The Wave Bristol to reopen after a four-month closure

The Wave was forced to close on March 19 as the UK tamped down on the Coronavirus. Now, after months of closure, lost revenue, and a frustrated contingent of surfers nationally, the Bristol wave pool just announced they will be reopening on August 1st.

“Having to close our doors days before the Easter holidays, and on the cusp of our first peak season, was gutting,” said Nick Hounsfield. “It is properly exciting to now finally have a reopening date.”

Running a surf park is a huge operation and the team in Bristol can’t just fire up the machine and unlock the gates. Hounsfield says they are setting the necessary gears in motion and fine-tuning details.

“We have been closely following Government guidance and developing a new way of working which will allow us to safely welcome people back to ride our waves. We are currently bringing our brilliant team off of furlough and are all working hard to get ready for a summer of surfing.”

Nick Rees. Photo by ImageCabin

The many new guidelines in place to operate a wave pool in the COVID-19 era mean The Wave is extra busy implementing new measures including:

  • Managing the numbers visiting at any one time; Reducing the number of surfers in beginner lessons to 5 plus a coach
  • Maximizing the use of the spacious grounds with plenty of socially distanced seating
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning key areas such as changing rooms and toilets
  • Putting a new ‘one-way’ system in place to change the way people move around the site
  • Locating plenty of hand sanitizer points around the site, which staff will ask people to use

All four of the world’s neo-wave pools had to shut for COVID. In addition to The Wave, Urbnsurf in Australia and BSR in Texas turned off their machines for weeks. The PerfectSwell wave pool at Far Far a Bay in the American Dream mall New Jersey – just days shy of its scheduled grand opening – never publicly launched and remains closed today. BSR has since reopened, although Texas is having a tough time with the Coronavirus. Urbnsurf reopened for just a few weeks before having to close due to a spike in COVID cases. Now The Wave joins BSR as the only open public-facing wave pool at this time.

Under the new guidance, all visitors, including non-surfers, must pre-book to visit The Wave. The company said this is to allow their team to manage numbers across the site and make sure social distancing is maintained at all times. They also issued guidance that anyone experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, will be asked to postpone their surf to a future date, allowing for quarantine periods as advised by the Government.

“We are an outdoor destination with plenty of space around the surfing lake and further afield,” added Hounsfield. “We have now opened up the paths and green areas around the site and added more socially distanced seating, allowing people to easily find their own space to settle and enjoy their visit. We have also added more ‘pop up’ food outlets on the grounds.

The Wave schedule beginning in August is as follows:

– Surf slots will be available from 7am until 8pm

– The day will start with Advanced Plus and Expert Waves running in the first hour

– Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced run throughout the rest of the day

– Beginner lessons will be limited with group sizes reduced to just 5 people per coach, as per Government guidelines – lessons will be available every day from 830am until 530pm, with slots opening up based on demand

More information available at The Wave