Portugal’s first wave pool project is here. Say hello to Surf City Lisbon
More than 20 years ago Santa Cruz California and Huntington Beach battled it out in court for the official title of “Surf City.” The drama saw each side present a flurry of Surf City claims via local media outlets. For Santa Cruz it was reminding everyone that the first recorded surfboard riding in California was done at the river mouth by Hawaiian royalty in 1885. Huntington Beach claimed to be the location in the Jan and Dean song of the same name. HB eventually won by filing a “Surf City USA” trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
But how would this scenario play out in today’s era of surf spot creation? Today, with surfing’s popularity the title of Surf City can be applied to anywhere someone builds a wave pool and cultivates a local surf scene.
Surf City Lisbon aired plans recently for a wave pool in Seixal, just across the water from downtown Lisbon. The company said the goal is to create a unique and exclusive urban center around the theme of surfing (yes, a surf city.) The project will meet Portugal’s Agenda 2030 – a doctrine of 17 sustainable development goals as well as Sustainable Urban and Tourism Investment qualifications.
The surf park will be powered by Endless Surf wave pool technology and aims to position Portugal as a major player in the artificial wave generation game.
“It represents a historical milestone in the development of surfing in Portugal, solidifying the country as an excellent destination for lovers of this exciting sport,” Surf City Lisbon said on their website. “With the main objective of creating a unique and vibrant environment for residents and visitors, the project will offer an incomparable surfing experience through the generation of artificial waves, complementing the opportunities offered by natural waves.”
The website goes on to say that the project will be a center of innovation, creativity and entertainment, all while promoting surfing and the culture of the sea, while celebrating the authenticity of the rich Portuguese cultural heritage.
The wave tank and amenities will be located in the municipality of Seixal, a choice the company says was made after years of analysis. The area is easily accessible and close to the largest beach in the Lisbon metropolitan area.
“The support of the local administration was fundamental in the choice of Seixal, with the promoters committed to working closely with the City Council, with the relevant entities and in perfect coordination with Turismo de Portugal,” said Surf City. “This will guarantee that the project unequivocally contributes to sustainable development, for the benefit of the entire region, enriching tourism, the local economy and the preservation of natural resources.”
The development is an architect’s fantasy with living roofs, slopped buildings and modern, modular pods strung along a curved line. Associated with the project are 700 homes, an urban park for leisure and outdoor sports activities. The surf park itself will be equipped with a variety of facilities such as surf schools, high-performance training centers, a hotel, a beach club, a medical center, shops, cultural spaces, leisure areas, restaurants and pubs.