It Is Snowing At The First Wave Pool QS In South Korea - Stab Mag

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It Is Snowing At The First Wave Pool QS In South Korea

Not your typical weather report for a surf contest.

elsewhere // Nov 17, 2023
Words by Jesse Starling
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Wave pool competitions so far we have only ever seen events set in warm climates, boardshort/ bikini waters surrounded by dry desert landscapes making us all sit on instagram wishing we were there.

This past week we have been lucky enough to see the release of the Abu Dhabi wave pool, with our favourite surfers making it seem like the exact replica of the perfect wave we drew in our school books growing up. However, this was not the case today. Today we saw a wave pool event with snowfall, 2 degree outside temperature, 7 degree water and a dreamy mechanical left rip bowl in the middle of Seoul, becoming the first WSL event ever held in Korea.  

Competitors found themselves surrounded by the tall Korean skyscrapers battling it out for day 1 of the Siheung Korea Open. With a pretty unique heat set up, each competitor had 21 minute and 20 second heats and 4 of the exact same waves on a finely tuned left thanks to a recent trip from Ace Buchan, Connor Coffin and Glen Hall, to do their best and make it through the dreaded opening round. 

With the event being set in a pool the element of mother nature you’d assume is taken out of play right? Wrong, with the outside temperature sitting around a high of 2 degrees it didn’t take long until Asia’s finest were competing for hours through dumping snow. “Yeah we were honestly snow surfing out there, it was cold it was crazy but it is unbelievably fun,” said Sara Wakita the current WSL Asian Rankings Leader.

We’ve only seen one other QS event where the athletes were ‘snow surfing’ which was over in Japan at the start of the year, but for many of the athletes today was definitely a first, and a first for Korea today too. 

“Today was my first time ever surfing with booties and gloves and my first time ever seeing snow too… I ran outside so quickly to see it, so grateful for this” – Ketut Agus 

The WSL and more specifically the Asian regional QS have been really pushing the boundaries for relationships with new countries, cultures and communities to back competitive surfing including places like India, Abu Dhabi and now Korea, this might just be the fresh push that surfing needs. 

The Siheung Korea Open will run from the 17th-19th of November and is definitely an event that should definitely be on your TV over the weekend. 


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