7th September 2015

Wales Joins The Surfers Paradise

Surfing used to be the preserve of the coastal resorts of Devon and Cornwall, but no more. No competition has come from an unsuspecting locale of the British Isles, Wales to be precise. Boundary of Snowdonia National Park to be exact.

The artificial surf lagoon is a first. Being aptly named Surf Snowdonia it is the longest man made surf in the world, it is roughly the size of six football pitches and it takes more than six million gallons to fill it up. The water is filtered rain water which is drawn down from the mountain reservoirs, so this is also a "green" venture which will add even more tourist revenue to the area. Breakers up to six feet will test any surfer's ability and you will have 50 waves an hour to keep you hopefully on your toes.

It has been built on the site of the old Aluminium works on the edge of the National Park and was the dream of Andy Ainscough, director of Surf Snowdonia. Sharing the love of surfing are some engineers from Spain who run a company called Wavegarden and they designed the wave which is the first of its type to be designed and that took more than ten years. Funding was also provided by the Welsh Government.

The ground was heavily contaminated and 18 tankers full of heavy metals and hydrocarbons and old rubble, which was recycled and reused, was removed from the ground before it was allowed to be used for this purpose.

Surf Snowdonia is not only for experts, novices are welcome too, in fact encouraged. Jo Dennison the Welsh Surf Champion not once but four times is a coach at Surf Snowdonia and Andy Ainscough believes that his instructors are some of the best in the business and can get anyone up on their feet. 

A Scottish company use a system which they claim can generate waves up to 12ft, their system is installed in a man-made site in Tenerife.

The people behind these ventures believe it is the way forward for the sport and only time will tell whether it is a genuine rival for Surf City.