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Maker of surf simulator to get national exposure


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POSTED: Friday, April 02, 2010

Surf Simulators of Hawaii LLC will soon get national publicity via ”;Extreme Makeover, Home Edition”; on ABC (KITV in Hawaii).

The company makes an interactive surfing experience comprising a surfboard and a video screen. As people stand on and manipulate the surfboard, they see themselves surfing on an on-screen wave.

Show producers found Surf Simulators founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Goo online, as two daughters in a Texas family the episode is centered around wanted a surf-themed room.

The girls, 10 and 12, are missing limbs, nevertheless, “;they're so cute. ... They just love surfing,”; Goo said.

He has pictures of them using the simulator but is not allowed to release them before the May 9 air date.

The room is decorated with a big wave, and “;they made a bed with skegs on it. It's cute,”; Goo said.

The girls' simulator was customized for them, using new software “;that put their faces in the game, like bobble-heads,”; he chuckled.

Besides renting surf simulators for corporate events, as has been written about in this space before, Goo has supplied them for weddings, birthday parties and bar mitzvahs as far away as the East Coast.

Customers log on to www.mystupidplace.com for instructions and support information.

Goo used to work for Atari and Nintendo and has no interest in getting back into the console gaming industry.

He has created an educational program, “;Eco-Surfsimulator: Sun Surf, Health and Diet,”; that uses the simulator to teach about ecology, under contract with a school in California. Another teaches about health, nutrition and fitness, and he would love to get it into Hawaii public schools. Students on the surfboard would demolish junk-food images as a shark or with a paddle-board.

His simulator in the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel started out as a short board that often two or more people would try at a time. He replaced it with a long board, and whole families would clamber on to try it out and have keepsake pictures taken.

“;We got letters from all over the world,”; Goo said, citing one from a parent of an autistic child who tried the surfboard and gained enough confidence to try an actual surfing lesson.