Covid-19 update: Bristol and Kung Fu Panda close, Urbnsurf and BSR stay open… for now
The surfing world is reigning in ocean-surfing and gatherings around the world. Legacy event the Australian Surfing Awards canceled their hotel engagement and decided to put on a television show instead, sans audience. The WSL announced they are postponing or canceling all events, at all levels of competition, through the end of May.
What about wave pools? Earlier this week we reported that all were staying open. But my how things change. And how quickly. These are, after all, unprecedented times
The Wave Bristol announced they will close doors at the end of today 19th March in a closure that affects all areas of the surf park.
“Based on the latest Government guidance regarding the Coronavirus outbreak we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close The Wave from end of day on Thursday 19th March to 1st May,” said Craig Stoddart, CEO of The Wave. “The health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is of the utmost importance to us. The current recommendation is that wherever possible everyone should avoid non-essential social contact and unnecessary travel, and as a public-facing business we believe we have a duty to help control the spread of the virus and protect our community, by closing our doors.”
The Wave added that if people have a surf booked during this period they’ll be contacted by email with information on the next steps. Updates on developments will come via the website, newsletters and social media pages.
Urbnsurf said they will remain open for now, monitoring the situation as it develops.
“As we continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, we wanted to share an update with you regarding visiting and surfing at Urbnsurf Melbourne,” the company said in a statement. “All surf sessions and surf lessons are running as normal, and our park amenities remain open.”
Urbnsurf is limiting access to the facility for surfers only. Their popular spectator passes will not be available. Future bookings will also be impacted.
“We are limiting future bookings via our online booking calendar to up to Sunday, 19 April 2020,” said Urbnsurf. We will continue to honor all current and future bookings, but we want to reduce the risk of disappointment for our members and guests should we be required to take further preventative steps as advised by the authorities.”
Urbnsurf added that if you have tested positive for the virus, or are otherwise feeling unwell, do not to visit Urbnsurf Melbourne and seek a doctor’s advice.
The Dreamworks waterpark at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey pushed back their March 19 opening date as a result of the virus.
A representative for the company said that although there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at American Dream, the mall shut its doors as a safety precaution on March 16. American Dream anticipates remaining closed to the end of March. The waterpark is home to the PerfectSwell-powered indoor wave pool at Far Far a Bay adjacent Shrek’s Sinkhole Slammer and Kung Fu Panda’s Temple of Awesomeness.
BSR Surf Resort announced they will remain open and are still taking bookings through May.
“As you can imagine, our front-line staff are receiving an overwhelming number of phone calls, emails, and messages at this time,” the company stated on their website. “We are doing our best to respond in a timely manner so we ask for your patience while we work through our communication lines.”
The Waco wave pool updated their cancellation policy in light of Covid-19. Updated policy allows cancellations up to 24 hours prior to a booking and can be rescheduled to a later date or a credit will be issued for use toward a future booking. BSR won’t issue refunds, but credits from changed sessions may be used for any available date prior to 12/31/2020. The crown jewel of Waco surfing, a private session at BSR, must be rescheduled a minimum of 14 days prior to the scheduled session according to the company.
WavePoolMag reporter Alexis Copeland was in the middle of working on a story when travel to Texas from California became impossible. He had to cancel his session but reported that it was a rather painless procedure to do so.
“I have to say BSR gave everyone in my party credit for the hours at a future date,” Copeland said in an email. “It took about 90 seconds on text. First-class – we were all stoked by that.”
WavePoolMag will continue to keep you updated on the operation of surf parks as things develop.
Main image by Image Cabin. Altered by WPM staff.