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First riders take to inland surfing lake

The waves at the complex in Bristol range from nearly 20in to more than 6ft high to cater for all abilities.

Wave ambassador and Olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones launches The Wave in Bristol (Adam Gasson/PA)
Wave ambassador and Olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones launches The Wave in Bristol (Adam Gasson/PA)

By Claire Hayhurst, PA

An inland surfing lake that can generate up to 1,000 waves an hour has welcomed its first public riders.

The Wave, in the village of Easter Compton, Bristol, has cost £25 million and taken nine years to create.

It features a 590ft (180m) long lake, filled with 26 million litres of water, which organisers say is the first inland surfing destination of its kind.

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Professional surfers try out The Wave in Bristol (Adam Gasson/PA)

They aim to create perfect surfing conditions for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.

Waves at the site, which has six different surfing zones, range from nearly 20in (50cm) to more than 6ft (2m) high.

Twenty people were selected from more than 350 nominations to experience the first public waves.

They include environmental campaigners, charity founders, equality champions and British surfers.

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Wave ambassador and Olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones at the launch in Bristol (Adam Gasson/PA)

The group took to The Wave on Friday morning, ahead of the complex’s public opening on Saturday.

Nick Hounsfield, founder of The Wave, said: “It’s amazing to finally be able to show people what we have created and I’m unbelievably proud of our team who have got us to this point.

“Seeing our first riders today has made all the hard work well and truly worth it.

“I feel incredibly privileged and grateful to be part of this, as well as excited about the potential we have to bring greater health and happiness to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.”

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Founder Nick Hounsfield and CEO Craig Stoddart at the launch event (Adam Gasson/PA)

As the site develops, it will offer gardens, meadowland, woodland and family-friendly camping, opening in 2020.

In total, 16,000 trees and 1,870ft (570m) of hedgerow will be planted at the site, along with 13.5 acres of wildflower meadowland.

A further site, The Wave London, is planned for Lee Valley Regional Park in 2023.

PA

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