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Meet the world’s newest wave pool projects

Our SurfPlanner update includes latest on Japan, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Richmond Virginia, Oahu, Oceanside and New York projects

As we update the WavePoolMag Surf Planner for this first chunk of 2020, we find that new projects are popping up everywhere. And while some of these will never break ground and fade into the digital memory, the number of surf parks that will stick is increasing.

Belgium is looking to build a wave pool next to an existing cable park in the Knokke-Heist area. The tri-lingual country has a thriving surf population dotting the North Sea beaches. Action sports developer Frank Vanleenhove cut his teeth building LakesideParadise. His path follows that of Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco which paved the way for cable-park-to-wave-pool projects.

Germany is stoked to be looking at two new wave pools. The Munich neighborhood near the airport is moving ahead with a full redevelopment that will include office and retail space. Berlin is eyeing a few forward-thinking Wavegarden Cove designs. The group behind the project, Surf Era, has already met initial funding goals.

Switzerland’s Alaia wave pool broke ground. The boardsports center already has Alaia Camp with activities centered around snow sports and skateboarding. The Wavegarden Cove at Alaia Bay will be surrounded by Alpine views making it one of the most unique wave pools in the world.

OG surf park company Honokea got the nod to assess the feasibility of a Cove facility near Kalaeloa Heritage Park on Oahu’s west side. The company would build a residential and vacation resort around the theme of Aloha and surf culture.

Japan, Switzerland, Virginia, Oahu, Germany and Belgium made a

huge wave pool push during the back half of 2019.

Surf Stadium Japan will break ground with an ambitious eye on opening by summer 2020 – yes, just before the Olympic games. Although the Olympics have shunned competition in a wave pool, the centrally located American Wave Machines-powered stadium will ensure heaps of competitions and team events.

Tom Lochtefeld has been pretty hush-hush about his surf-able wave pool technology. He declined to speak to us because he steadfastly won’t promote “vapor waves,” a term used for wave pools yet to be built. A massive €800million development in Malaga Spain will include a Wave House with Surf Loch Wave System. It just cleared state approval and now local councils are expected to pass the project. The opening will be sometime in 2023.

Rob Henson image BSR

Richmond Virginia is fast becoming surf central. The Lake development just south of the city will include Richmond Surf, a 13-acre water park recreation facility with 6-acres of surf park. The wave pool component is expected to take up most six of those acres alone. By comparison, BSR is two-acres. Yes. This will be one of the biggest wave pools in the USA. Forty minutes to the north SwellSpot is eyeing their first public wave pool. Similarly to OceanKamp and DSRTSurf, both in California, The Lake project will create an entire mix-use development around an AWM PerfectSwell wave pool.

The Oceanside pool is in the works as construction at the site of the former swap meet and drive-in theatre moves ahead. OceanKamp, a development by Zephyr, is a 92-acre property billed as a “California Lifestyle Community” focused around activities like yoga, mountain biking and of course, surfing. The project will include a 300-room hotel, as well as 126,000 square feet of space for stores, restaurants and commercial space. The big mystery is the type of wave technology that will be at the center of OceanKamp. The team has committed to a wave-generating system but won’t disclose which one.

In addition, already registered pool updates to the WavePoolMag Surf Planner include The Long Island Surf Park which is gaining momentum as they move closer to breaking ground in Shirley, New York. American Dream, while not open at press time, is expected to launch its smaller sister wave to Waco any day now. Melbourne is firing on all cylinders in the heat of the Australian summer and The Wave Bristol is fine-tuning their program.

PerfectSwell at Richmond Surf

Richmond Surf – Richmond Virginia

  • The Lowdown: The overall commercial project is called The Lake. Within that, the Richmond Surf development will include 13-acres of water park recreation in all. The wave pool component is expected to take up six of those acres alone. The Lake project will create an entire mix-use development around the Richmond Surf wave pool which will be an American Wave Machines PerfectSwell model
  • WavePool Construction Progress: Just breaking ground with eye on spring 2022 opening
  • Accessibility: Should be open to the public, All-ages, Beginning surfers, Intermediate surfers, Advanced surfers, etc.
  • Wave Generating Technology: American Wave Machines Perfect Swell
  • Wave’s Technical Information: Both Left and Right Breaks, Length of Wave: LONG, Semi-hollow to hollow and performance-oriented. 120 -160 waves per hour come in three-wave sets at between 1:10-1:30 apart. Waves are waist to head-high at Waco facility, but these could be even bigger
  • Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: Unknown
  • Price Breakdown: Unknown
  • Pool Structure: Concrete pool facility with sand added
  • Waves per hour: 120-160
  • Atmosphere: Luxury Virginia
  • Apparel: Mostly boardshorts and bikinis in the summer. 3/2 fulls and spring suits for fall/winter. Boots and gloves in deep winter
underwater view of indoor wave pool

Surf Stadium Japan – Shizunami, Makinohara

  • The Lowdown: American Wave Machines, Inc. announced a joint project with Surf Stadium Japan (SSJ) to build a wave pool in Shizunami. The facility will be surf-able as early as June 2020 if all goes according to plan
  • WavePool Construction Progress: Just started
  • Accessibility: Will be open to the public, All-ages, Beginning surfers, Intermediate surfers, Advanced surfers
  • Wave Generating Technology: American Wave Machines Perfect Swell
  • Wave’s Technical Information: Both Left and Right Breaks, Length of Wave: 30-60 yards/meters, Semi-hollow to hollow and performance-oriented. 120 -160 waves per hour come in three-wave sets at between 1:10-1:30 apart. Waves are waist to head-high
  • Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: Unknown
  • Price Breakdown: Unknown
  • Pool Structure: Concrete pool facility with sand added
  • Waves per hour: 120-160
  • Atmosphere:Could be Olympic sporting vibes if it opens in time
  • Apparel: Mostly boardshorts and bikinis. 3/2 fulls and spring suits for fall/winter

Nippon Surfing Association Website

Surf Era wave pool concept

Surf Era – Berlin, Germany

  • The Lowdown: The new Surf Era project renderings show Wavegarden Cove technology beneath a retractable roof surrounded by the usual wave pool amenities, cafe, surf school, lounge, alongside a futuristic energy-generating device. Most notable is the park’s retractable roof, which hints at the famed Ocean Dome in Japan. The surf park will require approximately 62,500 m², or about the same surface area as a dozen football fields. Of Berlin’s 3.75million residents, the Surf Era group estimates that 25,000 are surfers. 13 million tourists visit the city each year with most passing through Brandenberg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. After the wall came down, East Berlin’s cheap rents attracted students, musicians and artists who created a thriving bohemian scene.
  • WavePool Construction Progress: Planning stages
  • Accessibility: Not yet built or even open to the public.
  • Type of wave(s): The cove produces everything from gentle knee-high rollers to head-high slabs via their top-secret machinery.
  • Wave Generating Technology: Wavegarden Cove Technology
  • Wave’s Technical Information: Cove Technology: Wave height: 4-6 ft, Waves per hour: 500-1000, Both Left and Right Peak, Length of rides are 12-16 seconds
  • Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: Unavailable, but we’ll keep you posted
  • Price Breakdown: None yet
  • Waves per hour: 900-1000 waves per hour with Cove

munich wave pool design

Munich – Hallbergmoos, Germany Munich –

  • The Lowdown: In the Hallbergmoos section of Munich, an ongoing wave pool project is deciding between Cove and PerfectSwell technology. This Munich wave pool would be incorporated into the area’s business park near the airport (which already hosts a standing wave pool). Developers Rock Capital Group is promoting the 32,000-square meter project’s appeal as meeting retail and office space demands of a growing area while enhancing local appeal with leisure space and restaurants.
  • WavePool Construction Progress: Planning stages
  • Accessibility: Not yet built or even open to the public.
  • Type of wave(s): The cove produces everything from gentle knee-high rollers to head-high slabs via their top-secret machinery. PerfectSwell produces famed A-Frames.
  • Wave Generating Technology: Wavegarden Cove Technology
  • Wave’s Technical Information: PerfectSwell Tech: both Left and Right Breaks, Length of Wave: 30-60 yards/meters, Semi-hollow to hollow and performance-oriented. 120 -160 waves per hour come in three-wave sets at between 1:10-1:30 apart. Waves are waist to head-high: Cove Technology: Wave height: 4-6 ft, Waves per hour: 500-1000, Both Left and Right Peak, Length of Wave: 30-60 yards/meters
  • Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: Unavailable, but we’ll keep you posted
  • Price Breakdown: None yet
  • Waves per hour: 900-1000 waves per hour with Cove or 150-waves per hour with PerfectSwell
surf loch costa del sol

Surf Loch Wave Systems – Torremolinos, Málaga, Spain

  • The Lowdown: The project will see 6,000 dwellings built for an estimated 13,000 residents and many of the one million tourists who pass through Torremolinos annually. At the center of the project will be a Wave House 2.0 Surf Loch System. The world is waiting impatiently to see the full-scale genius from Flowrider inventor Tom Lochtefeld to come to light. There’s a chance other Surf Lochs will open before this one, but exactly where is still a secret.
  • WavePool Construction Progress: Planning
  • Accessibility: Open to the public and residents
  • Type of wave(s): Combination
  • Wave Generating Technology: Wave House 2.0 Surf Loch Systems
  • Wave’s Technical Information: Mystery
  • Pool Structure: Manmade Pool
  • Waves per hour: Unknown r
  • Atmosphere: Euro-vacation hub on the Mediterranean
  • Apparel: Bikinis and Boardshorts in summer, a little something more (2-mil shirt) to keep the chill off in winter
surf park hawaii location

Honokea – O‘ahu, Hawaii, Kapolei

  • The Lowdown: Located next to an old military base, the west side of Oahu may host the first wave pool in the island chain. Conceived of by veteran surf park planners Honokea, the project is currently approved for feasibility studies. Spearheaded by surfing royalty Brian Keaulana
    • WavePool Construction Progress: Just entering approval process
    • Accessibility: Private and public
    • Type of wave(s): Unknown, but early renderings show a Wavegarden Cove
    • Wave’s Technical Information: Cove Technology: Wave height: 4-6 ft, Both Left and Right Peak, Length of Ride: 12-16 seconds
    • Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: N/A
    • Admission and Price Breakdown: N/A
    • Pool Structure: Manmade Lake (Lagoon) or Concrete Pool (Cove)
    • Waves per hour: Cove about 900-1000 waves per hour, PerfectSwell about 150 waves per hour in a smaller pool
    • Atmosphere: Aloha or country club. Can’t tell just yet
    • Apparel: Boardshorts and bikini

SurfersParadise – Knokke-Heist, Belgium

  • The Lowdown: Located next to wake park LakeParadise, a full-service cable facility, the dream for SurferParadise is to take advantage of its neighbour’s infrastructure. The project is in good standing with the town and development looks certain
    • WavePool Construction Progress: Just cutting the red tape
    • Accessibility: Private and public
    • Type of wave(s): Either Wavegarden Cove or American Wave Machines PerfectSwell
    • Wave’s Technical Information: PerfectSwell Tech: both Left and Right Breaks, Length of Wave: 30-60 yards/meters, Semi-hollow to hollow and performance-oriented. 120 -160 waves per hour come in three-wave sets at between 1:10-1:30 apart. Waves are waist to head-high: Cove Technology: Wave height: 4-6 ft, Waves per hour: 500-1000, Both Left and Right Peak, Length of Wave: 30-60 yards/meters
    • Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: N/A
    • Admission and Price Breakdown: N/A
    • Pool Structure: Manmade Lake (Lagoon) or Concrete Pool (Cove)
    • Waves per hour: Cove about 900-1000 waves per hour, PerfectSwell about 150
    • Atmosphere: Civilised, cold North Sea vibe with civilized post-surf specialty chocolate and 9% beers
    • Apparel: Year-round wetsuits. Full boots, hood and gloves in deep winter. 3/2 full in summer


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