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Wales gains new adventure destination as first waves break at Surf Snowdonia

By Tom Anstey    31 Jul 2015
The Snowdonia attraction caters to surfers of all levels, with its own surf academy / Surf Snowdonia

One of Wales’ largest visitor attractions is set to welcome its first guests as Surf Snowdonia – an artificial surf lagoon built on the site of an old aluminium works – starts to break waves on the edge of Snowdonia National Park.

The £15m (US$23.3m, €21.3m) development – designed by architectural firm seven with Planit operating as consultants, NJL consulting as masterplanners and Wardell Armstrong as engineers – uses brand new wave technology from Spanish company Wave Garden.

Wave Garden’s technology is formed around a central pontoon housing an underwater ‘plough’ that creates a 2m (6.6ft) high wave once every minute over the length of the 300m (984ft), 30,000sq m (322,000sq ft) lagoon. It will be the world's first commercial application of the technology, which has created the longest man-made surf wave in the world. Up to 52 surfers can be accommodated in the lagoon at one time, with rides lasting about 18 seconds. The consistent wave technology is far reaching, opening up the possibility of surfing eventually becoming an Olympic sport.

The Snowdonia attraction caters to surfers of all levels, with its own surf academy teaching surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), surf yoga, surf fitness and open-water swimming. Also featured is a media compound for international competitions, low impact sleeping ‘pods’ along the lake’s waterfront, a restaurant, retail and indoor play facilities. Larger accommodation lodges have also been built and will retain the natural character of the woodlands surrounding the lake.

The attraction expects to welcome around 75,000 people a year. Architects seven have designed the main Hub Building with a 50m (164ft)-long glazed elevation overlooking the surfing lake, giving spectators clear views of the action from the restaurant and retail spaces. The building also contains the main reception, equipment hire and changing facilities.

The development is very eco-friendly, with much of the former aluminium factory’s parts reused in the development and the lake filled using 100 per cent rainwater collected from the mountains.

The development was designed by architectural firm seven with Planit as consultants, NJL consulting as masterplanners and Wardell Armstrong as engineers / Planit
The consistent wave technology is far reaching, opening up the possibility of surfing eventually becoming an Olympic sport / Surf Snowdonia
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