Melbourne is known for many things: its art, its music, its sport and its cultural scene. But one area where it has never been able to quite match it with rival Sydney has been the surfing scene.
While Sydney boasts glorious surfing beaches on its own coastline and short distances to the north and south, Victorians have to travel hours to find a decent break – like the world-famous Bell’s Beach.
That is all set to change, with company URBNSURF set to open Melbourne’s first inland surf park – 100 per cent powered by renewable energy.
URBNSURF founder Andrew Ross has two favourite memories of surfing. The first was taking to a board for the first time as a 10-year-old at Lorne Point, two hours drive outside of Melbourne.
The second was experiencing a purpose-built surfing venue called Wavegarden located inland at San Sebastian in Spain in 2012.
It inspired Andrew to recreate that experience right here in Australia, offering Melbournians a place to hang ten without the need for a long road trip and a packed lunch.
History in the making for Victoria and Australia
URBNSURF will not only be the first full-sized surf park in Melbourne, but it will also be the first in the whole of Australia (take that, Sydney). The park includes a lagoon the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, located at Tullamarine, west of Melbourne’s CBD.
It is set to open in the summer of 2019 with 1000 gnarly waves to roll through the lagoon every hour – each one powered by solar.
The $30 million projects will be powered in part by solar panels installed throughout the site and the rest of the costs associated with running the generator will come from a renewable energy provider.
The facility has also been built using sustainable materials with 18,000 ton of recycled concrete used in the construction.
Thankfully those in New South Wales looking to experience this thrill can look forward to their own URBNSURF facility, which will be constructed at Sydney’s Olympic Park.
That surf park is expected to open in the summer of 2020/21 and will also be fuelled by renewable energy.
The international surf park that started the trend
If you think Melbourne is not the ideal place to catch a wave, try driving the coast of England to find a decent break. If the freezing cold water and gravel beaches don’t deter you, the lack of waves certainly will.
Which is why The Wave was constructed at Bristol, giving English surf fans a place to take on surf breaks designed to feel like the real thing.
While The Wave was not the world’s first surf park, it was the first to power its park totally on renewable energy sources.
The park doesn’t spruik its sustainable approach, but the whole setup is powered by renewable energy sources which are supplied by Ecotricity, a green energy company based out of Gloucestershire.