Wave Pool Watch 2023: Updates on 8 wave pool projects and their ETAs
Many exciting surf park projects are underway, and after the opening of the LineUp at Wai Kai, the stoke for more human-made waves is high. From wave technology leaders preparing to open to the public to pop star-led developments, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the future of surfing.
Here’s a look at some other highly anticipated projects nearing an opening.
Surf Abu Dhabi –
A second project from Kelly Slater’s wave company is heading to the UAE. Surf Abu Dhabi will bring the wave technology found at Surf Ranch to the Hudayriyat Island development.
The project is a massive residential development packed with leisure and fun activities and is now adding surfing to the list. The finished project is more than 51-million square meters, close to 12,600 acres.
Most surprisingly, developers with the new project in Abu Dhabi say the wave pool will be completed by the end of this year, an impressive feat for many surf park projects that are years in the making.
Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch brought human-made waves to the mainstream with its technology and regularly hosts WSL events. The park in California is far from cheap. Private parties can rent the pool for a day for between $50K and $70K.
SurfTown MUC, Munich Germany
The construction of Surftown MUC was announced to the public last year and pegged as Europe’s largest surf pool. Since then, the developers have tackled a plethora of structural and technical requirements, working in close cooperation with the local and federal authorities, to get the job done.
On the task list is to create a surf park using sustainable concepts and create a facility that is climate-neutral and focuses on renewable energy along with water-saving measures. To achieve this, 90 percent of the wave tank and surrounding amenities will be powered by photovoltaic systems on-site with the rest of the utilities coming from purchased green energy. Locally abundant and heavily filtered groundwater will fill and replenish the pool.
The new surf site is close to the Munich Airport at Lilienthalstrasse 12 in Hallbergmoos. Since construction began, all indicators point to a timely completion with test operations beginning in late 2023 and the official public opening happening in the spring of 2024.
The highly anticipated URBNSURF Sydney is getting closer to becoming a reality. Construction on the wave generator should start in the next few weeks. Poor weather and delays in materials slowed down the project, which will be the sister site to the popular URBNSURF Melbourne.
“We’re pumped to open the park to everyone from Autumn 2024. Due to heavy rainfall that was
unfortunately unavoidable during construction, we have experienced delays from when we first hoped to open it to the public. But it’s just like the saying goes, good things come to those who wait,” said URBNSURF CEO Damon Tudor.
The Sydney location can host more than 1,000 surfers a day in their Wavegarden Cove pool and will include a skate park, a bar and restaurant and other amenities.
While the price of a visit isn’t up yet, over at URBNSURF’s Melbourne location, prices start at $89AUS for intermediates and go up to $144AUS for expert sessions.
Cannon Beach – Mesa, AZ
Cannon Beach by Revel Surf is currently under construction, with plans to open the park early next year. According to officials with the project in Arizona, Swell Mfg will power the waves in a pool, with UNIT Surf also available for surfers to ride a standing wave. The finished project includes a lagoon, cliff diving area, beach with cabanas and a pump track.
“Revel Surf is the heartbeat of a LifeStyle development. We wish to create a holistic action sports experience while providing something for everyone,” said Revel Surf COO Adam Saks. “We always say that if everyone was the same, life would be boring.”
Cannon Beach will also have retail and food businesses with a bar, restaurant, and more. Developers expect a retail shop to open by the end of this year. Once fully opened, surfers will be welcomed year-round.
Atlantic Park – Virginia Beach, VA
Construction officially kicked off in Virginia Beach for the Atlantic Park development and its Wavegarden Cove. The project is probably best known for its ties to music artist Pharrell Williams.
The finished destination will feature retail stores, a music venue and more, and aims to be a centerpiece in downtown Virginia Beach. The actual surfing area is named “The Wave.” If everything comes together in time, Atlantic Park could host the first Wavegarden pool operating in the U.S.
Atlantic Park took significant steps forward earlier this year when they closed on the property with the City of Virginia Beach. Officials with the project are aiming for a Summer 2025 opening.
Palm Springs Surf Club – Palm Springs, CA
Jobs are now open for the Palm Springs Surf Club. Positions include everything from surf patrol positions to food and beverage and HR roles.
Officials with the project say they’re not sharing an opening date just yet, but they’re working on commissioning the wave pool, and with hiring underway, it seems like it can’t be long before waves come to the California desert.
The future surf destination is replacing the Wet n’ Wild water park location. Surf Loch wave technology will power the swells, and videos of tests are already up online.
PSSC is one of four projects initially planned for the area, but pushback due to drought and water concerns axed one of the projects. The other two remaining future parks include Thermal Beach and DSRT Surf.
Crest Surf Clubs – Long Island, NY
An official groundbreaking paved the way for a wave between New York City and the Hamptons. Crest Surf Clubs broke ground in Shirley, NY, the first week of June. Right now, the organization says it will be open by 2024.
Crest’s website says a newcomer called Premier Surf will power the waves. Very little is known about this technology so far, so it’s impossible to know how many waves are available in a session or how the finished project will look.
The surf park, which will operate as a club, claims to be the only private wave pool in the world. Overall, the project is expected to cost about $35M.
Lost Shores Surf Resort, Scotland
The Wavegarden Scotland development is expected to open to the public in Summer 2024 – boosting long-term socio-economic, recreational and tourism benefits including creating up to 130 jobs once open, generating up to £11m for the local economy and attracting over 180,000 visitors each year.
The surf park will feature a surf school and overnight accommodation. It will for the first time give Scottish surfers the opportunity to train at home all year round and improve their chances of competing at major events, including the Olympics.
Lost Shore Surf Resort will feature waterside accommodations set within a 60-acre country park. It will also include the HUB, with facilities such as a waterfront restaurant and food market, retail outlets, a surf school offering surf therapy, and a wellness spa.
Surf Lakes Yeppoon – Mulara, Australia
Surf Lakes continues to focus on transforming the company’s former test site into a public wave pool.
The company has multiple projects, including plans for another surf destination in Texas and California. As you can imagine, the Australian company’s original site has an obvious headstart. Whichever opens first will be the first public destination for Surf Lakes’ technology, which features a giant buoy-like machine in the center of the pool to create waves. The video is definitely worth checking out.
Officials with Surf Lakes say they’re working through potential licensees for now, but otherwise, there are no new updates on this site. Late last year, Surf Lake said they aimed for a 2024 opening.
The race to bring more waves to Australia’s Gold Coast and Brisbane area has been highly competitive, with multiple other projects in the works in the area.