South Carolina announces plans for Wavegarden Cove

Myrtle Beach will break ground as part of a development project to inject quality surf into an area plagued by lackluster breaks. The new wave pool hopes to see completion by 2021.

The Myrtle Beach City Council approved a letter of intent from American Surf Parks LLC to build the full-size Wavegarden Cove and amphitheater on land owned by the city. With the Council’s agreement, the project is on its way.

“We’ve been working on bringing Wavegarden Cove to Myrtle Beach since October of 2016,” said Phil Dixon at American Surf Parks. “It’s taken some time to find the right piece of land for this development. We think we’ve hit a home run with this location.”

Myrtle Beach wave pool plan

Co-founder of American Surf Parks, Jeff Skelley, told Myrtle Beach Online that the Wavegarden Cove will generate 1,000 waves per hour across four different skill zones and include a surf school, adventure park, hotel, restaurant and a surf shop.

The max-sized Wavegarden Cove will cover 5 acres (about the size of 6 football fields) in a 12-acre development. It will be comparable in size to the Wavegarden Coves opening in Bristol and Melbourne.

The South is fast becoming the hot-spot for wave pools with Texas housing BSR Surf Resort and the new Kelly Slater Wave Company pool at the former site of NLand. In addition, GroundSwell, an ambitious multi-city plan, is hoping to dot Charlotte North Carolina, Rock Hill South Carolina and Charleston South Carolina with surf.

aerial view of wave pool plot in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a well-known vacation destination on the Atlantic coast with a boardwalk, theme park and Ferris wheel. Along with golf courses, the area attracts 20 million visitors annually. American Surf Parks says they will create 50 new jobs and produce nearly half a million dollars each year in tax revenue to the city.

The project will target a broad swath of surfers providing consistent surf in an area plagued by marginal conditions year-round.

“Many of these visitors book surf lessons during their stay, but unfortunately, there’s only an 11% chance of surfable waves during peak summer months,” says American Surf Park. “Even when the waves are good, it’s typically due to strong winds. These conditions are not favorable for beginner surfers and can significantly limit their progression. A surf park, powered by Wavegarden, will offer perfect waves all day, every day. Our facility will be the ideal place for learning to surf and progressing rapidly.

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