The Big Kahuna/Surfin’ Surfari Videmption Surfing Game Spotted On Test

arcadehero August 15, 2019 3
The Big Kahuna/Surfin’ Surfari Videmption Surfing Game Spotted On Test

[Thanks to Jdevy for the tip] NOTE That this page has been updated with additional information since it was first posted this morning.

Well news sure slowed down this week, although by a few things accumulating here and there (news items I’m trying to get more information on) might mean we’ll have a busy weekend.

Disclaimer I’m putting on all beta/test games now: The product shown in this post is in an early test/pre-production state. It may change significantly by the time it hits production, or not even be released. 

If you’re really into redemption gaming, then you have plenty of reason to be excited, as the FEC-focused market continues to create more content for winning tickets than playing just for fun & points. This latest title also dives into a genre that has been touched on a few times in arcade video games, but like various genres, not something that has been done in quite a while – surfing. The sport has been featured far more prominently in pinball than in video games up to this point, although games like Sega’s Soul Surfer and Namco’s Samurai Surf X tried to fill that void 18 years ago with full-sized simulators.

UPDATE: I was contacted by an anonymous tipster who sent along a couple of photos of the game on test at a Dave & Busters location. The name has been changed to Surfin’ Surfari, while the cabinet now sports updated artwork as well as added LED’s to the surfboard controllers (click to enlarge) 2nd update (I just didn’t have time to really look at these closely when posted): The maker of this one is Team Play, which is most recently known for the Spins Ahoy! videmption board game style title:

Original post: So let’s get to The Big Kahuna. The only info we have about it comes from this video below, where it was found on test at the Badger Sports Park in Appleton, WI. It doesn’t have any branding on it from what I can see, but from the style of the cabinet (marquee, control panel in particular), the art direction of the game, and the fact that it’s in Wisconsin, I’m 80% sure that this is a piece by Bay Tek Entertainment. Let’s watch:

Continuing with that assumption of it being Bay Tek, they have been tinkering with ocean/water-themed videmption games in recent times, such as with the unreleased Steer Clear that was seen at a couple of trade shows. This one looks to enjoy easier control, With Team Play being the producers, this changes my assumption a little bit, but as we can see, it comes with two player support, using the surfboard shaped balance controls to move your character from side-to-side. Under this assumption, it also may not have an amusement/ticketless mode.

The presence of a curved screen is also interesting; just yesterday I was talking with someone about the newer video slot machines in Vegas that have those large curved displays and I rhetorically asked when we’d see that display tech show up in arcades…here you go, it seems, although the curvature of the screen doesn’t appear to be quite as large as some of those slots I’ve seen.

We’ll keep an eye out for this one at IAAPA 2019, assuming it’ll be there, although with Team Play you never know. What do you think about this one?


  1. Ralph Tribl August 19, 2019 at 5:49 am - Reply

    You can see that Team Play is making it. It is below the title on the marquee. {Zoom Helps}

    • arcadehero August 19, 2019 at 9:44 am - Reply

      Yeah, I noticed it afterwards, just didn’t update the post as the Tetris news dropped. Will update today (hopefully)

Leave A Response »