Testing has got underway at Surf Snowdonia, the North Wales WaveGarden that’s due to open for business on 1st August. The video above shows the facility operating at 50% power, so don’t worry, there’s more to come.
Surf Snowdonia will be the world’s first WaveGarden open to the public, and it’s now possible to book yourself a session via their website. Up to 52 surfers will be able to use the 300m lagoon at any one time, with prices for a one hour session ranging from £19 t0 £40. The waves peel for 150m — making them the longest manmade waves in the world — at three different available heights: 2m, 1.2m and 70cm. Waves will be generated at the rate of one a minute, although the wave breaks on both sides of the pontoon (see below), which means two surfers can ride it without interfering with one another.
Are you frothing about the advent of commercial wave parks, or is it just another of the ways surfing has been corrupted and made available to an even larger market? Joesema Odriozola, creator of the WaveGarden technology, recently penned an insightful, remarkably frank essay about the monster he may or may not have created. Have a read of it here. Scroll on down for more details on the Surf Snowdonia facility.
Here’s some further info from a recent Surf Snowdonia press release:
- A wavefoil that resembles a snowplough will shuttle back and forth along a central underwater track which runs the length of the 300m lagoon. As the machinery moves back and forth it will generate a barrelling wave on each side of the track.
- The waves will interact with the contours on the bed of the lagoon to provide various wave profiles at different points in the lagoon. The waves will be variously 2m, 1.2m and 70cm high, and will peel for up to 150 metres. That’s the equivalent of a 20-second ride for the surfer on the wave.
- The wavefoil will be controlled using computer-based technology housed in towers at either end of the central pier.
- A gearless ropeway drive system inspired by ski lift technology will move the wavefoil back and forth across the length of the lagoon at the touch of button.
- The system is capable of producing the longest man-made waves in the world which hold their power and form over any distance.
- The lagoon’s shore will be fitted with a porous grid sheeting which will help to dissipate the energy of the wave much more quickly than an impermeable perimeter would. This will allow for a highly efficient turnaround of the wave machinery, allowing it to generate waves at the rate of one per minute.
- The central underwater machinery will be covered with a protective stainless steel netted screen, to keep surfers safe from the moving parts without impairing the energy of the waves. The steel screen will be covered above water level by a wooden pier structure.