Move over K Pop & K Drama, here comes K Surfing

Wave Park South Korea is the setting for a new K Drama which bears a passing resemblance to America’s The Ultimate Surfer. But instead of aspiring pro surfers sharing laughter, tears and sexual tension this series titled “Surprise” puts a hand-picked cast of idol stars, actors, singers, swimmers and comedians in emotionally charged situations. Oh, and they learn to surf in the process.

The male performers include actors Choi Seong-min, Hyun-woo, and Lee Sang-min, singer Joel, model Heo Hyun-do, dancer Cha Hyun-seung, and others. While the female cast features girl group lead Bestie Handara, influencer Jeon Da-bin, comedian Jo Su-yeon, actress and singer Lim So-young and professional swimmer Park Chan-yi.

“The talent, spirit, and sense of challenge of the cast members will be combined with thrilling artificial waves to provide viewers at home and abroad with unpredictable fun,” said Director Koo Hyun-wook (Google Translated). “We will effectively publicize the city of Siheung-Si and the artificial surfing site Wave Park while spreading the next Korean culture wave known as ‘K-surfing’.”

The premise is that the cast who has no surfing experience, will learn how to surf and be judged on their achievements. Along the way, they get help from Wave Park’s best.

K surfing cast for new K drama "surprise"
The cast features several rising Korean stars who will all learn to surf at Wave Park

The coaching staff consists of Wave Park employees and others including head coach Kim Dong-hee, Kim Jun-ho (2022 Pohang International Surfing Champ) and hip MZ representative coach Jo Soo-ah.

Filming of the 1st and 2nd episodes kicked off in Siheung-Si in May with plans to finish filming the 12 episodes by the end of next month. Producers are planning on filming for two more years, changing out some cast members each season.

In a statement aimed to capture the addictive stoke of surfing, but mangled through Google Translate, one producer told media, “The scenes in which entertainers appearing as surfers learn to surf and play games diligently not only provides vicarious satisfaction to viewers but also plays a role in creating a maniac who enjoys surfing.”

And what better place for a surfing maniac to be than a wave pool?