From its early beginnings to the vibrant and innovative corporation of today, ADG is proud to have set the standards in wave generation and water park design/build that companies worldwide have attempted to emulate for more than half a century.

Our History

Built upon deep industry roots that date back over half-a-century, our dedication to servicing our clients was forged when the founder of our company, Herb Ellis, saw the potential of  what was then a fledgling waterpark industry and steered a large successful commercial pool business, committed to innovation in water quality, construction methods and guest experience, into what is known today as Aquatic Development Group.

Many of the innovative ideas and products developed through Herb’s dedication to ‘doing it right’ and ‘making it better’ are considered standards in today’s waterparks.


Ken Ellis and Herb Ellis Waterpark Industry Members

Herb Ellis takes a part-time summer job in the commercial pool industry as a salesman working for Paddock Pools. By the late 1950s, his passion for pools has evolved into a full-time career. (Photo: Herb Ellis with son Ken, c. 1970s)


ADG Wave Generators

Ellis becomes CEO of Paddock Pools and grows the company to become the largest commercial pool contractor in the U.S. specializing in equipment manufacturing and construction. Recognizing the need for innovation and product excellence in the industry, the organization restructures to propel these tenets forward. (Photo: ADG Manufacturing facility)


Elitch Gardens Wave PoolWith the water park industry still in its infancy, Ellis sees the potential for “recreational water environments” to become big business in the U.S.  He forms Aquatic Development Group and refocuses the company from the largest commercial pool builder in the northeast to a company dedicated to providing equipment, design, and construction management services to spur the growth and development of water parks throughout North America. (Photo: Elitch Gardens early wave pool and slide complex)


ADG Wavetek technology generation for wave pools People wanted everything to be big in the ’80s and that included waves. ADG Waves was at the forefront of wave and surf pool development in North America leading the way with their patented WaveTek® wave system technology which today powers more than 90% of all wave pool systems across the US.  The World Waterpark Association is formed in the 1980’s and Herb Ellis becomes one of the original founding members and Hall of Fame inductees. (Photo: ADG Wave Generation)


Six Flags Over Georgia Wave poolWater parks start to spring up throughout North America and ADG continues to lead the way as the #1 designer & builder of aquatic environments. During this time, ADG opens their corporate office and manufacturing facility in upstate NY and Herb’s son, Ken Ellis, becomes President & CEO. Pioneering the design/build concept, the seeds of ADG’s InDepthTM  Approach begin to emerge as innovative product development, park design, and construction is married with business development and revenue generation goals.  (Photo: Six Flags over Georgia)


Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark MLPSThe turn of the century sees the growth and popularity of outdoor water parks continue, and with it, the introduction of the indoor water park to the U.S. market.  ADG leads the way designing and constructing over 20 new indoor water parks across North America. (Photo: Aquatopia Indoor Water Park)


boy on flowrdier surf rideADG continues to expands its reputation as the premier water park design/build firm. Innovative wave pool designs and rivers that incorporate waves take the forefront.  ADG also begins work with Tom Lochtefeld helping to bring the popular FlowRider surfing machine to market and begins manufacturing and installing the FlowRider®  across North America and has over 130 installations to their credit. (Photo: FlowRider®)


Mountain Coaster and SlideADG continues to be a leader in innovation and creativity, expanding its offerings beyond water with their new MountainsidesTM product line.  The all-new alpine Mountain Coaster and re-invented Alpine Slide have quickly proven to be the most innovative, safe and yet, thrilling rides on the mountain – and the only ones to be manufactured in the USA. (Photo: ADG’s Mountain Slide and Coaster)


Tidal Wave River Water RideADG  pioneers new grounds in the recreational water industry with the introduction of their new line of recreational Water Rides These innovative water rides, developed around the concept of getting more people in the water instead of on a line, are the newest attractions to hit the aquatic industry.  Winning multiple Brass Ring and Leading Edge awards from our industry’s top associations, they once again showcase ADG’s leadership and innovation. (Photo: rendering of ADG’s Tidal RiverTM)


girl surfing on epicsurf waveDiving deep into their long history of making surfable waves for wave pools, ADG propels itself onto today’s surf scene with the launch of their  EpicSurf® stationary surf wave. The first to be manufactured in North America, EpicSurf  produces a true deep-water wave that adjusts from 2′ – 5′ and is designed for real surfing with real surfboards.  The EpicSurf is available in multiple size options ranging from 30′ up to 100′.  (Photo: EpicSurf®)

ADG’s smart, innovative products and unique InDepthTM approach to water park design and development has enabled ADG to remain the #1 aquatic manufacturing and design/build firm in the industry for more than half a century. Learn more about our approach and what makes ADG the perfect partner for your next aquatic or recreational mountainside project.

Aquatic Development Group