Welsh Wavepool Closes, Issues Refunds - Stab Mag

Welsh Wavepool Closes, Issues Refunds

Surf Snowdonia had been (somewhat) operational since 2015. 

elsewhere // Sep 5, 2023
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The cost of early adoption.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia in Dolgarrog, Wales announced the immediate closure of its wavepool via Facebook on Saturday. “It’s with a heavy heart that we announce the immediate closure of our Parc. To all who’ve been part of this journey, we’re truly sorry. For adventurers impacted by the closure, refunds are available,” they wrote.

The Welsh pool was Wavegarden’s first tech licensee, when they were still ironing out the wrinkles. The pool claimed to be the world’s first ‘standalone pool’ (without being attached to a shopping mall) capable of producing both rights and lefts. 

With such rapidly developing technology, there’s been a cost to the early adopters of commercial wavepools. Namely, that the pools look 90 at 8-years-old and are prone to all sorts of ailments the NHS/Medicare don’t cover. Though a great novelty, Surf Snowdonia has been criticized for ‘bending away’ from the surfer and lacking power. 

The top three search results from using keywords: ‘Surf Snowdonia’ and ‘Stab’

The operators cited mechanical issues costing a fortune both financially and reputationally as one of the key factors for closing. In August 2022, a problem with the wave tank stopped the pool from operating for the remainder of the year. 

The Wavegarden pool in Bristol called ‘The Wave’, uses their preferred Cove technology (developed in 2019) to produce up to 1000 waves per hour. It is now the UK’s only operational wavepool.

Currently there are developments slated for Manchester, Deal, Kent Southport, Edinburgh, London, Bournemouth, Milton Keynes and Coleshill near Birmingham, according to UK Surf Mag, Carve.

Wavegarden released the following statement regarding the closure:

The surprising news regarding the closure of the surf lagoon at Surf Snowdonia in North Wales has been in the media recently, prompting questions about the reasons behind this decision. This facility, which first opened its doors in 2015, used Wavegarden´s 1st generation wavefoil technology which has since been superseded by a new electromechanical system, the Wavegarden Cove. As is customary with any machinery, regular inspections and maintenance are crucial. Despite our offer to provide essential ongoing machinery preventative maintenance services, a practice that is now standard across all our global facilities, the operators of Surf Snowdonia opted to carry out this work independently.

Since 2019, all our subsequent projects use our Wavegarden Cove technology, water treatment system and comprehensive preventive maintenance service. This strategic shift has yielded the desired results for these facilities, with machine availability consistently exceeding 99%. This remarkable performance extends to locations operating 18 hours a day during the peak season.

In light of this development, we would like to thank all the surfers who visited the inaugural Wavegarden surfing lagoon. Surf Snowdonia became a highly frequented spot for both UK surf enthusiasts and tourists, where countless memorable waves were ridden, and the warm and welcoming hospitality of the Welsh people was experienced by all.


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