Bristol has been selected as the location for a aimed Wavegarden project, which would cost in the realm of £5m. Opinion is divided on man-made waves, but supporters say that this is closer to the real thing than other man-made options. Wavegarden UK in Bristol will be the 1st inland surfing facility of its kind, open fully to the public. The fresh technology will produce clean surfable waves up to 1.6 metres high on a 450 metre man-made lake near to Bristol’s city centre. Surfers will be able to savor a 55 second long ride, while novices will be able to learn to surf in a safe environment.
As well as the surfing, the gardens circling the lake will be specifically configured to provide a healthy, informative, sensory experience. The aim is to help everybody visiting Wavegarden get in touch with nature and perhaps discover something new.
Wavegarden is the brainchild of 2 Bristol friends, Nick Hounsfield (an osteopath) and Tobin Coles (a corporate marketing director). Both friends are surfers and share a vision of making a space in Bristol for all the community to enjoy and get close to nature. Nick and Tobin are linked by Chris Hines MBE, founder of the charity Surfers against Sewage and once director of sustainability at the Eden Project.
Nick said: “Wavegarden is ambitious but achievable. It will be a fantastic place, close to Bristol city centre, that everyone can enjoy – all ages, all backgrounds and all abilities. It will be a space to relax and rehabilitate as well as a place to surf, play and have fun. We instinctively know that being in or around water is good for people and that is something we want to share!”
Tobin added: “It’s very important to us that we get as many views as possible on the project from the public and feed these in to the design process. We really want the final plans for the site to be something that reflects what the people of Bristol have said to us – and that meets their needs.”
Chris Hines will be developing Wavegarden’s sustainability policy.
He explains: “I’m backing this project as I believe in Nick and Tobin’s vision of a place where people from all backgrounds can have fun and get in touch with nature on a site close to the main population of Bristol. We want to build Wavegarden in tune with its surroundings – we’ll minimise our environmental foot print, build links with the Bristol community and be financially prudent whilst ensuring our output of waves, fun and relaxation is as great as possible!”
It’s hoped that construction of Wavegarden will start in early 2012.