Wave Pools Around The World
You Need to Know and Surf

The history of artificial wave pools reaches back to the 19th century (when King Ludwig II of Bavaria electrified one of his private lakes to create artificial waves). With the 21st century and surfing becoming increasingly popular worldwide, the time seems right for an increased creation of artificial waves and wave pools, enabling landlocked surfers to surf more often without the need to travel to the coastline. Moreover, surfers of all levels can practice and enhance their skills in consistent mechanical-perfect wave conditions. This might be the start of the era of inland surfing.

Wave Pools – Artificial Waves for Surfing

Wave pools are artificial pools designed to simulate ocean-like waves for recreational purposes. These pools are typically found in water parks, amusement parks, or specialized facilities for surfing which are on the rise at the moment.

Wave pools use various mechanisms to generate waves. The most common method involves large paddles or pistons that move back and forth in the pool, creating waves that propagate across the water. These waves can vary in size and intensity, providing different levels of excitement for users.

Wave pools offer several advantages over natural bodies of water, such as controlled wave patterns, consistent wave quality, and enhanced safety measures. They allow individuals to experience the thrill of surfing or bodyboarding in a controlled environment, making it accessible to people who may not have access to natural surf beaches.

Wave pools can cater to different skill levels, ranging from small, gentle waves for beginners or children to larger, more powerful waves for experienced surfers. Some wave pools even offer specialized areas for different activities, such as boogie boarding, body surfing, or even stand-up paddleboarding.

In recent years, there has been significant progress in wave pool technology, leading to the development of innovative wave systems. These systems aim to create waves that closely mimic natural ocean conditions, providing a more realistic surfing experience. Additionally, some wave pools incorporate artificial reefs or other structures to create more challenging wave formations and allow for more advanced maneuvers.

Wave pools have gained popularity worldwide, and they continue to evolve with advancements in technology. They provide a safe and controlled environment for individuals to enjoy water-based activities and experience the excitement of riding waves, regardless of their proximity to the coast.

Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch

Kelly Slater Surf Ranch is a world-renowned surf destination and a state-of-the-art surf park located in Lemoore, California, USA. It was developed by Kelly Slater, 11-time world champion professional surfer widely regarded as the greatest surfer of all time (The GOAT). The Surf Ranch is a revolutionary concept in surfing, combining cutting-edge wave technology with a man-made wave pool.

The main attraction of Kelly Slater Surf Ranch is its ability to produce perfect, high-quality waves consistently. Using a hydrofoil mechanism, the park generates powerful and customizable waves that can be tailored to suit different skill levels and preferences. This technology allows surfers to experience ideal conditions for practicing and performing maneuvers.

The Surf Ranch offers various surfing experiences, including private sessions, group lessons, and even hosting professional competitions including one of the stops of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour – the men’s elite competition consisting of the best 34 professional surfers competing in 11 events around the world throughout the year. The controlled environment of the wave pool ensures consistent wave quality, eliminating the reliance on natural conditions found in traditional surfing locations.

Kelly Slater Surf Ranch has garnered significant attention in the surfing community and beyond due to its innovation and ability to revolutionize the sport. It has been featured in numerous media outlets and has become a popular destination for surf enthusiasts and professionals alike.

In 2024, Surf Abu Dhabi will open, a wave pool in the Capital of the United Arab Emirates, powered by Kelly Slater Wave Company Technology.

Surf Lakes Australia

Surf Lakes is an Australian company that specializes in wave pool technology. They have developed a unique wave-generating system that can produce multiple surfable waves simultaneously in a large pool. The company’s headquarters and flagship facility are located in Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia.

The Surf Lakes technology is designed to mimic natural ocean waves by generating concentric waves that radiate from a central point in the pool. This allows surfers of all skill levels to experience a variety of wave types, including small and mellow waves for beginners, as well as larger and more challenging waves for experienced surfers.

The wave-generating mechanism involves a central pier that houses a large plunger. When the plunger is activated, it creates a powerful pressure wave that travels through the pool, causing waves to form at eight different breaks around the perimeter. This design allows for multiple surfers to ride waves simultaneously, enhancing the overall experience for visitors.

Surf Lakes has gained significant attention in the surfing community due to the potential for wave pool technology to revolutionize the sport. It offers consistent and controlled wave conditions, which are not dependent on natural factors such as tides, swells, or weather conditions. This makes it possible to surf in areas that lack access to the ocean or have inconsistent surf conditions.

In addition to the facility in Yeppoon, Surf Lakes has plans to develop and license their wave pool technology in other locations around the world. The company aims to provide surfers with more opportunities to enjoy the sport and create a consistent training environment for professional surfers.

Alaia Bay Switzerland

Tucked away in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Alaïa Bay is the first wave pool of its kind in continental Europe and probably the most spectacular spot for a surf session, whatever your level.

Located in the recreational area of the “Islands”, a green haven ideal for a family day out, Alaïa Bay is ideally connected by road and public transport. With a breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps and a location at the foot of some of the largest European ski resorts, such as Crans-Montana, Verbier, Zermatt, and Chamonix, Alaïa Bay offers an exceptional natural setting.

Alaïa Bay is the first surfing wave pool built in continental Europe, powered by Wavegarden Technology. More than 8,300m2 are dedicated to surfing for people of all levels. Located in Sion, in Valais, the project is totally unique and atypical, giving you the opportunity to practice a new sporting discipline in Switzerland.

Wavegarden Cove technology is a modular electromechanical system that generates up to 1000 waves per hour by moving water particles similar to ocean swells. It was the first bespoke wave generation technology for surfing and is the most sustainable in the industry (see study). At the push of a button, wave characteristics can be adjusted, making them accessible to beginners and professional surfers alike.

BSR Waco

Waco Surf, in the heart of Texas, is one of the largest inland surfing and water sports facilities in the country. The resort’s 2-acre surf lake uses PerfectSwell® technology to guarantee you’re riding flawless surf. Whether you’re looking for a fun day in the water park or trying to up your surf game, the quirky park offers experiences for the whole family!

Palm Springs Surf Club

The Palm Springs Surf Club is a rebirth for the old Wet n’ Wild park in Palm Springs using Surf Loch technology to pump out a variety of wave shapes and sizes, opening ETA is in 2023.

Surf Town Munich

Munich – also known as The Hawaii of River Surfing – offers multiple standing/river waves throughout the town and in addition, in 2024 the opening of Surf Town MUC, a modern wave pool is expected.

With O2 SURFTOWN MUC, a 20,000 sqm artificial surfing facility is being built in Hallbergmoss (close to Munich airport). Environmentally friendly generated and individually adjustable waves will offer a unique sport, training and leisure experience for families, beginners and professionals from the opening in 2024. The entire facility is designed to be CO2 neutral, rely on renewable energy and sustainable operation of the facility.

The Endless Surf technology creates waves with variable heights and shapes, from A-frames to Point Breaks, surfers can enjoy world-class waves regardless of their level. While at the Outside advanced and professional surfers can surf waves between 0.5m and 2.5m, at the same time the Inside offers perfect waves for beginners to learn in a safe environment.

Wave Pools around the world – within an interactive Map:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Israel
  • Netherlands
  • North America
  • Oceania
  • Russia
  • South America
Beach Break
Point Break
Reef Break
Standing Wave
Wave Pool
Difficulty / Minimum Skill Level:
Advanced Level
Beginner Level
Intermediate Level
Pro Level
Works best during:
High Tide
Low Tide
Mid Tide
Left Hand Wave
Right Hand Wave
Works best with:
East Wind
North Wind
Northeast Wind
Northwest Wind
South Wind
Southeast Wind
Southwest Wind
West Wind
Works best with:
East Swell
North Swell
Northeast Swell
Northwest Swell
South Swell
Southeast Swell
Southwest Swell
West Swell

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Wave Pool Technologies

As we have seen, there are different players of wave pool technologies on the market that are rapidly evolving AND aiming to distribute their concepts around the globe. The different technologies battle for the best wave technology and most sustainable / energy-efficient setups.

Kelly Slater Wave Systems & The World Surf League (WSL) will open another Kelly Slater Wave Pool in Abu Dhabi which supposedly will be the world’s biggest wave pool and offer head-high barrels.

Surf Lakes are mainly distributed around the U.S.A and Australia but also attempting to open wave pools in Europe and Asia, you can check the Surf Lake developments map here.

Wavegarden has a lot of wave pools already operating and a lot of them are planned to open in 2023/2024 + a lot more locations are under development. Check the Wavegarden locations around the world.

Perfect Swell / American Wave Machines are distributing their wave technology worldwide.

Find news about current Endless Surf projects and thoughts about innovations in the world of surf parks.




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