EuroVision: New parks coming next year to the Old Country
We decided to do our own take on Eurovision, that annual over-the-top song contest that unites European nations in a bright, shiny moment of camp and pop. Old Country moral could use a little boost at the moment, so we found six reasons to smile…
After the closure of Surf Snowdonia, there are only three remaining surf parks in Europe that produce traveling waves: Alaia Bay in Switzerland, The Wave in the UK, and Wavegarden’s R&D site in the Spanish Basque Country which, unfortunately, is not open to the public.
But that is soon to change. European parks increase significantly in number by the end of next year. If all projects stay on schedule, we will see a boom in new pools. Germany, the Netherlands (x2), Spain, Scotland, and Belgium are all set to have wave pools of their own in 2024.
Are we overly optimistic? Typically, yes. But that’s just us. These projects have been making a lot of noise regarding opening dates, so we tend to listen. What have we learned? Read on to see where the new pools are, when they will open and where you can expect to find the WavePoolMag out surfing.
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Commissioned date: Announced in 2018
Launch date: It seems a bit behind the spring 2023 test schedule posted on their website, but according to their Instagram construction is well underway.
SurfPoel is set to become Europe’s first indoor wave pool as well as the first to use the new 24/7Waves technology. It was originally scheduled to open in 2019 but experienced delays due to Covid. They claim their new proprietary foil technology – similar to the mechanism at Kelly Slater’s pool – will create 120 waves per hour that are 1.5 meters high and 10 seconds long. The initial opening, whenever it may be, will only be partially open to the public, giving priority to those who participated in their crowdfunding and pre-sales.
O2 SURFTOWN MUC
Location: Munich, Germany
Commissioned date: Approved in 2021
Launch date: Spring 2024
O2 SURFTOWN MUC will soon become Germany’s first non-rapid wave surf park, currently under construction near the Munich airport. It will be the first public pool to showcase Endless Surf technology, which uses a pneumatic system (pressurized air) to create lefts and rights up to two meters high that run for 180 meters at 10-second intervals. One surfer involved in the project compared it to the waves currently found at Waco Surf, but 70% longer.
The project is also breaking ground in commercial branding for wave pools by selling the naming rights to the Germany telecommunications provider, O2. This is along the lines of top professional sports leagues around the world that sell stadium naming rights.
In efforts to make the pool as sustainable as possible, the park will offset much of their energy requirements from photovoltaic (solar) investments, capture rainwater, and offer e-bike and car charging stations and a ride-sharing exchange, and use local and certified suppliers for short supply chains.
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Commissioned date: First proposed in 2014 and has been approved as of 2023
Launch date: Spring 2024
RiF010 has been nearly a decade in the works, but finally after overcoming legal resistance from neighbors in Rotterdam, they are scheduled to open in the spring of 2024. The project was selected in a city vote, among other ideas to transform the city’s public spaces, and awarded €3m in public funding. Utilizing the pre-existing, historic canals of the Netherlands, the pool is slated to become the world’s first wave park in the heart of a city center.
It will use Surf Lock technology to create a right-hand wave 1.5 meters high that runs for 8-9 seconds through the canal. The location alongside the popular Market Hall of Rotterdam is expected to draw 35,000-50,000 surfers per year, and even more spectators.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Commissioned date: 2023
Launch date: First quarter 2025
Wavegarden is bringing a wave pool to the capital of the nation from which it was born. The Wavegarden Madrid project is slated to open in 2025, part of a larger development called ‘Sports City’ around the stadium of the football club Atlético Madrid.
Wavegarden claims the pool will feature the largest urban beach in Europe and will include a surf school, surf shop, skatepark, bars, as well as other sporting activities.
The pool will utilize Wavegarden’s latest Cove technology, able to produce left and right waves adjustable per skill level that vary from 2-7 feet in height and 30-100 meters in length.
Lost Shore Surf Resort
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Commissioned date: 2019
Launch date: Summer 2024
Lost Shore Surf Resort is another one of Wavegarden’s new Cove projects set to open up in 2024 on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The vision for Lost Shore Surf Resort goes beyond just a pool. The facility plans include accommodation, retail, a wellness center, and dining, along with plans to incorporate university research and adaptive surfing programs. It is estimated to generate 130 jobs and £11m for the local economy each year.
Learn more about Lost Shore’s plans via our podcast with the Founder and Managing Director, Andy Hadden.
Location: Knokke-Heist, Belgium
Commissioned date: First announced in 2021
Launch date: Currently dry testing, will fill pool with water soon
AllWaves has brought its own unique twist to wave pool technology with its R&D facility in Belgium. The system consists of a high-tech textile that sits at the bottom of the pool that moves to create waves (you have to look at the photos to have a remote idea of what this new technology looks like). The facility under construction in Belgium is not designed to be a park for the public, but a test site to showcase the technology for potential clients.
The design has waves that break on either side of the pool as well as an a-frame that breaks in the front of the pool. This layout would accommodate four surfers to ride each pulse that is produced.