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The Wave Bristol surfing lake starts filling with water

Water is being pumped to fill The Wave site in north Bristol. Credit: ITV News West Country

An artificial surfing lake that has taken years to build on the outskirts of Bristol has started filling with water - with its official opening just weeks away.

Twenty five million litres of water will be pumped into the concrete basin of The Wave over the next few weeks.

It has taken nine years of meticulous planning and £25million in funding in order to get the project to this stage.

The lagoon - recognised as England’s first-ever inland surfing lake - is due to open this November, and promises surfers the chance to ride up to 1,000 waves an hour.

The Wave founder Nick Hounsfield at a test site in Spain. Credit: ITV News West Country

Just a massive moment. Now it’s just waiting patiently for the big fill to happen, so watch those water levels rise and then get ready for the waves.

– Nick Hounsfield
25
million litres of water needed to fill The Wave lake
6
football pitches are the same size of the lake
9
years of planning, funding and building to make happen
25
million pounds to fund
80
construction workers involved in the project

But the project hasn’t been without its criticism, particularly regarding the prices it will charge for hourly surf lessons.

A beginner surfing lesson for an adult will cost £55, while for a lesson for someone under the age of sixteen will cost £45.

Craig Stoddart, who is chief executive at The Wave, said the prices are “affordable” when compared to having to drive several hours to a beach.

This is something completely unique. We’ve raised £25million to build this and we have to repay that money to start with but we do believe it is an affordable level for people to come and try out. And you can compare it to driving two, three or four hours down to the beach to go surfing when you can’t guarantee the waves like we can, then it actually it starts to become something that’s fairly comparable.

– Craig Stoddart, The Wave CEO