Whats up Rick Kane, surfers around the globe are frothing at the opening of Surf Snowdonia the world first legitimate wavepark. Now one would think such a park would open in California, Florida or even Texas perhaps, however if you want to ride this A-framing point break you will need to jump a plane and head over to the UK.
The Surf Snowdonia concept started in Spain at the company’s test facility known as the Wavegarden. Photos of this wave have been leaked out over the years (see below) however the Wavegarden was simply an R&D site that was closed off to the public. Leaving surfers to wonder if this was a hoax or something rad for the future of our sport.
Currently there are other “man made waves” to ride at water-parks across North America and globally for that matter. However most lack a true surfing feel.
The closest I have come to riding a real wave without being in the ocean was at the Flowrider in Mission Beach, CA. That being said the Flowrider is NOT a good place for a beginner to learn to ride waves. If you wanted to practice getting barreled or better yet getting slammed while repeatedly being thrown over the falls into a heavy washing machine cycle over and over again then the Flowrider just might be your thing.
What makes the waves at Surf Snowdonia so unique is the fact that they look and act very similarly to real waves that you would find in the ocean; albeit a perfectly manageable sized ripping point break with a lack of crowds! Take that Trestles…
How’s This Possible?
The Surf Snowdonia crew dropped £12 million pounds on the construction of the new wave that’s powered by a gear-less system capable of producing produce the longest man-made waves in the world. This same technology is used to power ski lifts and snowplows around the world, talk about full circle!!!
Surf Snowdownia waves will break at 60 second intervals, with various sizes and shapes available thanks to the ever changing contours of Snowdownia lagoon bed. (just like in the ocean) Wave heights will range from 2-6 foot depending on the session with rides lasting over 150 yards.
The facility will collect and use rainwater from nearby mountain reservoirs. Although Snowdownia claims “Rigorous testing has shown that there is no perceivable difference in surf-ability or buoyancy when it comes to using fresh water over salt water”. Even with that claim, I can safely say without salt in the water you’re not going to float the way you normally would, that being said the learning curve for surfing in fresh water should be quick for most.
Along with the rainwater Surf Snowdownia will utilize the sun for natural UV disinfection and filtration, so the facility will be chlorine-free.
The facility is currently open to the public and ready to show the world the next ASP champ may just follow in Rick Kane’s path.. Lessons are available for beginners to advanced surfers and they even have a Groms after school program, how cool is that for the local community.
You can either bring your own boards, or rent boards and wetties from Surf Snowdownia. For more information please visit: https://www.surfsnowdonia.co.uk/