The best landlocked waves you can find around our globe…
A new era is upon us folks: the reign of the artificial wave. As modern surfing starts to go inland, Melbourne is about to claim Australia’s very first human-made surf lagoon: URBNSRF, the first of three human-made commercial wave pools set to hit our shores in the next year or so (Sydney and Perth to come).
Shaking up the surfing scene, made-to-order Wavegarden technology (and the like) is having its moment right now, with URBNSRF just one of 20 similar projects currently in construction-mode around the world. As well as the world’s first full-sized Wavegarden ‘cove’, URBNSRF will be home to a range of bars, stores, a fitness centre, festival and event spaces, as well as a high-performance training centre and in-house surfing academy (not to mention 1000 perfect six-foot tubes every hour).
Located near Melbourne Airport, 16km north of the CBD, the $28.3 million attraction will launch sometime in 2019. In the meantime, here’s eight of the world’s most sought after, and highly anticipated, “fake breaks” to keep you satiated.
Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch
World surf maven Kelly Slater’s Wave Company blew everyone’s mind when it built a fully functional artificial wave in an inland Californian lake in 2015. Located 200 miles from the coast and surrounded by dairy farms, the consistency of the waves at Slater’s Ranch in Lemoore, California has raised all kinds of questions and eyebrows since it went public. Though purists aren’t terribly down with Slater’s brown swell, the 11-time World Champion’s freshwater invention was enough to convince the World Surf League to put the Ranch on the 2018 World Championship Tour, with the WSL calling it “the first repeatable man-made wave that convincingly delivers the power and shape of ocean waves.” Watch this space.
NLand Surf Park, USA
Texas: home of barbecue, big hats, South by Southwest, guns, boots, and lately, surf. For the best waves in the state, head on down to NLand Surf Park, the latest commercial Wavegarden-powered break located just outside of Austin, Texas. Though there’s no sand to be found and very little buoyancy, you’ll find some of the most authentic non-authentic waves on the North American seaboard here. Under that stiff Texan sun, it’s a mighty fine respite in the summer months.
Typhoon Lagoon, Disney World Florida, USA
Though there’s a lot to be distracted by at Florida’s Disney World – the monumental park comprising the Magical Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and the Epcot Centre – there’s really only once place to be when the temperature peaks: Typhoon Lagoon. Surrounded by a litany of water-based frivolity, Typhoon Lagoon is the signature attraction of the Disney water park area: a 2.5 acre, 3 million gallon wave pool, replete with 6-foot kahunas artificially pumped out every 90 seconds for your riding pleasure.
Siam Park, Adeje, Tenerife
They call it the number one water park in the world, and they aren’t lying. Siam Park is an Oriental-themed water attraction located in Costa Adeje, a suburb of Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. Home to The Wave Palace (aka: the biggest wave pool in the world) Siam’s three-metre high barrels have attracted some of the world’s most reputable riders in recent summers; as a closing bash to the Las American Pro Tenerife Championship in February this year, 14 pros headed to the Wave Palace to flaunt their skills in an all-star artificial wave face off. Good times were had.
Wavegarden Cove, Montgat, Spain
As well as its impending constructions in the southern hemisphere, Basque-based Wavegarden will launch the first public and commercially operating complex on its own turf in spring this year, in the Mediterranean coastal town of Montgat, near Barcelona. Effectively a carbon copy of URBNSRF, the massive sail-shaped teal blue lagoon will deliver consistent sets of A-frame, left and right-handers to stoked local crowds who couldn’t get a look in at San Sebastian or Biarritz.