America’s First Surf Park Opens Friday In Texas

Arguably the most predictable wave in the U.S. will start breaking Friday when the NLand Surf Park opens for business in Austin, Texas.

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NLand is the first surf park to open to the public in the United States.

To build the park, founder Doug Coors partnered with Spanish engineering firm Wavegarden, one of the world leaders in artificial wave technology. The team built the approximately nine-acre wave pool to suit beginning surfers and experts alike.

The scope and variety of swells in this park are far from any indoor waterpark’s boogie board wave generator. It also shows how far the field’s technology has advanced.

It has various breaks in the pool, from softly peeling beach-style break to almost stand-up barrels.  Check out the video below for a little extra stoke.


Looks fun, right? But much like rock climbing indoors, it’s still a replica of the real thing, and it comes with a high price.

Surf Passes range from $60 to $90 for a one-hour session. Coaching sessions and clinics range from $65 to $190 for a 90-minute session. Surf Passes and training sessions include a softboard. High-performance demo boards may also be rented for $25. For non-surfers, Shore Passes are just $5.

Ouch. But for the high price, Austin surfers (or those who choose to travel there) will save a three-hour drive to Surfside Beach, the closest natural break to the city.

NLand: Artificial Surf Pool Filled With Rainwater

Water is precious in Texas. To avoid using the region’s water resources, NLand relies on a unique rainwater catchment. Rainwater is channeled to a wet pond and bio-filtered by algae and fish before it moves to a deep reservoir and through the filtration system for treatment.

The park claims it is self-sustaining in even in the most challenging drought conditions.

Kelley Slater’s Surf Park

NLand isn’t the only artificial wave in North America. Surf legend Kelly Slater constructed a still-private wave pool in California’s Central Valley and published the below video in December 2015.


But for now, the Kelly Slater Wave Company’s beautiful curl remains off-limits to the public.

While most surfers will long for the beauty of long-period swells generated by thousands of miles of ocean winds, these man-made breakers are probably here to stay. We look forward to dropping in, in a landlocked city, sometime soon.

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By
Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.
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