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The Wave Bristol cancels intermediate surf sessions, requests patience

The Wave Bristol took the world by storm this month reaching an estimated 82 million people via several hundred media outlets covering the grand opening. But problems with the intermediate wave settings on the Wavegarden Cove technology have upset guests and thrown a wrench into the company’s scheduling and plans. Consequently, the Bristol company has had to invest in more customer service while simultaneously canceling intermediate sessions for November and possibly parts of December.

“We made the big decision to suspend the original intermediate wave and replace it with a better wave setting, once that has been properly tested and risk assessed,” said founder Nick Hounsfield in a Facebook post. “As a result, we have had to cancel all November intermediate sessions, are refunding everyone and will be rebooking them once our better wave setting is ready.”

It’s not known what caused the unsatisfactory performance of the intermediate wave setting at the world’s first full-size Wavegarden Cove. Some speculate the fault lies on either the engine that pushes out the waves via a sophisticated series of levers, or that the bathymetry of the wave pool’s bottom isn’t cut quite right.

“All of this has meant our Customer Service team has been slammed heavily and we have had thousands of phone calls, voicemail, messenger, email, and Chat queries to respond to,” Hounsfield continued in his post. “The incredibly high volume of inquiries has meant huge delays in getting back to everyone and understandably some people are pretty frustrated!”


“Please bear with us as we get back to each and everyone who has contacted us. The only thing I ask is that people please treat our team as humans, they have had some pretty shocking abuse at times and that definitely isn’t deserved. If you are waiting to hear back from us, we are really very sorry and we will be in contact as soon as possible”

The Wave website is unaffected by the deluge of inquiries. At press time we checked the site and confirm that no online booking is available for intermediate sessions. However, advanced sessions continue with availability starting Dec. 2. Beginner lessons are available this week.

Since opening three weeks ago The Wave has told WavePoolMag that this is a trial period for their operations and that full-speed-ops won’t be underway until early spring 2020.

For an assessment of The Wave as it is in November, check the below review videos from users across England. WavePoolMag will deliver more information and provide updates as it becomes available. To book non-intermediate sessions at The Wave, follow this link.

The Wave in Numbers: 

  • A £25 million project
  • 9 years in the making 
  • The 75 acre site includes a 180m surfing lake, Clubhouse,  surf shop, cafe and bar, gardens, woodland and meadowland 
  • 25 safari tents opening next spring
  • 16,000 trees and 570m of new hedgerow will be planted on the site, along with 13.5 acres of wildflowermeadowland 
  • The Wavegarden Cove technology, powering The Wave, has the ability to produce up to 1.000 waves an hour – around a wave every 10 seconds.
  • Wave heights  start at 50cm and peak at 1.8m
  • 26 million litres of water fill the lake
  • To date, The Wave has created over 90 jobs
  • One further site, The Wave London, is planned for Lee Valley Regional Park in 2023

The Wave is located in a rural site on the edge of Bristol, close to the M5. It will be open year-round and a one-hour surf will cost £40-45 for an adult and £30-35 for a child, depending on the time of year and day of the week. A 1.5 hour surf session with coaching costs £55-60 for an adult and £45-50 for a child. All prices include a wetsuit, wetsuit boots and surfboards. There are dedicated areas of the lake for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.


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