Florida enters race to build a Surf Lakes wave pool

A new proposal was announced this week for a Tampa Bay surf tank. Peak Surf Park would cover 30 acres and include a wave pool along with a handful of other amenities like a cafe, restaurant, and shops. The company website says they will also include skate, bike and climbing facilities as well as lessons, coaching and competitions.

Surf Lakes has been active licensing its technology around the world and announced deals for the USA, China and Hawaii in 2021.

According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, advertising executive Tony Miller purchased the Surf Lakes license for Peak Surf Park. The media outlet says Miller has spent the last year assembling a team to pursue the project which is projecting development costs at around $60 million to $70 million. Miller has also gathered a small group of private investors to help ensure the finance side of the deal works out in the hot Tampa real estate market.

“There are a lot of people moving into the area, which creates a lot of competition for land,” Miller told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “There’s a lot of competition for land that didn’t necessarily exist even two to three years ago.”

Artist rendering of the proposed Surf Lakes wave technology that will be central to a Tampa Bay wave pool development

That land includes up to a half-mile of beachfront that would surround the surf lagoon and possibly include ancillary hotel and retail developments.

Miller and Surf Lakes founder and CEO Aaron Trevis told the Business Journal that they expect 200 to 300 parks to open up around the world, but that Tampa is special.

“Compare [Tampa Bay] to the Gold Coast — it’s double the market,” Trevis said. “We’re excited about the one we’re going to build here. Tampa is such a great destination; it just needs waves.”

Surf Lakes is well-loved in the media, hitting prime TV news segments globally with captivating video of its giant plunger pumping surf across a lonely lake in Yeppoon, Queensland.

The breadth and scope of building one of these wave pools can be daunting, and Surf Lakes now offers two sizes for different development targets and budgets. Surf Lakes Standard has a smaller footprint and is designed for the beginner to intermediate markets. Surf Lakes XL is meant to be a premium surf destination or resort appealing to all skill levels. Each system produces 2000 waves per hour. Currently, the prototype in Yeppoon Queensland is becoming a public-facing surf park.