The Wave opens a new chapter for English surfing in Bristol
England’s first inland surfing destination The Wave opened its doors in Bristol and turned on the waves for the public last week offering perfect surf for all abilities. We were lucky enough to be among the first to get a taste of what this visionary project has to offer.
The official unveiling in front of the worlds media saw riders of every level enjoying the experience of tasting the first waves. From first time frothers to equally frothing pros it was an experience that did exactly what surfing should do, make you feel great and plaster a beaming smile across your face.
Its hard to describe the feeling of seeing the wedge shaped flat pool transform into peeling surfing perfection for the first time. Having followed The Wave story for so long it was close to magical. Nonstop perfect lefts and prefect rights offer a perfect playground for some, and an ideal training ground for others.
Looking around you get a sense of how accessibility, inclusion is built in to every aspect of design meaning anyone no matter their challenges can access, and we all know the therapeutic effects of surfing.
11 year old Marshall with Ben Skinner
As the day unfolded we learnt the backstories behind many of those we saw smiling in the waves. There were long term supporters, those nominated for by the public for a myriad of personal and often emotional reasons.
The pro’s loved it, wave after wave, darting in to change up equipment, swap boards, switching from left to right then back again. Testing the limit, practising the repetition, flexing that muscle memory. From the groms to the to the most experienced you could see development happening in front of your eyes.
Some of the lucky first riders at The Wave
What impact will The Wave have on English Surfing? We spoke to some of the country’s top riders for their impression.
Former English women’s champion Lucy Campbell “The limiting factor for English surfing is that we don’t get such consistent conditions all year round, so to have this [The Wave] where you can come if there’s a flat spell or its really windy for a bit is definitely going to improve English surfing so much. I think especially for the younger generation having something like this growing up is going to be incredible.”
English Longboard Champion Emily Currie “I think it will change the sport massively, we could see the next champion come from somewhere like Bristol or Birmingham, somewhere not by the sea. It’s so exciting that it’s making surfing so accessible
Ben Skinner 11 time European Longboard Champion “It’s really going to put us on the map. You can see everyone in the water, their level is going up wave by wave. That’s what this is about, we’re back in the game.”
Ben Powis, Surfing England Commercial & Operations Director “Having a world class surf lake on the doorstep is an absolute game changer for our elite athletes, giving them access to consistent and high quality waves to hone their skills. We’ve taken a big step toward levelling the playing field with the established surfing nations and Surfing England will continue to work closely with The Wave as we take English Surfing to the next level.”
Find out more about the wave here www.thewave.com
We can’t wait to visit again and look forward to following the journey of England’s newest surf spot.