The world’s largest wave pool breaks ground in South Korea

Under the bright spring sun, Wavegarden brass and Siheung City dignitaries broke ground at the site of the new Cove facility in South Korea.

The ceremony signalled the commencement of civil work on the wave pool which, upon completion, will be the largest man-made wavepark in the world.

Plans for the new Siheung Surf Park include nearly one kilometre of added beach. The surf-able component of the development is expected to open to the public in 2020.

Following completion of the wave pool, the Daewon Plus Group will invest nearly half a billion Euros to construct a hotel, convention centre, marina, and ferris wheel. Siheung, well-known as an industrial manufacturing hub, seeks to become a tourism and leisure epicentre. When completed, the project anticipates two million visitors per year.

Wavegarden’s CCO Fernando Odriozola said the project signals a fundamental shift for Korean surfing.

“Our hosts are really embracing the sport of surfing and we’re confident that this Wavegarden project will become a mecca for surfing, not just for Koreans, but also for people throughout Asia,” said Odriozola.

The highly developed resort will be on Turtle Island, Siheung which is in the Gyeonggi province of South Korea.

“An innovative project of this magnitude doesn’t come without highly complex challenges,” Wavegarden said last year when the project was announced. “Specialized technological solutions are required in wave generation, water treatment and civil works.”

Wavegarden’s machinery can produce millions of waves per year and is designed to recover part of the energy used in the wave generation process to decrease overall energy consumption.

Regarding the health issues inherent with so many people in one body of water, the construction will incorporate an unspecified innovative water treatment system.

The site is being constructed on land reclaimed from the ocean on a new man-made terrain. The mega-complex is located one hour away from downtown Seoul.

According to the release from Wavegarden, “The centerpiece of the development will be the Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon. The Cove, with its enticing turquoise waters, is capable of producing up to 1000 ocean-like waves per hour, which unfurl across a range of different surfing areas.”

While not a hotbed of natural breaks, it’s safe to speculate that this giant Cove will feature heavily for the learner crowd. Apart from riding waves, Turtle Island offers various other aquatic activities like kayaking, SUP and swimming in zones with and without waves.

The event was attended by more than 500 VIPs including the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Lim Byoung- taek and the Mayor of Siheung City Lee Hak-soo.

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