Siheung Wave Park delivers magical snow moments for WSL

A huge day of firsts for the WSL was topped by mother nature as a snow flurry took centre stage on the opening day of competition for the Siheung Korea Open World Surf League Qualifying Series 3,000 and Longboard Qualifying Series 1,000 events.

Snowflakes began to fall midway through the morning, and soon a full-blown flurry turned Siheung Wave Park into a winter wonderland; the crisp turquoise lines of swell standing in stark contrast to the falling snow.

For many competitors, especially those from Indonesia and the Philippines, it was their first time ever seeing snow, including Men’s QS 3000 Round of 48 standout Dhany Widianto (INA).

“This is my first time in Korea,” Widianto said. “It’s been cold, and it’s my first time seeing snow. The wave is good, just having fun.”

Siheung Korea Open
Sky Brown said she’s been enjoying Korean food, the camaraderie and, yes, snow during the event. Photo Cait Miers/WSL

Sky Brown (GBR) is no stranger to wave basin technology, having previously shared many viral clips of wave pool antics. The 15-year-old delivered a strong opening performance today, building across her four allotted waves to an excellent 8.25 (out of a possible 10) in her Round of 32 heat, her sharp forehand attack matching the pace of the wave with ease.

“It felt really good,” Brown said. “It’s definitely nice to be in Korea and seeing Korea, because I’ve never been here before, and eating the good food and being in this wave pool with everyone. It’s been really fun. And yeah, it snowed, it was honestly so magical. It’s amazing here.”

Current Asia regional QS ranking leader Sara Wakita (JPN) and Minami Nonaka (JPN) also both found waves in the excellent range, while Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) and Kyan Yang (USA) doubled the excellence, each collecting two 8-point-plus rides to earn excellent heat totals.

The first heat ever surfed in a WSL event in South Korea was also the first ever LQS heat to be held in a wave basin.