Did you know that there’s a UK Pro Surf Tour? Of Course you did(n’t). It’s much like Pro Surf Tours in other countries, except maybe smaller and definitely colder. Today the UK Pro Surf Tour adds a new jewel: Surf Snowdonia, the little wavepool that could.
Surf Snowdonia had colourful beginnings. It launched, and everyone was taken with that (swollen!) Wavegarden tech, rifling along in the sunlight beneath the golden Welsh mountains. The Red Bull contest was exciting viewing and a success. Then mechanical troubles followed. And it shut down all together for a stint. What they really needed, especially in this Kelly Slater Wave Pool era we’re all skipping through, was a good story, to let everybody know they were back in biz. Enter: The UK Pro Surf Tour.
According to director of the UK Pro Surf Tour, Dave Reed: “This event will be a major step forward in competitive surfing. Surf Snowdonia will provide a unique platform: With each wave guaranteed and identical the luck factor is eliminated from the competition. The result will be purely based on a surfer’s ability. With predictable, consistent conditions this venue could be a fast-track for any surfer who wishes to rapidly improve their skills.”
“As a world-first and world-class facility, we are stoked to be – once again – breaking new ground for the sport of surfing,” says managing director at Surf Snowdonia Andy Ainscough. “Being asked to feature on the UK Pro Surf Tour is a fantastic privilege and a great milestone for the sport. The Surf Snowdonia Pro Surf Challenge competition day will be an enormously exciting opportunity for our crowd to witness some of the best surfing and surfers this country has to offer.”
While this could easily read like a headline from the 80s (Hello, Tom Carroll Wins 1985 World Inland Championship in Allentown, Pennsylvania!), wavepools and contest are very much in the 2016 conversation, especially since KS lifted the curtain on his Lemoore Ranch (and it was subsequently purchased by the WSL).
Expect much, more of this sorta thing in coming years.