Surf Lakes wave pool coming to Bournemouth

This week a group of UK business minds officially launched plans for their Surf Lakes facility in Bournemouth. The wave pool project, officially named The Lagoon, will be surrounded by a range of indoor and outdoor activities a la Snowdonia Adventure Parc.

Along with the adventure attractions, plans call for a mix of guest stays. A modern 145-bedroom hotel will be offset with funky tree houses, woodland lodges, glamping pods and ‘Hobbit’ huts.  

From selling pitches to splitting peaks will take roughly three years with an opening date in late 2022. The cost is estimated at £35million. The entire development looks to attract over 500,000 visitors annually.

The proposed attractions around the Surf Lakes wave pool proposal for Bournemouth. Image BrightSpace Architects

First Surf Lakes project for the UK

At the center of the development will be Surf Lakes’ 5 Waves technology.

“We are very far along with Surf Lakes and have a license for them,” said Founder Matt Radford. “They’ve got some incredible technology and it’s the most naturally occurring surf as the wave isn’t pushed out by sled or a series of pistons.”

At present, surf park builders face a Catch 22 as they have to choose their wave pool technology to move forward with projects. However, at the same time, they haven’t seen a full-scale model. Such was the case with Urbnsurf in Melbourne, who were only able to test a 1/5 scale Wavegarden Cove before committing to a full-size model.

“We’ll be licensing Surf Lakes tech and will see how their relaunch goes in June” added Radford. “Once Surf Lakes show the world their tech is working, then we can go ‘yeah, Surf Lakes is for us’. But if for whatever reason it doesn’t work we’d jump onto another technology like the Wavegarden Cove.”

The Lagoon aims to better than The Reef

In BBC news reports this week The Lagoon project was mentioned in step with Bournemouth’s failed artificial reef. In an effort to attract surf and beach tourism to the area, Bournemouth installed a surf reef in 2009. The town spent £3million pounds to create a world-class break. But unfortunately, it didn’t work. In an interesting twist, the reef’s failure might end up helping The Lagoon.

“The artificial reef failed, but it helped redevelop the area,” said Radford. “The council wouldn’t have ventured down the surfing path, but they noticed there is a big surfing demographic here. And in our case, the cost is with us and it’s not the council’s money that will be building the project.”

Project investment is both community and corporate

The group is still completing its investor list. Both local surfers and fixtures in the UK scene are ponying up the dough to own a piece and guarantee their spot in the lineup.

“We have just hosted our first private pitch event to attract seed capital, and update interested parties, which turned out to be an incredible night for The Lagoon. We are seeking additional founder investors who would like to join us on the journey and a cornerstone investor at this exciting early development stage. Ideally a local entrepreneur from the sports, leisure or hospitality industries.”

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