The International Surfing Association (ISA) have hailed the launch of Surf Snowdonia, an inland surf lagoon located in Wales, claiming it will help revolutionise how the sport is delivered, presented and watched.
ISA vice-president Casper Steinfath attended the launch of the facility which uses the technology created by Spanish engineering firm Wavegarden to create consistent and perfectly formed barrelling waves that can be up to two metres high and peel for up to 150 metres.
The ISA claim the creation of facilities like Surf Snowdonia are potentially game changing for the sport as it could help make surfing more accessible for people across the world.
Steinfath claimed similar wave parks could stage major international events in the future.
“The quality and consistency of the waves that the new technology can produce really does make a difference,” the two-time world champion in stand up paddle said.
“A centre like this is clearly capable of creating perfect surfing conditions that could be used at future ISA Championships and major, multi-sport competitions such as the Olympic Games.”
Surfing is currently one of eight sports vying for inclusion on the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020 and the opening of the new facility, which can be used by 36 surfers simultaneously, is further evidence of the sports potential, it is claimed.
One of the key breakthroughs the ISA are keen to highlight is, that with the technology generating a perfect wave every time, it would negate the reliance on tides which could disruption competition currently.
Fernando Aguerre, President of the ISA, predicted facilities like Surf Snowdonia would attract more people to the surfing as well as boosting the sport’s prospects to be included at the Olympics.
“Pioneering and sustainable wave parks like Surf Snowdonia can be created almost anywhere in the world and the innovative, flexible and multi-use centres will open up surfing to many more fans and participants in urban and rural areas – helping to create great local long-term social and recreational benefits,” he said.
“The ISA now looks forward to hosting its first world-class surfing championship at an inland wave park where we can make perfect waves for competition every time.
“This breakthrough also highlights how surfing can be easily integrated into global multi-sport events and facilities like Surf Snowdonia can become the blueprint for competitive inland Surfing venues at major sports events in the future.
“As we prepare to present to the Tokyo 2020 team, it fills me with great confidence that a fantastic inland facility like Surf Snowdonia can showcase world-class surfing action and excite and enthuse the next generation of surfing participants and fans.”
Surfing faces competition from bowling, karate, roller skating, sport climbing, squash and wushu for inclusion at Tokyo 2020, although the clear favourite remains baseball and softball.
July 2015: Surfing added to Lima 2019 Pan American Games programme
June 2015: Shortlisted sports hail "first base" on road to Tokyo 2020 inclusion
February 2015: First-ever World Adaptive Surfing Championship to take place this year, announces ISA
December 2014: Exclusive: California bid for 2024 Games would be "perfect" for surfing's Olympic ambitions, claims ISA President
October 2014: Re-elected ISA President eyes surfing's inclusion at Olympics