Article

Wavegarden UK

Artificial wave company plans new facility in England

| posted on January 26, 2012

The design for Bristol aims to be a multi-faceted facility, as the design illustrates. Post-surf options include a walk down the Adventure Trail to the Sensory Garden, or maybe a stroll from the Family Area to the Sculpture Garden. Click to Expand.

A new destination for surfing, or at least some form of it, may hit the southwestern coast of the United Kingdom by spring 2013. In Bristol, England, plans are under review for the installation of the first licensed Wavegarden prototype and public surfing facility.

The designs tout some very bold claims: this Wavegarden will create perfect 5-foot waves breaking at 90 second intervals on a quarter-mile long lake, which the reps say skilled surfers will be able to milk for a 55-second-long ride. It sounds unrealistic, but if it even operates at half that capacity, it would be, in a faux, freshwater way, comparable to a solid day at Malibu.

They’ve outlined their vision for the facility, and it sounds like a familiar formula. As the press release states, they hope to “provide a healthy, educational, sensory experience. This means children can play, learn and have fun, grown-ups can relax and there will be easy access for people of all abilities.” So they’re building a beach, and with that, why not some waves?

In order for this project to move forward, however, a weighty investment is required: 13 acres of untouched land and roughly $7.74 million. The allocation of so many resources to an artificial wave has fired up a good number of the locals around Bristol, yet the team behind the plan sees it as a high-risk, high-reward scenario.

“It’s ambitious, but attainable,” said Nick Hounsfield, co-founder of Wavegarden UK. “We instinctively know that being in or around water is good for people, and that is something we want to share.”

The project is in its early stages, still awaiting policy approval and assembling investors, but it marks an interesting point in wave-pool development. The technology exists, and it’s now a matter of application. What this means for the sport of surfing and its potential proliferation is another discussion entirely.

Meanwhile, construction has begun on a new public-use surfing facility in the Basque Country, at the same location of the original Wavegarden. The company claims to additionally have commitments for licensed facilities in the Middle East, Europe and America.


Recent footage from the original Wavegarden in the Basque Country of Spain.

  • http://MSN Chris Jones

    It looks like a really cool long board wave. I just wish they’d show how they made that wave happen because its real and it rocks! That could change the face of what we know as surfing today as our sport just might move beyond the shores. Kinda scary to think about but you gotta admit, that looks like the future of surfing.

  • anon

    They make that wave twice as big and they’ll have a business.

  • Rocky Balboa

    This system uses two barrels of oil an hour to produce that joke of a wave. You can walk down to just about any shitty beach and get more push on any day. Its a tremendous waste natural resources.

    Also, my guess is it will be much like those logic games parents subject their kids to that are supposed to help them improve test scores and which they just realized only help kids improve on logic games. You won’t be able to translate your half turns from the wavepool to real life because every wave is a different angle, speed, lip, etc. Thats what makes it so fkn hard and fun.

    It’s a concessions business — nothing else.

  • Gunther Gabrielas

    Barrels to the UK? Stop with the lies….
    What an absolutely misleading title! Do you think we are blind?….a mouse woud get barrelled or an infant possibly at best.

    This is no barrelling wave for man.

    A total waste of energy and time. Oh cool bro……….blah, blah, blah …
    lame.

  • http://karramarrobila.blogspot.com Karramarro bila

    The wave from the video is just a prototipe. They are makeing it bigger for this spring. Please check info before you coment.

  • Whamo

    How much would it cost to make Lake Tahoe into a right? LOL.

  • jimmy

    idk about you all, but one of the things i appreciate about surfing is being in nature, and what you learn from that.

    Things like this also come with admission fees, wavers, insurance, ect. Not stoked

  • Kristjan

    This would be perfect for Slovenia no waves here :(

  • DGCOVA

    HEY GUYS, LETS BE REALISTIC …..ITS ONLY ANOTHER WAY TO HAVE FUN…..IT WAS DIDNT DEVELOPED AND WONT REPLACE THE NATURAL SURF, PROVIDED BY THE NATURE…….
    I THINK ITS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKES SURF AND DONT HAVE BEACH CLOSE….AND ITS GOOD FOR TRAINING IN FLAT DAYS……TO KEEP THE BODY FIT …..
    O PREFER TRY ONCE SURF THIS BEFORE, THAN MAKING PRECIPATED CONCLUSIONS …….

  • Matt Reader

    I think the only thing you really need to consider about the Wave Garden is the huge smile on Owen Wrights face while his surfing it in that video, the guy looks like he is having a blast! I agree with you though anon double the size and I think we are in business.

  • James Clubber Lang

    This message is to Rocky Balboa. If the machines that power
    these waves are tied into a grid that is supported by renewable
    sources, then what’s your grief then? Two year ago, Portugal
    had 45% of it’s electricity come from renewable sources. It’s higher
    now.
    http://www.infrastructurist.com/2010/08/10/portugal-has-embraced-renewable-energy-so-why-cant-we/
    If these Gardens are powered by PV, hydro, or wind, it just might
    to be guilt free surfing and probably greener than taking a surf
    trip to Indonesia.

  • mark Waller

    I love the idea. I also agree that its probably better that we spend time on a “natural” wave. The fact is that while we stupid humans are determined to continue growing our population and turning all the worlds great surf spots into subdivisions then I say bring it on. If I could find a way to do it on my own land I’d do it in a heartbeat. I cant even surf the home break I grew up on because of crowds.