Big news for anyone following the race to develop Australia’s first surfable wave pool. “Surf park” developer Urbnsurf’s plans to build in Sydney Olympic Park have been approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. According to the company’s website it builds “ … man-made, surf lagoons [that] use Wavegarden’s ‘Cove’ wave-generating technology”.
Once completed, it will be the Southern Hemisphere’s second human-made surfable wave pool, and it’s 25 minutes from Sydney’s CBD.
Urbnsurf Sydney’s “wavegarden” can produce 1,000 waves – some up to two metres high – every hour. This is substantially more waves than those generated in by the Kelly Slater Wave Co, although whether it can match the quality of those waves remains to be seen.
In Urbnsurf’s controlled environment, safe night surfing is now also an option; waves will be lit from beneath to guide punters.
“By taking the guesswork out of surfing, we’ll be able to offer Sydney’s 200,000-[plus] surfers, along with aspiring residents and visitors, the opportunity to surf more safely, more conveniently and more often,” said Andrew Ross, Urbnsurf’s founder and chairman, in an official statement.
Is Sydney’s abundance of beaches not enough, you ask? From Homebush, it would usually take 35 minutes or more to get to the coast. And as Sydney surfers know, at most city beaches, the waves are far from perfect.
The surf park will also include an academy where surfers – from beginners to pros – can participate in training programs and surf-fit-style private or group classes. It also has a rooftop bar, beach club and cabanas.
“We look forward to further promoting surfing and sharing the stoke with a wider community who would otherwise not have waves in their backyard,” said Luke Madden, CEO of Surfing NSW.
The surf park will host cultural, food, music, film and arts festivals, too.
And now that surfing has been confirmed as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Tokyo games, you’ll spot the Australian surfing team training there.
Construction will begin on the 3.2-hectare site in Sydney Olympic Park in mid 2018. An opening date is slated for 2019.