1927 Budapest, Hungary
Gellert baths were designed and built as the first wave pool in existence, an attraction that created small waves for bathers. At nearly the same time, fantasy castle builder Ludwig II of Bavaria electrifies a lake to create breaking waves.
1950-60 Surf Culture Boom
The popularity of books, films, tv shows and music such as “Gidget” and “The Beach Boys” bring about a boom in surf culture in America.
1966 Tokyo, Japan
Summerland resort builds a wave pool in their waterpark. The pool is made for swimmers, not surfng.
1969 Tempe, Arizona
Big Surf becomes the first wave pool in the United States. The wave is roughly 3 feet and lasts for 6 seconds. Surfing is only allowed for the last hour of park operation from 5-6pm. Big Surf is still in operation today.
1985 Allentown, Pennsylvania
Wildwater Kingdom hosts the World Inland Surfing Championships in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Tom Carrol wins in the comically-bad 2 foot slop.
1987 “North Shore”
North Shore the movie is released to dismal reviews. The plot follows wave pool champion Rick Kane from Arizona as he travels to Oahu’s North Shore to surf. The movie goes on to become a cult classic among surfers.
1989 Orlando, Florida
Scottish engineer Douglas Murphy installs his wave pool design as the centerpiece to Walt Disney World’s “Typhoon Lagoon”. The pool is capable of generating a 6 foot wave that lasts approximately 6 seconds. To this day the park operates daily surfing times before and after DisneyWorld operating hours, charging roughly
1993 Miyazaki, Japan
The Seagaia Ocean Dome, the world’s largest indoor waterpark opens in Miyazaki Japan. The $100 million wave pool is the central attraction, capable of creating short but powerful tubing waves in the 5 foot range, lasting for 6 seconds. The Mitsubishi designed pool marks the first time high performance surfing
1993 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia opens, featuring the world’s largest wave pool at 139,800 square feet, and capable of creating waves up to 6 feet, and lasting over 7 seconds. The shape of the wave provides a great experience for beginner surfers, but lacks the power and steepness for high
2007 Tenerife, Canary Islands
The Siam Park opens featuring a Murphy’s Waves designed pool, surrounded by a waterpark, restaurants, and shops. The park is also the world’s first “green water park” with a desalination plant, water recycling program, and natural gas plant all on site. The surfing experience is nearly identical to that found
2008 Orlando, Florida
Construction halts on the much-hyped Ron Jon Surf Park, which promised to be the world’s first ‘Surf Park’, after their $9 million budget is exhausted without developing a working wavepool. The fallout from this failure continues to haunt the surf park industry to this day.
2010 San Sebastian, Spain
Wavegarden unveils it’s first prototype pool to the world in the form of a series of vimeo clips, showing a perfect 3-foot wave peeling for 10 seconds in a lake, which see over 1,000,000 views in the first two weeks. The video and subsequent website promise more, better waves, in
2011 Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Wadi Adventure park in Al Ain installs a Murphy’s Waves pool as part of their massive water park attraction. This newest pool was the largest implemented by Murphy’s Waves, capable of creating high-performance surfing waves up to 8 feet at 10 seconds in length.
2012 San Sebastian, Spain
Wavegarden completes their second prototype pool, capable of creating two simultaneous 4.25 foot waves which peel perfectly for 18 seconds down the length of their 1000 foot lagoon. The angle and steepness of the waves are designed specifically for tuberiding and high performance surfing. They invite several world tour surfers
2013 Dolgarrog, Wales
The world’s first ‘Surf Park’, Surf Snowdonia opens in Wales featuring a full-scale Wavegarden Lagoon pumping out 6 foot rights and lefts each 20 seconds long. Attendance is better than expected and Red Bull hosts a groundbreaking surf contest called “Unleashed” won by Hawaiian Albee Layer. Mechanical issues force the
2015 Lemoore, California
Kelly Slater Wave co gains worldwide attention after unveiling their prototype lagoon, built in an old waterskiing lake. The 6-foot rights barrel for a mind-numbing 35 seconds, making it easily the best artificial wave in the world. Rumors of extremely high energy costs and 15 minute waits between waves hint
2016 Austin, Texas
NLand Surf becomes the first Surf Park in the U.S. and features a full-scale Wavegarden Lagoon pumping out 6 foot rights and lefts each 20 seconds long. Problems during construction delay the opening by nearly a year and cause the park to close for repairs to the filtration system after
2017 San Sebastian
Wavegarden unveils their ‘Cove’ model, which replaces their original hydrofoil concept with a new system that eliminates backwash, allowing the new lagoons to create over 1000 waves per hour. Three Cove projects are announced in Australia by Wave Park Group, and one in California by Honokea Surf Villages.