Edinburgh quarry set to be transformed into “surfing lake”

Proposals to install a "surfing lake" in a disused quarry on the western outskirts of Edinburgh have been unveiled this week.

The idea is being put forward by Tartan Leisure, which wants to transform the Craigpark Quarry near Ratho into an artificial lake, complete with mechanical wavemaker by Spanish company Wavegarden.

The aim is to reproduce the success of Surf Snowdonia, an artificial lake in the Conwy valley of north Wales, which also uses Wavegarden technology. This attraction had more than 150,000 visitors last year.

The Scottish site would be close to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena and Tartan hope that the combined appeal of surf and rock climbing will put Ratho on the map as an international outdoor adventure destination. The project is expected to cost about £10m ($12.4m).

Andy Hadden, the co-founder of Tartan Leisure, said in a press statement: "Wavegarden Scotland is a thrilling new concept in the adventure leisure industry. If approved, it could position Scotland as a leading surfing destination, as the country already has some world-class natural breaks. 

"We’ve received fantastic feedback on our plans to date and we look forward to sharing them with the local community."

Wavegarden’s standard development

The proposal also includes self-catering lodges, a café, car park, retail outlets and a large country park for walkers, runners and cyclists.

The project will now go out for public consultation, before a planning application is submitted in late spring.

Wavegarden, which is based near San Sebastián in the Basque region, has been in operation since 2005, when engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch decided to commercialise their shared enthusiasm for surfing. Surf Snowdonia, which opened in 2015, was its first venture, followed last year by the NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas.

The company says it took 10 years of research and development before it developed machinery that could creates the waves that fold and break in the required way.

A video of this technology in action can be seen here.

Top image courtesy of The Watch Judge 

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