Saudi Surf Park to open in October 2024
The Qiddiya gigaproject under development in Riyadh will include an Endless Surf wave pool as the centerpiece to its upcoming water park. In press images, the $ 750 million development shows renderings of an elaborate attractions space that includes the pneumatic surf-making system by Whitewater.
Set in a canyon, Qiddiya will include nine entertainment zones, among them waterslides, pools, splash zones and the surf lagoon. The park stated that the design is inspired by the natural world. As such, surf sessions will go off under the watchful eye of larger-than-life cement animals. The wall that houses Endless Surf’s caissons will have a rock facade.
The futuristic development will cover 376 square kilometres or 145 square miles. For comparison Walt Disney World in Florida is 39 square miles while the entire city of San Francisco is just 47 square miles.
“Our Master Plan has been crafted to maintain the natural flow of the water that shaped the land over millions of years, and has been divided into key development nodes, each with its distinct set of offerings and facilities,” the company said online.
The company added that the park will have a transport network to allow guests to move around from attraction to attraction easily. Qiddiya water park will feature 23 rides and attractions, of which seven the group claims will be world firsts.
“It will be the only water theme park in the world that offers a unique mix of dry and wet rides as well as state-of-the-art competition-level facilities for those with a penchant for water sports.”
A Saudi Arabia spokesman stated that the gigaproject aims to become the capital of entertainment, sport and arts in the kingdom. The site is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the center of Riyadh. Opening date is October 2024.
In June Arab neighbor Abu Dhabi unveiled a nearly completed Kelly Slater wave pool.
Endless Surf is another one of the major pneumatic systems on the market today. Surf is created when air is pushed through caissons (chambers) in sequence to produce a variety of wave shapes and sizes. The number of caissons at the deep end of their heart-shaped pool correlates with the wave system’s size. An Endless Surf 1800 has 18 pneumatic chambers and an Endless Surf 4800 has 48 caissons and measures 282m (925.2ft) x 84.5m (277.2ft). The system can go even larger and offer 32-second rides on the single peak setting which travels the length of the pool. Wave heights will run at 2-3 ft on average but can go up to 7 feet as both lefts and rights. Length of a ride for the small Endless Surf pool is expected to be 30-60 yards/meters but can go up to 200 meters in their maximum-sized pool. The system has the capability to produce 400-700 waves per hour.
As pneumatics become the daily driver for many wave pool systems, the thing that sets the Endless Surf system apart is the wide variety of surf they can offer within the same session via their Swell Studio software. The synching and firing of pneumatics is controlled by the new patented software that can be customized for each individual surfer sharing the same block of surf time. Riders either wear an RFID wristband or place it on their board to activate the computer with their pre-loaded wave choices. Experts get expert waves, intermediates get intermediate waves. Once deployed, this system will save surf parks from booking solely “expert” or “intermediate” sessions.