Six years in with property and approval, Long Island Surf Park eyes the big dig

The site plan for Long Island Surf Park was fully approved last week, pushing New York’s first surf-focused wave pool that much closer to the finish line.

At 52,000 square feet, the wave pool will be a tad smaller than an American football field and surrounded by the usual surf park amenities.

The Long Island Surf Park project’s website states it will be a “wave pool powered by one of the leading manufacturers of artificial wave technology. Our advanced technology will be able to create over 50 different wave variations every 10-15 seconds ranging from a 2-foot-split peak to a perfectly barreling 7-foot right or left-hander.”

The most likely technology provider is one of the pneumatic wavemakers on the market, all of which can produce a split peak. You can rule out Wavegarden Cove and Kelly Slater Wave Co systems as they run right-only or left-only.

With this latest advancement, we dug a little deeper with project founder Brett Portera. And while he wouldn’t out the technology to be used, we still learned heaps about the project that will bring surf to a highly desirable strip of land sandwiched between Fire Island and The Hamptons.

So the plan was fully approved last week? What does that mean?
Our Final Site Development Plans were approved on 3/17/21 by the commissioner of the planning department. This followed a unanimous approval back in December 2020 by the planning board committee. In New York, our system is a little more complex than in other places. You need to file for and have approved a site plan which is basically a floor plan for the entire project before you can do anything else. This is arguably the toughest piece of the approval process and we are stoked we were able to pass this milestone. This ultimately means that our plans for the project meet or exceed all town requirements and we are approved to file for building permits.

What is the next step before you can start digging?
Right now we are working through two key pieces. The most important of which is getting our permits approved. Those were submitted over the course of the past year and now that our site plan has been rubber-stamped we can move forward with that process. The other piece is our Series A Capital Raise which we have recently opened up to accredited investors. Luckily we have a great team so these two things can move simultaneously without slowing the project down.

View from the deck. All 3D renderings by Christopher De Martino of Elite 3D

Is the project funded yet?
A considerable amount of time and money has already been put into this project. We are about six years in, own a piece of property, have an approved site plan, have all of our construction drawings completed and have submitted our permits. With that being said we are currently working on our Series A raise in which we need to raise about 1/3 of the total project budget. We just recently began down this road, earlier in March, and are looking for qualified accredited investors. So far we have had some really great conversations and expect to wrap up our funding round before the end of the spring.

Which pool technology will you go with?
I’m still not allowed to make that announcement yet. Our technology partner has asked that we wait until our permits are approved before we go public with that information. However, what I can tell you is we’ll be pushing waves up to 7ft that are lefts and rights and our average ride is going to be somewhere around the 80-85 yard range. We’ll have all sorts of waves, pretty much an endless variety and will be pumping out at least 180 waves per hour. All in a 1.2-acre footprint.

If all goes perfectly from today, when will we see waves?
If you asked me that question in 2015, when I was young and stupid, I would have said within 2 years. Six years later and I’ve learned that the conservative answer is always the right answer! So with that being said in a perfect world, we should be making waves in late summer/early fall of 2022 with an opening date sometime in Spring 2023.

If you want more backstory on this project, check our podcast with Brett right here.