Every surfer who doesn’t live by the sea knows that the time between surfing trips passes way too slow! What can you do to stop yearning for the waves? The best solution is to recreate the perfect wave - one that runs all year long!
After brainstorming, several particularly creative surfers went on to develop a variety of artificial waves. Foremost among them is Kelly Slater’s Wavepool, however this is not the only one - other European creations, such as the Wavegarden and the Citywave, are also very popular among landlocked surfers, and more are popping up in Europe every day.
These artificial waves have given rise to a brand new surfing scene - one that is accessible to a much larger group of people. This is where many Europeans are now getting their share of surf stoke.
The Wavegarden is one of the first technologies that allows realistic waves - which run for several hundred meters - to be generated in lakes and artificial pools. The waves are created using a wave-generator, which creates movement by running along an underwater rail.
The Wavegarden crew, led by the Spanish inventor José Manuel Odriozola, has also developed two other concepts: Wavegarden Cove and Wavegarden Lagoon. The Cove is a more compact system designed for cities and parks that can produce up to 1,000 ocean waves per hour, whereas the Lagoon is constructed for long rides and produces a more realistic ‘surf feeling.’
Two systems are already available for public use, and over twenty more are either being planned or under construction across the world. A Wavegarden will even be established in Germany soon!
Wales is the home to the first public Wavegarden. Surf Snowdonia has been generating two-meter-high waves that run as far as 150 meters since it opened in 2015. The attendance of the first year shows just how much appeal this concept offers: 150,000 people came in search of the perfect wave.
Waves on the right and the left are generated every ninety seconds, and come very close to fully recreating the experience of surfing in the ocean. The waves can be adjusted and set to different levels, and even pro-surfers are loving the Wavegarden: “I had so much fun with my friends. There were so many waves - it was a super training session, my legs are on fire!” says Gabriel Medina.
On top of the artificial waves, there is also an obstacle course, a children’s play area, and a restaurant – they’re even planning to build a hotel.
Prices: From £35 for 55 minutes and a maximum of six surfers
The Brits seem to love the Wavegarden - the first facility equipped with the new Cove technology is set to open in Bristol next year.
If everything goes according to plan, surfers will come together here, from as early as fall 2019 to experience the steep, two-meter-high waves. With the Cove, up to ninety surfers per hour will be able to tackle waves of various sizes split between six different surfing areas.
It’s decided: Germany is getting a Wavegarden too! Germany’s first Wavegarden Cove will be built in Stade, about an hour outside of Hamburg.
However, the opening is scheduled for 2022, but it certainly isn’t too early to celebrate - with 1,000 waves per hour and a surf time of 10-15 seconds, the feeling of surfing in the ocean is coming to Stade!
Inspired by the legendary Eisbach river, engineers Rainer and Susi Klimaschewski have developed a standing wave in a pool that represents a perfected version of the artificial wave to be found in the Eisbach. The Citywave is a patented mobile Wavepool certified by a Technical Inspection Association (TÜV), and can already be found providing a perfect surf feeling in many cities.
The wave is generated by several turbines, which drive the water towards whatever happens to be floating in the pool at the time. The wave can be adjusted to fit any surf level, which means that it can be the perfect experience for both professionals and complete beginners. The width of the wave is also adjustable.
Citywave’s Deep-Water system offers surfers the ability to use normal surfboards with fins. A significant advantage of the Citywave is that it is mobile and needs little space, which makes surfing in the middle of a city center as easy as surfing on the Eisbach!
With the Eisbach, the E2 and the Flosslände, there is a significant river-surfing scene in Munich. This now includes the perfect indoor Citywave in the Jochen Schweizer Arena .
The Citywave is open six days a week and can be booked for beginner, advanced, and pro sessions. The steepness and height of the wave is adjusted to suit different levels of skill and experience. The surf sessions last for 45 minutes and can be attended by up to twelve surfers. Furthermore it's possible to borrow surfboards and wetsuits and surfing instructors are on hand to give tips.
Besides the wave, the Jochen Schweizer Arena also has a flight tunnel, a high wire course, a restaurant, and a conference room.
Price: Starting at €39.95
Also in Switzerland the desire for waves is big. Therefore, the first and only indoor surfing location, Oana Surf, has been installed near the Flusswelle in Lucerne. Taking up 1,200 square meters, the “Mall of Switzerland” in Ebikon now has a pure surfing experience.
The highlight is of course the Citywave, on which people can participate in 45 minute surfing sessions with a maximum of nine others. In addition to the artificial wave, a restaurant, lounge, bar, and surfing shop add to the salty breeze.
Price: Starts at CHF 48
In the summertime one can get closer to the ocean feeling in Vienna as well, as the Multiplex Citywave has brought surfing to the city. The 7.5-meter-wide pool in the city outskirts, with waves of 1.4 meters height, provides the capital with unadulterated surfing fun.
In the Shopping City Süd shopping center, the Citywave is the highlight of offered leisure activities on the Multiplex terraces and is a hotspot for surfing enthusiasts from mid-May through September. The artificial wave helps everyone to cool off with its Early Morning Surf, Afterwork Hangout, and Kids’ Camps.
The landlocked surfers of Switzerland are looking forward to the Citywave in Zurich annually, which operates in Zurich Geroldareal from May until September. With its width of 8.5 meters, it’s a little bit broader than the artificial waves in Munich and Vienna, and therefore offers a more authentic experience.
As with all other Citywaves, beginner, advanced, and pro sessions can be booked. The deck chairs, cocktails and tasty treats of the Citywave create a Hawaiian vibe in the middle of the city, and ultimately make surfing more accessible and appealing to a wider range of people.
Price: Starting at CHF 57
Northern Germany is also home to an indoor Citywave in Osnabruck’s L&T Sporthaus, where you can surf and shop all year round. The 7.5 meter- wide Citywave is a highlight for surfers and spectators, offering 45 minute surfing sessions for up to ten surfers. The sessions are arranged according to skill and experience level, while the instructors ensure that participants make rapid progress.
Price: From €29
Berlin is also about to gain another attraction in the form of a nine-meter-wide Citywave called Wellenwerk Berlin, scheduled for spring 2019.
A lifestyle restaurant, surfing shop, mixology bar, motorbike garage, beer garden and a surfboard workshop are also being planned.
Munich-based Eisbach surfer and mechatronics student Jakob Bergmeier constructed a swimming surfpool as part of his Master’s thesis. This surfpool can produce a 1.6-meter-high standing wave in the middle of a lake. The result of his thesis is the world’s first UNIT surf pool, which is located in Langfeld lake in the Rhineland and allows for a special interaction with nature as one surfs an endless wave under an open sky.
“The ideal wave requires an interplay of a vertical dynamic lift in a wide and long area with a steep ridge”, says Bergmeier. And the experienced Eisbach surfer is very happy with the result: “I’ve never surfed such a big standing wave with so much power.”
Price: Starts at €34