World’s wave pool prices and availability for Holiday (and other) parties
Which wave pool will host your Holiday party for $300,000 and which one will do it for $1,250? We researched The Wave, Urbnsurf, Alaia Bay, BSR, Snowdonia, Praia da Grama, Kelly’s, Surf Stadium & Wave Park to get you prices and availability for the world’s surf parks.
Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boom! it’s suddenly December. Better get working on planning a holiday party for your company. Olive Garden? No. Unlimited breadsticks are so 2015, and Cody from accounting is definitely on a gluten-free regime. House of Air? No, remember when Ashleigh from HR broke her arm? How about surfing?
Wave pool holiday parties are increasing as companies choose “experience events” over eggnog and white-elephant gifts. Consequently, many surf parks are rising to the occasion to provide fun, memorable fetes.
Urbnsurf has pounced on the idea. The company converted their surf academy into a modular space with draping and movie screen and they can set it up boardroom or theatre style, throw on some tinsel and it’s ready to go.
“So a lot of the corporate groups will come in and do a company presentation,” says James Miles of Urbnsurf. “We had Red Bull in there the other day and have done a range of speaking engagements from AFL players to pro surfers. And then they can go out and go for a surf in the lagoon.
So what’s out there in the surf park space for companies who want to do a holiday (or anytime) event in the surf? We reached out to the world’s wave pools to get the information on prices, offerings and what to expect if you choose to celebrate the year at one of the world’s wave pools.
Editor’s Note: A pre-COVID version of this article can be found here: Private Holiday Bookings 2019 Since then a lot has changed, so we updated the information. Wherever possible, all prices have been updated directly from the surf parks themselves. Prices are in local currency with US dollars noted as well.
Stab Magazine’s #1 wave pool of 2021 Surf Stadium Japan is enjoying a popularity upswing after lengthy delays due to COVID. Holidays around the winter solstice in Japan include a Christmas-Valentines Day hybrid that calls for couples to eat strawberry shortcakes, exchange gifts, and go on a date.
Most of the website is in Kanji, so unless you’re fluent, view the site in a browser that translates for you. Contact information directly to a customer representative is best to suss out availability.
The hourly rate is 240,000 Yen roughly or about $2100. If you want the whole pool for the day it’s 1,600,000 Yen or $14,000.
Shunichi Matsuuchi of Surf Stadium Japan told us they don’t have any special event packages that include both surf and food, but that they are working on coming out with an events menu shortly. (They’ve only been open 5 months)
No word on whether Wave Park is hosting Squid Games parties yet, but along with boasting the world’s largest Wavegarden Cove, the wave pool has some cool amenities.
“Located right next to the Surf Academy building is the festival stage where we regularly host functions such as DJ parties, holiday celebrations, and concerts,” said Euna Kim. “Next to the stage is the Surflex which offers beer. Also, Wave Park is currently constructing a large plunge pool for swimming, tube riding, and scuba diving, and an indoor pool with virtual ceilings. Finally, there are food options galore all over Wave Park offering Western fare like burgers as well as local Korean dishes.”
As of press time, there was no offering for private events. We’ve reached out to Wave Park to deliver that information as soon as we find out. Individual rates are quoted below. Get creative, maybe everyone in your company can buy an entry and bumrush the pool. Ideal for startups based on the “disruption” model.
Regular autumn/winter operating hours are 9:30-17:00 Sunday-Thursday,
12:30-21:00 Fridays and 9:30-20:00 on Saturdays.
Entry tickets to Wave Park are 15,000KRW ($14.00) for adults and 12,000KRW ($11.00) for kids. To get into the water, there are several price points, all depending on the type of wave you’re after.
For 1 hour of the Reef Advanced (Malibu 4 and Turns 1 Cove setting) it’s 70,000KRW ($64.00) for adults and 67,000KRW ($60.00) for a child. For the intermediate settings (Malibu 2 and 3 Cove) for an hour, it’s 55,000KRW ($50.00) per Adult and kids are 52,000KRW ($47.00). And for Beginner Bay it’s 45,000KRW ($40.00) for an Adult and for kids it’s 42,000KRW ($38.00) per hour. Keep in mind these prices don’t include board/suit rental fees.
For a laid-back barbecue vibe, this is the place for your party. Home to a fledgling surf community hours from the coast and home to the famous Waco Wedge, BSR offers hour-long private sessions in addition to full-wave pool rentals for the day. It might be the perfect elixir of down-home casual and thrills for your holiday affair.
Open all year except for January, February, and part of March, BSR can be booked through this link.
Single-hour booking of the pool starts at $1,250 and goes up to $12,500 for the full day. December has the best rates at BSR. Daily rates are $1,250 per hour with half-day rentals available for $5,000 and full-day rentals available at $12,500. As always, reach out to the company to confirm before booking.
BSR leaves the number of people in the water at one time to the discretion of the guests.
“We find the magic number is 10 surfers for an even rotation of waves,” says the company. “Guests are welcome to work directly with our Water Patrol to customize types of waves during the private session. This includes our standard beginner, intermediate and expert as well as access to the air section, wedge, and freak peak wedge.”
Renters can check the extensive private wave settings menu and also the inventory for free-of-charge surfboard use (excluding insurance.) BSR, like most surf parks, doesn’t offer full refunds for “extenuating circumstances” like pandemics. They will give you a credit with no expiration date to use whenever you like, subject to availability.
If you want to surf the most famous human-made wave on the planet, the good news is the Surf Ranch is book-able for full days. The bad news is that you’ll have to book way in advance and it’ll cost up to $425 to $575 per wave (for 10 surfers during a full day.)
Open year-round with the occasional closure for World Tour events, maintenance, and visits from Kelly Slater.
You can’t rent Kelly’s by the hour. High-season daily rental is around $70,000 while low-season costs are $50,000. The daily per person rate (at 10 surfers) is $5K to $7K. Hourly cost per person works out to $875 High Season and $625 Low Season. For 12 waves it works out to $425 to $575 per wave.
“We have had lots of interest from businesses and organizations in the exclusive use of The Wave,” says founder Nick Hounsfield. “We have developed a range of packages that allow people to book either half of or the whole lake, for anything from two hours to a full day. For those who can’t stretch to hiring the whole place, then we reckon that our gift vouchers are still a great Christmas present for any keen surfers.”
You can also reserve the entire Wave site including the lake, restaurant, grounds, and Wavemaker team for single days or full weeks with accommodation, food, and drink included.
The Wave advises booking ahead to secure your spot on the lake. They accept reservations up to a year in advance. Interested parties can reach out to email@example.com
It costs from £10,000 ($13,000) to book the whole lake for one day (weekday in low season) to £5,000 ($6,600) to book the whole lake for half a day (weekday in low season). Prices start at £3k ($4000) to hire both sides of the lake for an hour.
“We can do a full bespoke exclusive lake hire from £20k ($26,500) a day – or exclusive full site takeover including surf stay at The Camp and food from circa £50k ($66,000),” says Abby Richardson of The Wave.
The company can also do surf and stay packages which Abby says are popular with corporate groups, educational groups, surf clubs /teams, etc. Costs depend on the group size, the surf sessions, and the food requirements.
Urbnsurf is fast becoming the gold standard in wave pool company and private events, having hosted full-blown shindigs for Ferrari and Red Bull. If your company wants to go “Extra” you can have Mark Mathews, a man deeply in tune with fear, big-waves and human nature talk to your group.
James Miles of Urbnsurf told us that people choose a wave pool for events for three reasons: an opportunity to do keynotes and/or motivate staff; have a shared experience for the crew and bond; and top-notch food and beverage. The on-site Three Blue Ducks restaurant is a popular high-end affair.
James says a lot of businesses choose pre-Christmas dates for their events.
“What we do know from our corporate groups is that it’s primarily a learn-to-surf market. So the most common product that we use is our private group learn to surf class. That’s our standard learning of surf experience.”
Urbnsurf is quite popular. Reach out to them as far ahead of your event as possible. That said, during our interview with James, we found him to be affable, talkative, and very accommodating. All hallmarks in the hospitality industry – in short, reach out to them, we’re fairly certain they can accommodate what you have in mind.
“If you’re not running lessons and so the people on the inside are just having a play on bodyboards or soft boards or something like that, that’s going to cost you $4000 if you want to include lessons,” adds James. “So that’s the private hire of the entire lagoon. Plus, learn to surf lessons, including board and wetsuit hire for up to 48 surfers. That’s going to cost you $6000 midweek, and we have a discounted rate for that for schools. If you want to do that on the weekend, we can do that as well, but we would have to come up with a customized price depending on the time of day that you wanted to run it.”
For private hire, you can have just the left, the right, or splash out and take both. To have either side for you and your crew it’s $1,400 per hour (Mon-Fri) and $1,600 per hour (Sat-Sun). But if you want to spread out and hire both the left & the right at The Point it’ll set you back $2,800 per hour (Mon-Fri) and $3,200 per hour (Fri-Sun).
Or if you want to go all-out you can hire the entire lagoon including The Bays, the beginner, and play area complete with custom wave settings starting from $4,000 per hour (Mon-Thu).Maximum occupancy for each side if The Point is 18 surfers, for both sides 36, with maximum occupancy for The Lagoon set at 84 surfers – no more than 36 on The Point. And it’s worth noting, to customize waves you need to hire both sides of the lagoon – which sounds like a pretty good reason to go for the upgrade.
Wales has far more to offer than just leeks and unnecessarily long place names. Keen for some time in the bucolic green countryside while catching some waves? As one of the first modern wave pools, with current tech, to open to the public, Snowdonia is an icon. And having hosted private events for O’Neill, Red Bull, Audi, Tag Heuer, and Liverpool Football Club, plus a festival, the Adventure Parc Snowdonia crew are experienced at making memorable events.
They also have two restaurants on-site, both available to hire too. The Surfside Kitchen, Deli & Cafe plus Zephyrs Bar & Grill.
And if you and your crew want to stay in style they also operate a Hilton Garden Inn that overlooks the park. If you prefer something more rustic, there are camping pods (hip wooden huts that have a camping/glamping vibe going on) in the lush woodland area just behind the main pool area.
Adventure Parc Snowdonia is poised for party-time most of the year, bar January to March-ish when the pool and surrounds are closed for maintenance.
Because the pool and park cover a fair bit of space all event hires depend on how much of the area you need. For the pool, the same applies. Hourly, it’s £405 (US$530) to hire a quarter of the lagoon, £810 (US$1070) for half lagoon hire, and £1620 (US$2150) for the full lagoon. “We can get a maximum of 38 people surfing on the lagoon during any one hour but have other activities where the capacity is as high as 80 people in one session,” said Event Manager Dylan Wyn Evans.
Being part of America’s biggest mall and completely enclosed from the elements Skudin Surf in New Jersey (a stone’s throw from New York) is a good spot to hire whatever the season. Plus being able to gather in a warm environment in just board shorts or bikinis (water and air are heated), beats battling winter arctic winds and crowded bars.
As well as exclusive use of the pool you’ll have your own Wave Technician, two surf coaches/surf caddies, and lifeguards on duty. You’ll also have a private cabana on the pool deck overlooking the waves and be able to choose a board, if you don’t bring your own, from their complimentary quiver.
Each ride can last from three to eight seconds in length and reach three to four feet in height. The waves can be set to alternate every 25 – 70 seconds, which equates to 75 – 150 waves/hour. Skudin recommends the A-Frames setting for larger groups as it will maximize everyone’s wave counts and is suitable for all levels. The more specialty waves, the left, right, and barrel (aka The Vortex) are also available but you’ll need to leave more time between waves so the water can settle.
Private session times are limited to mornings, 7.00 am – 11.00 am. And evenings, 8.00 pm – Midnight. You can’t book for an entire day, only 1 or 2 hours at a time, so it’s more suitable for small group outings than large corporate shindigs.
For one hour, it’s US$1500 for up to 10 surfers, max. And for two hours it’s US$3200 for no more than 16 surfers. And you’ll need to add a 4% processing fee to each of those payments.
You can add on extra surf instructors, to help beginners, for US$100 per hour, and certified surf coaches for “improving on style and flow for competitive surfers or quick improvements in skills” for US$500 for two hours.
Also available is a photographer to shoot you and your crew, land and water shots, for US$500 per hour. You’ll receive a downloadable high-resolution album of photos. More info here.
Let’s face it, if you want to go all-out to hire a wave pool for an event it’s pretty hard to go past Alaïa Bay. With the Swiss Alps as a backdrop and ski resorts close by it’s all pretty chic.
“We do organize a lot of company outings ranging from team building to Christmas dinners. We also often collaborate with brands for product and collection launches and photoshoots. Alaïa Bay is the perfect venue to organize atypical events.” says Head of Communication, Vincent Riba.
The pool can host up to 32 surfers (16 per side), depending on the level of the session. The restaurant can host up to 300 people, depending on the event.
They’re planning to open year-round, bar 3 weeks each January for maintenance.
There’s nothing yet on their site about hiring for events so best to contact their general inquiries if you’re after more info.
You’ll need to individually discuss half or full-day hire rates with the crew at Alaïa Bay. But exclusive hourly hire of the entire pool, lefts, and rights, is readily available for CHF 6’000 (US$6500). Says Vincent, “The wave program is fully customizable which gives [users] the opportunity to test a wide range of settings. The privatization of the pool also includes the changing rooms, access to the bay (suitable for beginners), and an exclusive chill-out area by the pool.”
If you want uber luxury and exclusivity, Praia Da Grama would have to be at the top of your list. 45 minutes outside of São Paulo this Cove facility is the centerpiece of a condo development focused on active living and sports leisure. The pool gurgled to life in June 2021 and is where the well-heeled in Brazil want to head to.
Here’s the tricky part. You can only gain access by having a membership. At press time we found no info available on how much that costs. The best solution to this (and many problems) is to throw money at it and buy a condo…
And just how much is it to have a place overlooking the pool? Prices start at a shade over US$300,000. How many bedrooms, garages, and bathrooms? Well, none. That’s the cost for a lot. A bare patch of earth. Maybe you can pitch a tent on it, invite your friends, have some campfire cook-outs, and be known for having the worst house in the best neighborhood? If you can live with that, sign up your friends now for the most expensive office holiday party ever. Just don’t blame us if your event turns into a luxe version of Lord of the Flies, marooned in a wave pool paradise.