Surf Snowdonia Wavepool Closes

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

Just over eight years ago, on the 1st August 2015, Surf Snowdonia in Wales "made history" by becoming the world's first commercial wavepool.

This requires some qualification, as there were other pools that served up waves, however Snowdonia was the first standalone pool - i.e not attached to a shopping centre or tourist park - that catered purely to surfers. It was also Wavegarden's first commercial pool, and the first time the company had built a left and right off the same unit.

None of those qualifications matter anymore as this week Surf Snowdonia closed its doors. The owners said in a Facebook post: "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.

"We are bitterly disappointed that once again excellent employees are being made redundant. The sad reality is that despite the joy and adventure our waves brought to many as a world-first innovation, the machine has cost us a fortune in downtime, repairs, and loss of business."

Surf Snowdonia was the first and only Wavegarden lagoon of its kind, as by 2019 Wavegarden's 'Cove' was the preferred choice of technology. Though 300 metres long, the wave at Snowdonia constantly bends away from the surfer further reducing power compared to ocean waves.

That said, wave quality wasn't the only factor. A mechanical failure in August last year led to it being announced the waves at the surf lagoon would be switched off for the rest of 2022.

An Adventure Parc Snowdonia spokesman told the BBC: "This summer season has been hampered by the ongoing issues with the wave machine, and the revenues being significantly lower than we would expect.

In July, another wavepool project, Wisemans Ferry Surf Lodge, was scrapped before construction had even begun.


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 8:38am

The first of many.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 10:21am

Never turn your back on the ocean !

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 10:49am


t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023 at 6:08pm

wowzers that looks so baddddd

Chipper's picture
Chipper's picture
Chipper Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 11:38am

Looks like a shithouse wave....

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 11:58am

That video really shows how much Wave Garden have improved their offering and model. Urbrn Surf ticks a lot of boxes compared to this. Water and wave quality. But it too will probably look very sub par in 5 years time is things progress.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 12:07pm

Was wondering about this too. Obviously doesn't pay to be an early adopter with such rapidly developing technology but at what point does wave quality reach a level where it's good enough for what you pay?
Especially with so few options to choose from.

Keep in mind, Snowdonia wasn't near a surfable coast so surfers had to drive there and 'The Wave' - a Wavegarden Cove pool - was at Bristol. That'd surely be the preference for any surfer committed to travelling for a fake wave.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 12:19pm

When living in Melb I happily paid to surf there especially with a group and the night sessions - better than blowing a $100 at the pub and a lot of fun with the right attitude. I doubt I’ll be driving to Olympic park when the ocean is closer other than once in a while for a novelty session. Location is important and they nailed melb being next to the airport so a lot of people stopped in on the way here and there and even went for trips. That wont and hasn’t lasted especially with the winter pool temps making the ocean feel toasty.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 12:26pm

Convenience, location, accessible coast nearby: all good points and I reckon Sydney on those alone Sydney is a riskier proposition.

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard Thursday, 7 Sep 2023 at 10:32am

Based on the conditions we've had this Winter, it might be a massive success. Also, the large Sydney population should keep those numbers up ... Melbourne will likely take a big hit as people will no longer be travelling from inter-state to surf there.

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis Sunday, 10 Sep 2023 at 8:11am

Head another hour and surf croyde or my favourite Downend Point.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 12:21pm

Wave quality may be improved by Technology but the fundamental physics of water haven't changed and as a result, until some new, cheap energy source is found we'll be stuck in the 2-3ft size range for the foreseeable future.
I see that, and the resultant cost per wave being the bigger more structural problem.

At a certain point, for a helluva lot of people, paying a $100 for a session in 2-3ft waves becomes an exercise in diminishing returns.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 12:36pm

True on physics and cost per wave.

The ski industry in Australia continues to attract punters against all the odds and is evidence people can and will pay.

The average house hold income on beach side suburbs anywhere near a major city are sky high. Its (mostly) money that live by ocean these days and a small few dedicated to the sport.

Dx3's picture
Dx3's picture
Dx3 Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 12:56pm

Urbnsurf Melbourne does have a weird cult like following amongst a core group, and then in summer it’s usually booked solid for months on end. The urbnsurf Facebook page makes for interesting reading at times. If it keeps them in the pool and away from the coast then all good to me.

I did kind of wonder how many of that core group hit the coast when it pumped over autumn and winter, seems there are some pool only type surfers floating about, I know a few who hit up urbnsurf a lot but rarely head to the coast.

Slucas's picture
Slucas's picture
Slucas Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 1:28pm

I'm grumpy, broken and old (50+) and a regular pool surfer, Surfing the best and having the most fun in the water since I started along time ago. The pool will never replace an ocean surf for me I get down the coast as much as I can. The pool I found helps with surf fitness and working on parts of your surfing so when in the ocean I can make the most of my time. For us townies with last couple of years of ordinary surf here(until April this year) in Vicco the pool has been great. Instead of 1 if lucky 2 surfs a month we could surf two or more times week I'd hate to think where my surfing would have been without the pool. The pools are not for everybody but for me it's been life changing and just so much fun. Also being able to surf on a balmy night in summer is pretty cool.

Dx3's picture
Dx3's picture
Dx3 Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 2:19pm

Yeh that’s awesome. It’s brought a lot of joy that’s for sure.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 2:58pm

They have been threatening the Sunny Coast for one or 2 the last couple of years.
I reckon it would be a winner as a lot of surfers around here and a lot of down time, close to Brisbane and an airport, and a lot warmer than Melbourne. As mentioned, would be great for keeping fit, in tune etc when there are no waves. Also reckon would be a good social thing, a few mates, evening surf, feed and a couple of beers.
Probably the way it is going they will build one by 2033.
Would never replace ocean but better than going to the gym.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 3:23pm

Higher costs than expected, lower revenues than expected

Never, ever heard of that happening in a commercial project launched with much hyperbole

There’ll be more of that with wave pools - large initial capital outlay,
- high ongoing running costs
- niche market

Nevertheless, I still keen to have a go in one when the chance arises and hopefully before the sun sets

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 3:38pm

Hopefully this is the start of the end of the wave pool thing.

And we can move onto artificial reefs done properly, at least its still real surfing, still the salt, the seaweed, the smell of the ocean, the sea life, the horizon and all the other things that make surfing great.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Sunday, 10 Sep 2023 at 8:40am

Has a artificial reef ever been done properly/successfully ?

Maybe the super bank but thats more accident with sand pumping and if that crowd is what happens when you get it right in the ocean….no thanks.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Monday, 11 Sep 2023 at 6:08am

Yep, Palm Beach Reef.

Built from quarried rock and can be surfed in a range of conditions.

Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710 Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 5:21pm

Incredibly, Urbnsurf managed to make their website even worse after its 'upgrade'.

Seabiscuit's picture
Seabiscuit's picture
Seabiscuit Wednesday, 6 Sep 2023 at 3:30pm

some feat, but agree!

Swany's picture
Swany's picture
Swany Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 8:19pm

Doubt this and wiseman’s are harbingers of the end of tubs. Pretty sound reasons for both flopping. Snowdonia early tech just grim and it’s sub zero and dark half the year, and solidly in the boondocks. Ain’t no recipient for success. Must be a sad day for the operators and staff.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 8:33pm

Stu's original Surf Snowdonia feature...

'Wave Park' Timeline exclusive to #1 swellnet
Including Stu's Start > Closure Features.

Aaaandy's picture
Aaaandy's picture
Aaaandy Tuesday, 5 Sep 2023 at 9:27pm

Funny seeing an article about multiple injuries at Tullamarine wavd pooooool. Can't sign a waiver at ur local break.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Wednesday, 6 Sep 2023 at 11:11am

Thanx for sharing Aaaandy...
Respectfully request any further sharing of said Wave Pool Surf Injuries.

tbb will share the Herald Sun 'Headlined Injuries'
"Paramedics have been called to dozens of reported incidents..."
Spinal Dislocation =1
Chest Injury =1
Cardiac Arrest =1
Bone Dislocations = ?
Head Injuries = 4
Lacerations = 7

Recall reading Staff attending to multiple injuries in opening weeks.
Just guessing there is a lot more to this story...

Simply requesting for fellow crew to share this Surfing News in whatever reasonable capacity!

Surfing uptake & injuries have been ramping during this same recent period.
Any shared data in this regard would be frontline Sports Health in #1 Health Advice!
Thanx ...Good Health to all!

gasman's picture
gasman's picture
gasman Wednesday, 6 Sep 2023 at 3:12pm

Love how the usual suspects immediately put the boot in. Awful wavepools ruining surfing, now closing down as predicted etc etc.

Except new tech wavepools are packed out and whilst Snowdonia has 6 surfers paying for the main wave in any given hour the new pools have 30+ so I don't think you need to be a rocket scientist to work out the maths on why Snowdonia is no longer viable with other options in Bristol and Edinburgh...

I surfed Snowdonia and I loved it. Sad to see it go but it's very clearly been overtaken by the newer tech and associated business models.

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis Sunday, 10 Sep 2023 at 9:10am

Surf pool in Edinburgh. That’s gold

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Monday, 11 Sep 2023 at 10:42am

Pre surf warm up, Caledonian cobbler plus a couple of 500ml Tennents Super, tuck the haggis in the wettie for post surf snack

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Monday, 11 Sep 2023 at 10:47am

Dame it, forgot the Neeps and Tatties and a wee dram or three

Spearman's picture
Spearman's picture
Spearman Wednesday, 6 Sep 2023 at 9:02pm

Surfed snowdonia too and loved it as well for the novelty. Great location at Snowden N.Wales.
The wave was weak and limited but still had fun. Shame to see it go.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Thursday, 7 Sep 2023 at 11:20am

I'm following 'lost'... all are now locked onto the same wave length.
All sea change condos & Ski Chalets are sliding down Hot Spot slippery slopes into the Abyss.
Equally sell ya breakwalls or mudslides...

Both Surfing & Skiing World Champ events are held in fake Surf & Snow.

2023 World Ski Champs held in Fake Swiss Snow.
Beijing Olympics was totally Fake & none said a thing about sellin' out 1m Surfie Snowboard Promos
Just 2cm of incidental Snow mucked up a Perfectly shit hot Fake Winter Olympics. (The Outrage!)

2018 South Korea Winter Olympics before that also faked it
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic laced their Ski Fields with pesticide to score more medals.
Anti Doping agency were caught munchin on eskimo pies after tokin' on too many snow cones .
1980 Olympics were first to fire off the Fake Snow Cannons.

eg : (Water)
WSL Ranch 2x Lagoons + Tank = 50m Gallons or (Main arena 15m)
Beijing Winter Olympics sucked 50m Gallons
8 Cooling Towers / 3 Pumping Stations / 130 Fan Generators / 300 Guns

Water Quality
Wave pools generally market gulping quality but lagoons are non immersible head dips.

Fake Snow secret herbs & spice recipe depends on climate & length of season or Type of Runs.
The ingredients will have ya gaggin'
Pesticides, Ethylene, Bacteria, Urea, Fertilizer, Fungi, Animal Fat, Palm/Coconut Oil, Salt, Potassium.
As water costs soar...operators hit up councils to approve spraying of waste water over their slopes.
Yes! Operators are advised to wear Masks, Gloves & gear when brewing snow cocktails.
Don't let yer pets (Especially cats)...near it. If they ingest it they'll die!

Sure! Vegan Friendly Ski Field...reduced animal ya can slip'n'slide in yer own wee & poo.
(Booked out seasons in advance!)

Oz ski resorts need 100ML or 27m Gallons + 350 cannons
Also similar cost to a Wave Pool $20-50m
They reckon they can run Ski Fields in a Climate ravaged World without Snow (Just add water!)
In fact many World & Oz ski fields do just that...bringing the Ski Fields closer to the masses.

Down Side ( Aside mass starvation & people dying of thirst)
Real snow = 10/90 (Air) mix (vs) Fake = 30/70(Air) footprint = 3x Polluted Slope erosion = No Life!
Ain't no sunshine when VIPs gone...only darkness where the flowers fade in permanent dead soil.
Killed the Goose that laid the Golden Egg

Today! 95% of World Ski Fields sell Fake Snow as Premium!
Just 5% Natural Ski Fields remain...
At this rate > Skiing on Snow will soon likely be illegal...& locked away in some WH King's Chalet.

Just wonderin' if any crew can share the cross culture Fake Surf/Snow vibe from Urbnsurf Winter Jam
Kinda resembles a must do #1060 on yer Bucket List.

Weird story!
Daughter comes back from Japan...Dad is unloading her gear & notices the Surf Stadium treat bag...
Dad was droolin' Yes!...she knows Dad loves this shit...precious...All Mine!
Never says a word & off she goes with Cute Cartoon Wave backpack...Like Wot just happened there!
Dad almost cried...Bye Bye little Wave Pool Cartoon show bag!

Happens the world over...People flock to this shit for braggin' rights with Surfie mates.
Yeah! Like Wave Pool...done!

Just thought to share the exact same thing happened big time when Snowdonia broke the mould...
Worldly Train engineers & Boffins flocked to the Weird Wave Pool as if a new Dam or Speed Rail.
This is why Wales Tourism backed it...Truly did bring the boys to the yard to look but not touch.
Like a bus tour stop for Lunch & a Sticker! (Done that...saw the weird wave...Tick!)

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Monday, 11 Sep 2023 at 10:53am

I was going to write something nice about your Surf Stadium treat bag TBB haha but then I watched the video and felt nauseated, had to lie down

Komodo's picture
Komodo's picture
Komodo Saturday, 9 Sep 2023 at 8:23am

Obviously a rejig
Was uneconomical.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Monday, 8 Jul 2024 at 1:13pm

Surf Snowdonia Reffo Wave Pool
Alternate version of Wave Pool Closure
(Swellnet Timeline)

May 2021 Welsh Govt start up $7.5m + Invested $30m in building xX/[Stalag Wave Pool Hilton]\Xx

22nd Aug 2022 Lagoon is Drained to examine - repair Mechanical Failure
Wavepool Park Closes citing "Water Shortages"

6th Oct 2022 Owners fear they may "Have to Sell Up"
Welsh Tourist Board say closure would be a disaster...

Nov 2022 [ Immigrants in Accommodation ] Local's Wave Pool passes are useless.

UK Govt Parallel Wavepool Timeline
Starts from above local's mention of Immigrants in Accommodation.

Aug 2022 { IMPORTANT! } Note Wave Machine is broken again...seemingly for good this time!
Almost impossible to repair one of a kind tech with limited parts, needing premium expert Pandemic labour!

Nov 2022 Surge of 40,000 Reffos in Small Boats crossing the Channel into UK line-ups
Hilton Garden Inn (Wave Pool) has been classed as a Short Term [ Emergency Overflow Facility ]
See above (Recall crew labelling it a creepy Nazi Compound) Turns out we were right on the money!

Reffo Facility is expected to be leased over the quiet winter period until February 2023 (3 month Contract)
( Have your say in Comments Below )
Manston Detention Centre Asylum Seekers transferred to [ Emergency Overflow Wave Pool Line-Up ]

Pause : All saw Village Idiots ask Santa for a Tracy Island Wave Pool / Govt Detention Centre [Check!]
Just saying we non believers are the stupid ones.
Who knew a Dolgarrog's Village Idiot's Santa Postcard could stoke up a Nazi Wavepool Compound.
(That sorta Magic only Happens on The Blue Planet!)

7th Nov 2022 Early hours of the Monday morning...(Oops! Should read Under the Cover of Darkness!)
86 Asylum Seekers stormed the Hilton Wave Pool to slot into the Dawn Patrol line-up.
All fit and able 18-45 single Men : Albanians / Eritreans / Egyptians / Iranians / Afghanis / Iraqis
7th Nov : Wave Pool weddings were cancelled & no rooms available until at least Spring 2023
Home Office Wave Pool Shack Caddie would not comment on Operational Arrangements! FU2
7th Nov :
8th Nov : Now the only News in town...
9th Nov : MP Q&A Pod ( Rumours of Un Paid Staff )
9th Nov : Council stokes up Line Up Rage to swamp Home Office Wave Pool Shack.
10th Nov : Shit hits the fan Poll 1,026 : 91% No > 8% Yes > 1% don't give a Shit! ( Petitions etc...)
12th Nov : (Shop keeper said the scared polite men enter her store!) 3 had already left the Facility ?
Special Treatment > Luxury Accom > Incidents > Stretched Services> Rubberneckers stir local Angst!

2 Dec: All very well & good tbb, but crew were praying for Farage to Reform the Wave Pool Line-Up...
Always was always will be a Covert VIP Reffo Wave Compound!

*tbb's theory...
Pandemic hit UK/ Spain / Canada economic work force hard...never recovered & begged for US migrants!
Global Reffos were granted free entry to many nations to be exploited as Storm Cleanup slave crews!
Perfect examples being to leave perimeter fencing down after Climate tragedies...(Slaves Welcome!)
Slave labor gangs were openly welcomed & directed to freely clean up after Floods / Tornadoes.
Govt Wave Pool operator had little choice but to accept offer of free accom for free Machine repairs.
It's very likely any Female Reffos freely Care / Cook / Clean for fellow Male Repair Crew Reffos!
Reckon other run down Govt owned ventures also exploited free 40,000 Labour Reffo Teams.
Simply to prolong a bad choice unsustainable business venture

6 Feb : Wave Pool Hotel to reopen
March : The Illegal Migration Bill
1st April : After Winter Reffo Maintenance the Wave Pool Line Up comes back online for Local Crew...
Noting the Reffo Repairs were only Makeshift for low capacity 3hr runs...after's all over!

June : Wave Machine breaks down again...Too bad so sad!
July 2023 : Tories outcast all Wave Maker Slaves to Rwanda (Act becomes Law)
Sept : Rishi : "My Kingdom for a Wave Pool Slave...throw in 'Free first hour' GATH hire!"
Wow! No Pool Queue..[ Pool Closed ]

Seems like Govt were prepared to keep the Wave Pool open but knew it was a makeshift fix.
Soon as the Reffos go...their Pipe Dream dies with them.

So why are we only reading about this now tbb...well durr!

6th July 2024 : The new PM : "We need more UK bound boats to stoke larger Slave Waves"

Watch this space...
PM Keir : "Said Mush > Fix my Wave Pool lads & do try to fit into the Local Line Up!"

PS : (Surf History Anomalies)
1900's Nazare Big Wave Slave Empire reconstituted into 2000's Dolgarrog ai Wave Pool Slaves

Crew can now easily & openly see how Wave Slaves get white washed from VIP Surf History!
All here are complicit by default...that's how Pool Bullies whitewash Surf us not giving a shit!
Whole town are oblivious to Wave Slaves amongst them so it's wiped from Town's VIP Surf History!

Not today, swellnet crew are alert to Global Wave Slave Trade > Salute Reffo Wave Slaves!
Huey's Ai WOTD "~~~~^~~~~/|~~~~/(~~~~/(`~~~~/C~~~~/(C....../|(C`[ slaves )