Surf's Up

Massive Austin surf park makes waves with anxiously awaited opening

Massive Austin surf park makes waves with anxiously awaited opening

NLand Surf Park Austin
NLand Surf Park opens October 7. Photo courtesy of NLand Surf Park

Surf's up, Austin. After more than a year of anticipation, NLand Surf Park will open Friday, October 7, the park announced Tuesday. 

The park, located on a 160-acre site just east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, is the first attraction of its kind in North America — and the second in the world. Using technology from Spanish firm Wavegarden, the 14-acre pool is capable of generating 300 waves per hour, alternating between 1-, 4-, and 6-feet high. Each wave can carry a surfer for up to 35 seconds and will not lose power or shape, according to a release.

Waves are suitable for surfers of all levels, and there are three kinds to choose from, depending on skill. The park will also offer surfing lessons for children and adults.

Surf enthusiasts have anxiously awaited NLand since it was announced last summer. A disagreement with Travis County over whether the system should be regulated as a pool, which needs to be filtered every few hours, or a lagoon, which has less stringent guidelines, caused major delays but has since been resolved. 

NLand says that the wave pool is self-sustaining and uses rainwater, chemical treatments, and multiple levels of filtration to keep it safe and efficient in drought-prone Central Texas.

"NLand represents innovation in technology, sustainability, and sport. While this innovation outpaced regulation, I am glad an agreement was reached, as this project represents the best of Austin," said Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez in a release. 

"As a surfer and an engineer, NLand has been a dream of mine for the past 20 years. We have had our share of challenges, but they are behind us and I look forward to sharing our waves with the world," said founder Doug Coors.

Surf Passes range from $60-$90 for a one-hour session, and lessons run $65-$190 for 90 minutes. Spectators can purchase a Shore Pass for $5. In addition to the massive pool, the surf spot features a juice bar; surf shop; and restaurant, Blue Prairie.

Opening hours are Monday, 2-6 pm, and Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am until 7 pm. For a sneak peek at how the wave pool works, check out this video.