Austin, TX is about four hours from the nearest ocean, but local surfers will be able to catch a wave close to home in the not-to-distant future thanks to a project slated for completion in 2016.
NLand Surf Park will bring the ocean to Central Texas in a lagoon roughly the size of nine football fields with one-foot, four-foot and six-foot waves every 60 seconds. Doug Coors, surfer and engineer, spent 15 years finding a wave-generating technology that would mimic the perfect waves surfers crave. Working in conjunction with the Spanish engineering firm Wavegarden, widely regarded as a leader in wave technology, the park’s technology will create six foot waves with perfect tubes so surfers can have a pipeline experience. The 160-acre park will feature 11 surfing areas with four different surfing levels ranging from beginner to professional.
“We are working in close collaboration with the experts at Wavegarden to bring this technology to the U.S.,” said Coors. “We have such a strong surf culture in America and Wavegarden’s technology is going to add a lot of value here, especially in places like Austin where people love sport and the outdoors.”
Not only will North America’s first inland surf park bring waves to landlocked surfers, the project will also feature sustainable water use. After the initial fill, the lagoon will be 100% sustainable with rainwater, even in drought conditions, according to the project’s builder, White Construction Company.
The lagoon will cover over 57,000 square feet, and the entire site has been shaped so that rainwater channels into the reservoir. To further reduce water loss and cost, the lagoon was designed using computer modeling to create perfect waves.
“We designed the park to tread lightly on the land and all its resources, especially water,” said Coors. “Even in the most challenging drought conditions, we will be capable of operating the lagoon with only rainwater.”
To improve sustainability, property and construction consultancy Rider Levett Bucknall suggested an on-site nursery and substituting drought tolerant native species for invasive non-native plants.
“We view NLand as a long-term, long-vision project,” said Don Miller, project manager with Rider Levett Bucknall. “The trees, plants, and sod will grow in naturally over time, reducing initial landscaping costs. Removing invasive non-native plants and replacing them with drought tolerant native species will also greatly reduce water consumption.”