Greater Western Sydney residents will soon be able to catch perfect waves without travelling 30 minutes or more to the city's beaches, thanks to a new development opening at Sydney's Olympic Park in 2022.
URBNSURF's new surf park will be set on 3.6 hectares and will generate a wave every eight seconds by using Wavegarden "Cove" technology, now used in their Melbourne park which opened in Tullamarine in January last year.
This means surfers will be able to catch 10 to 12 waves in one hour without having to worry about others dropping in, or having to wait their turn after battling horrendous traffic on their way to the beach.
The park will also have a rooftop bar, yoga studio, leisure pool, a surf academy staffed with expert coaches, beach cabanas, hot tubs, a high- performance centre and multiple working spaces. Costed at $50 million, development is expected to begin later this year, and the operators aim to open to the public in the summer of 2022/2023.
URBNSURF chief executive Damon Tudor says he's excited about making Sydney surfing more accessible. "Our vision is providing a safe and inclusive way to surf where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can get stoked riding authentic waves in a safe environment," he said.
Tudor hails from Sydney's west himself and is passionate about the opportunities the surf park will create for all residents of Greater Sydney. "Our proximity to the CBD, the new M4 motorway, and being less than a kilometre away from the Olympic Park train station means URBNSURF will be accessible to over two million residents in under 30 minutes," he said.
The park was due to be up and running this year, but the coronavirus pandemic and unexpected costs at URBNSURF Melbourne meant the opening was delayed.
URBNSURF Melbourne opened in 2020 near Melbourne Airport, becoming Australia's first artificial surf park.
VIDEO: URBNSURF Melbourne
Around the same size as the MCG, it's segregated into beginner, intermediate and advanced zones, turning out mechanically generated waves at up to 1000 waves an hour.
The waves range from gentle beginner waves to softer, "fatter" waves for intermediate surfers refining their turns, up to the most challenging barrel waves reaching two metres in height.
The Melbourne park runs female only sessions hosted by female staff in the hope it'll boost female surfing numbers. Surfing NSW says around 25 per cent of Australian surfers are female.
According to URBNSURF, the surf park takes the unpredictability out of the experience, providing a standardised wave perfect for surfing. "In the ocean, it's pretty rare to score 10 to 12 perfect waves in a whole day, much less in just one hour," a spokesperson said.
URBNSURF also plans to open surf parks in Perth and Brisbane.
with Belinda Jackson.