Man-made waves are increasingly popping up around the globe and the most ambitious development yet just broke ground in Siheung, South Korea. The Siheung Surf Park will feature a massive installation of Wavegarden’s Cove technology, which pumps out playful waves at an extremely short-interval—up to 1,000 per hour, allegedly. The wave pool is planned to have an artificial beach that’s over a half mile long.
Looming over the faux beach-scape will be the rest of Siheung Surf Park’s $2.3 billion development, which includes a hotel, marina, convention center and Ferris wheel. This skyscraping surf park will span Siheung’s Turtle Island, a turtle-shaped land mass that’s been carved out of the city’s bay front. The massive development marks the transition of Siheung from an industrial manufacturing town to, in Wavegarden’s words, “An epicenter for tourism and leisure.”
Siheung is conveniently located one hour south of Seoul, which has a population of 10 million. Once doors open in 2020, Siheung Surf Park is expected to attract two million visitors annually. If the Wavegarden cranks 8 hours a day at a 1,000 waves per hour, 365 days a year, that equals 2,920,000 waves annually for the expected two million visitors. That’s a 1.46 waves to visitor ratio. Will that translate to Disneyland-esque lines for waves?
According to Wavegarden, Siheung Surf Park’s ground breaking ceremony had more than “500 VIPs” in attendance. Numbered among them were the Gyonggi Province’s Governor, Siheung’s Mayor, Wavegarden execs and more, all frothing in their business attire over the commencement of the project.
“We are delighted to be working with Daewon [Construction Company] and to bring the incredible sport of surfing and beach lifestyle to South Korea,” Wavegarden’s Fernando Odriozola said in a press release. “With consistent waves of different sizes and shapes, Turtle Island is going to be the new beach of Seoul and the place to surf for families, professional surfers, and everyone in between.”