25th October 2019

First Surfers Mark the Launch of The Wave

Today is a historic day for British surfing, as the ‘First Riders’ took to the first public waves to mark the official launch of The Wave in Bristol. The 180m long lake, powered by Wavegarden technology, is the first inland surfing destination of its kind in the world and will bring the joy of surfing to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

The group of 20 deserving First Riders, were selected from over 350 nominations to ride the very first public waves in Bristol this morning. There were people from all walks of life in the line-up, including environmental campaigners, ordinary people who have overcome adversity, charity founders, a brilliant school teacher and her pupils, equality champions and British surfing legends.

The Wave is the brainchild of Founder, Nick Hounsfield, whose vision is at the heart of this £25 million project, which has been nine years in the making. The Wave will fully open its doors and shores to the public on 4 November.

Commenting on this monumental day, Nick said:


"What a day! It’s amazing to finally be able to show people what we have created and I’m unbelievably proud of our team who have got us to this point. Seeing our First Riders today has made all the hard work well and truly worth it. I feel incredibly privileged and grateful to be part of this, as well as excited about the potential we have to bring greater health and happiness to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities."

The Wavegarden Cove technology provides up to 1,000 waves of varying sizes and shapes an hour – around a wave every 10 seconds. Heights start at 50cm and peak at 1.8m. Every aspect of the surfing experience, from perfect waves and supportive coaching, to tried and tested wetsuits and boards, has been designed to ensure that surfing really is fun for all.

The 180m surfing lake is at its heart, but The Wave is not just about surfing. It’s about sharing incredible experiences with anyone who wants to enjoy them, in a naturally healthy space. It’s about improving health and wellbeing, helping people feel like the best version of themselves and having a shedload of fun in the process! As well as the surfing lake, there’s a Clubhouse serving food & drinks and a surf shop, As the site develops it will also offer beautiful gardens, meadowland, woodland and family-friendly camping, opening in spring 2020.

The Wave in Numbers:

  • A £25 million project
  • 9 years in the making
  • The 75 acre site includes a 180m surfing lake1, Clubhouse, surf shop, cafe and bar, gardens, woodland and meadowland
  • 25 safari tents opening next spring
  • 16,000 trees and 570m of new hedgerow will be planted on the site, along with 13.5 acres of wildflower meadowland
  • The Wavegarden Cove technology, powering The Wave, has the ability to produce up to 1.000 waves an hour - around a wave every 10 seconds.
  • Wave heights start at 50cm and peak at 1.8m
  • 26 million litres of water fill the lake
  • To date, The Wave has created over 90 jobs
  • One further site, The Wave London, is planned for Lee Valley Regional Park in 2023

Surfing is a rapidly growing sport and will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The accessibility of surfing has been held back by geographical limitations: weather, swell conditions and tides. The Wave overcomes these issues to bring perfect surfing conditions for beginners, intermediates and advanced surfers. Its expert coaching team will be able to help everyone learn and improve. Furthermore, they will all be specially trained in teaching ‘adaptive surfing’ for those with a wide range of physical disabilities.

The Wave is located in a beautiful rural site on the edge of Bristol, close to the M5. It will be open year-round and a one-hour surf will cost £40-45 for an adult and £30-35 for a child, depending on the time of year and day of the week. A 1.5 hour surf session with coaching costs £55-60 for an adult and £45-50 for a child. All prices include everything you need, including a wetsuit, wetsuit boots and surfboards. There are dedicated areas of the lake for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.

To find out more about The Wave and to book tickets, visit thewave.com

For more information about Wavegarden visit wavegarden.com

For photos click here

Interviews, photography and filming

Contact the media team

For further media information and access to the team, please get in touch with our media team.

Abby Richardson
Wavemaker - Media Team