Swiss Update: Three countries eye two wave pools three hours apart
Alaïa and WaveUp, the two frontrunners in the Swiss wave pool race, are making headway and expecting to draw surfers from nearby Germany and France. One has confirmed that Wavegarden Cove technology will power their surf and the other is very close to making the same announcement.
As we’ve seen with The Wave Bristol and Urbnsurf Melbourne, how each surf park uses Wavegarden’s Cove technology can vary a great deal. While Urbnsurf took the world by storm with the Beast setting, each park can dial in a wave menu that reflects the nearby surf community. Wavegarden’s variety of Malibu settings, offering fun, peeling mostly waist-to-chest-high waves is used as Urbnsurf’s Intermediate wave. The same Malibu wave setting is labeled “advanced” at The Wave in Bristol.
The WaveUp project is in the German-speaking north of Switzerland and just announced a program pushing 1,000 surfing sessions to new club members.
“We currently have almost 500 members (active, passive and junior status),” says WaveUp. “So there are another 500 slots to be allocated before the public gets a chance to surf.”
WaveUp’s special class park is planned just north of Zurich and will create a wave pool that extends over 155 x 155 meters. The project has a few more political hurdles to cross before breaking ground. As of now, the opening is scheduled for 2024.
In other Swiss wave pool news three hours to the south in Sion, the Alaïa park has begun construction of a Wavegarden Cove. Alaïa already offers skate and ski-specific facilities in the French-speaking region of Switzerland.
The addition of a Wavegarden Cove to Alaïa’s already impressive action sports center is welcome news for the landlocked country’s 40,000 surfers. The Alaïa Bay project will give rise to Switzerland’s first surfing lagoon in a mountainous region renowned for its world-class ski resorts.
Situated in the zone referred to as “Les Iles” (The Islands), the action center expects a public opening slated for 2021. The facility will provide waves for experienced surfers as well as for beginners and families just starting out.
The two wave pools expect to attract a large network of customers. With WaveUp just three-and-a-half hours from Munich and Alaïa three hours from France’s third-largest city, Lyon, both surf parks will draw cross-border surfers.