Website of the Chartered Institute of Building
Artist’s rendition of the surfing centre to be built at Dolgarrog, in Snowdonia (Wavegarden)

Surfing, in the mountains of Wales?

21 May 2014 | By Rod Sweet 0 Comments

Work on Britain’s first ever “surfing lagoon” is to begin in the mountainous region of Snowdonia, North Wales this year, with another planned for Bristol, England shortly after.

A prototype lagoon has already been built in a secret location in the Basque country of northern Spain by a company called Wavegarden.

Machinery beneath the surface of the lake is capable of simultaneously generating two waves per minute. The company says the waves have been optimised for surfing, with a “tubing” form and sufficient energy to peel for more than 220m without losing their shape.

The waves can be adjusted to give different heights, up to a maximum of about 3m. Their consistency raises the possibility of making surfing into a competitive sport.

Wavegarden’s design for a surfing lake (Wavegarden)

The Snowdonia project, to cost $13m (£7.7m) will create an artificial lake about three times the size of London’s Wembley stadium at the site of a former aluminium factory in the village of Dolgarrog in Snowdonia National Park.

Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park

Wavegarden was formed in 2005 by Josema Odriozola, an engineer, and Karin Frisch, a sports economist who were both surfers. They spent six years developing the technology that is used to generate the waves.