocean.
A lot of us have been to wave pools before. They’re fun, sure but they can only really go so far. The fact that some machine generates the waves makes it only a poor replica of the real thing. I think it’s safe to say that most of us would rather feel the power of real waves, especially if we could experience them in a slightly more controlled environment where there aren’t sharks, jellyfish, and icky ocean goop squishing between our toes.
The fact that the pool is designed to incorporate the water of the ocean is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It provides a more authentic experience, sure, but that experience is necessarily limited by the whims of the Tasman Sea. Some days, the water might be cold and choppy, while other days might be warm and calm. You can never really be quite sure, but that’s the price you pay for authenticity.