Side Street Style: Surfing at The Wave, Bristol - Review

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

04/10/2020

Surfing at The Wave, Bristol - Review

The Wave Bristol


Who would have guessed that a swimming pool on the outskirts of Bristol could produce some of the best waves in England? Well, it can! 

In August I headed to The Wave as an early birthday present for myself for a whole day session with Women and Waves, an all-girl collective inspiring women to get into surfing. Despite 2020 being very up and down, it's been a really good summer, plenty of warm sunny days and luckily the coastline in Wales has plenty of quiet spots so I managed to get some good surfing in before heading to the Waves for my intermediate session. 

Having grown up surfing in South Africa, it's something that I love and try to do as much as I can but being a busy mum of two means that my time on my board is often limited so places like this that guarantee perfect waves is very appealing to me and while it's not the same as being in the ocean, which has a certain magic about it, it's definitely an option when you are time short and in need of some pure surf stoke! 


The Wave Bristol


Located just outside of Bristol, The Wave is easy to find and well signposted, on arrival, there is plenty of free parking. You first sign-in at the far end of the car park before walking over to The Wave - while I was there this was all done contact-free with screens and plenty of hand santiser on the walls. Please remember that at the moment it's essential to pre-book your visit, even if your not surfing, this is done to manage visitor numbers and help maintain social distancing. 

After the initial check-in you then have to walk around 5-10mins to The Wave - if you have a skateboard this is the perfect place to use it and cruise over, which is what I did. Once at The Wave you have to register for your session, get changed (plenty of singular changing rooms with lots of santiser on hand) and listen to a health and safety briefing, which was really useful as this place really isn't the ocean so its best to know how to use the facility correctly before jumping in. 


The Wave Bristol

The Wave Bristol


You need to be at The Wave at least 60 mins before your session, even if you're bringing your own equipment. I took my 5'11 shortboard with me and I surfed the Intermediate wave which is perfect for those who are comfortable paddling to the back and can consistently take off and ride unbroken green waves and turn on the wave - I toyed between the intermediate and advanced wave but I'm glad I had the chance to do the intermediate first, along with some amazing girls from the Women and Waves group as getting used to The Wave takes time, it's very different to the ocean, the take-off it quicker and fairly steep and the intermediate was more than powerful enough for my shortboard, I even managed a mini barrel.


The Wave Bristol

The Wave Bristol


Do bare in mind if you're going to surf The Intermediate/Advanced wave that the take-off is in the Reef area and requires a lot of paddling to the back, if your not yet comfortable paddling to the back then best to try their beginner wave - they also have a new session called the Waikiki wave which is a good bridge between the beginner wave and intermediate as the intermediate wave is quite powerful and you need to be comfortable on your board, paddling and swimming to get the most out of it. 

The water temperature is around the same as that of the sea so you need to pack a wetsuit that is suitable for the conditions - if you don't have one the price includes all equipment you need and the staff are really professional and helpful while remaining socially distanced at all times. 


The Wave Bristol


There is plenty of options for food, both inside and outdoors, although you need to take a mask with you if you plan to go indoors. The main cafe is situated inside and on a lovely outdoor roof terrace. While I was there there was also a Taco food truck and Churros food stand, both of which were outdoors along with a coffee window for takeaway coffees. 

The atmosphere at The Wave is cool and laid back with many people skating around, but there is still a clear focus on health and safety which plenty of lifeguards on hand. The beginner wave looked fantastic for younger children and those starting out and I can honestly say it was smiles all round from everyone, it's just a great place to be. I can't wait to return and have already purchased another session and will be trying out the advanced wave next.

No matter what your level from complete beginner to Pro rider, The Wave has something to offer everyone and I highly recommend it. Spectator passes cost £2 and if your planning on hitting the waves then prices start at £40 for an hour session. 


The Wave Bristol


10 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a great time in Bristol. I did not know that you could surf there, England for me has never been associated with surfing but it is definitely something I will test myself if I have the roads past.

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  2. I never associated Bristol with surfing, very cool! This trip sounds like a dream come true for those who love surfing. The Wave also looks like a great place for an all in one surfing trip, since they have an indoor/outdoor area with food options. They also seem to cater to people at all levels of surfing abilities, which is great. Also glad to hear that everyone stayed safe and practiced COVID-19 precautions. Glad that you enjoyed your trip and took some time for yourself - being a mom makes that a challenge sometimes!

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  3. Wow, didn't know you could surf in Bristol! It looks like a damn cool place to get on your first wave and learn this crazy sport. An hour before even if you have your own gear seems a bit much, but guess it is key for ensuring fluid operation.

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  4. Ah loved this post Laura and I bet you were so happy you got to experience this. You must have been delighted to get into the water and ride the waves. Lovely to see!

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  5. OMG! That's unbelievable. Seeing your first pic, I actually thought its the sea! Its unbelievable that its artificial! Love that they have camera attached to the surf boards to get those perfect shots! As a mom myself, I can imagine how amazing this can be to you, to get to do something that you always want to do, but practically can't! Good to know that safety is given utmost importance with lifeguards etc.

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  6. I'm sure The Wave doesn't compare with surfing in South Africa, but like you are saying, it's a good alternative when time is short and you don't have other options. Besides, from what you are describing they even have and Intermediate/Advanced level of waves, which is great. I'll have to say that I am really impressed by how you look on that board: like a true professional! Wish I could learn how to surfboard.

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  7. Well, I always thought surfing happened in the oceans. Never imagined you could do it in a pool. But isn't that an amazing thing! Finding a place to surf close by without having to go to a good surfing beach. Your pictures are amazing. It looks like so much fun at The Wave. Definitely something to look forward to in Bristol.

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  8. I have been wanting to learn how to surf for a long time now. I did not know Bristol had surfing options. How I wish I could just go there and take some lessons for surfing. And the best part is knowing that it is in a controlled environment unlike the ocean, Really cool.

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  9. Wow this is such a fantastic option when you can't go out surfing in the sea. It's also a great way to practice for new learners as they get a good hang of surfing. I love this idea with assured waves and this if introduced in India would be a big hit.

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  10. Wow! This is amazing. I have always wanted to learn surfing and I have never imagined that it's possible through artificial waves. Happy to know that there are plenty of options for food and they have health protocols in place. We would love to visit in the future.

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