The Wave is a new artificial lagoon in Bristol, where surfers from beginners to seasoned professionals can ride up to a thousand waves a minute.

A female surfer in a black wetside rides a wave in an artificial lagoon
British surfer Lucy Campbell rides the waves at The Wave, a new inland surf park in Bristol ©The Wave

Surf's up in Bristol but the ocean is nowhere in sight. Instead, surfers are riding the waves at The Wave, an artificial lagoon in Bristol, designed to suit everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals. It's the second instalment of the Wavegarden family of surf pools (the first is in Melbourne, Australia), and has the power to generate a thousand waves per hour, or about one wave every eight to 10 seconds. Waves range from mellow little rollers of 50cm (1.7ft) to barreling beasts of almost 2m (6.5ft) in height. 

According to its owners, the whole surfing experience has been designed to ensure each surfer has the "space, time and serenity to enjoy their surf" without worrying about overcrowding. The long wave pool is 180-metres long so there's room to ride the waves or crash and burn without boards bashing into limbs.

An artificial lagoon on a sunny day filled with young swimmers
The pool is open to people of all ages and abilities ©Wavegarden

To celebrate opening day last week, a group of 20 'First Riders' were selected to ride the very first public waves. A group that included environmental campaigners, charity founders, British surfing legends, pupils from a local primary school and an 11-year-old football and surfing enthusiast called Marshall Janson, who lost his limbs to meningitis.

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Young surfers riding waves at an inland surf park on a sunny day
A thousand waves are generated every hour at The Wave ©Wavegarden

According to The Wave co-founder Nick Hounsfield, sustainability and inclusivity are at the forefront of everything they do.

"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," he said in a statement. "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."

A rendering of an artificial lagoon and wooden clubhouse
A rendering of The Wave and its surroundings ©APG Architects

The 75-acre park is open year-round and boasts a clubhouse serving seasonal, locally sourced food. There's also a surf shop where visitors can buy or rent gear and equipment; a surf school; gardens and, from summer 2020, 25 safari-style, family-friendly glamping pods.

To book your surf or stay, see here.

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