Will the facility be open year round?
Yes, it is our ultimately goal!
An indoor surf wave pool has never been constructed before, it is a high-investment but it will also give us a great volume of visitors year around, and a great opportunity to position ourselves in the market, as both national and international travel destination.
Why Vassenden in Sunnfjord?
Sunnfjord is located in Western Norway, one of the most important destinations for Surfers. In western Norway is located Hoddevika, elected one of world´s best surf locations in the wolrd by the Newspaper The Guardian. In Vassenden we have a great possibility of giving our visitors a unique combination of services and experiences, such accommodation, short way to an Ski Center, Golf Course, unique hikes, traditional food experiences and other attractions in the region.
When will it be open for visitors?
The openning is planned to be somtime between 2023 and 2025. It depends on how fast we have all the investments we need.
Why open a surf wave pool as a part of a greater concept?
According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc., the global surfing market is estimated to reach approximately NOK 103 billion ($ 10.3 billion) by 2024, driven by the growing interest in surfing as a lifestyle sport, easy access to the sport via surf parks and artificial wave pools and technological innovations with a focus on developing high-performance surfwear and equipment. The market also benefits from the fitness trend, as spas and wellness centers promote the sport as a training ritual. As the surfing of hot water in tropical places becomes crowded as a result of mass tourism, there is a growing interest in cold water surfing. The trend is expected to bring conventionally unpopular surfing spots into the spotlight and thus expand the addressable market for surfing.
"The growing popularity of surfing as a recreational and sporting activity is driving the growth of the global surfing market."
Surfing has become, together with Skateboarding, an Olympic sport. If surfing is included in upcoming games such as Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2029, other categories such as longboarding, bodyboarding and SUP may be included. A report on surfing tourism in Europe, by the EU Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says that the market for surfing tourism is growing. Wave surfing is the largest segment in surfing. This type of surfing is generally considered one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Estimates of the actual market size vary. The International Surfing Association (ISA) estimates that the number of surfers worldwide will increase to 50 million by 2020. Approximately 13% of these are estimated to be European. Although many people think the numbers are somewhat inflated, it presents a general idea of market share and development.
How is surfing developing in Norway?
The Norwegian Sports Federation has, following input from the Norwegian Surf Association, included Wavepool and River Suring in the Sports' joint input to the Ministry of Culture. A great and joyful news for everyone who loves surfing!
This means that:
1. Surf facilities can receive public funding.
2. Surf facilities are significantly stronger when facilities are to be prioritized locally.
3. The surf facilities will receive a public «approval stamp», which can make it easier to get other players to invest.
- This type of facility is a fantastic starting point with opportunities that have never existed before. The activity and the sport of surfing will be available to everyone, all levels, always, says Sondre Hylland, facility manager at Surf Federation.
The wavepool facility can facilitate self-organized and organized activity, at the same time. It is also possible to conduct activity regardless of level or physical challenges. Done right, top surfers, along with beginners, wide surfers and parasurfers (adaptive surfing) can be in the water at the same time. Surfers can use the same wave, but drop in (jump on) different places in the water.
- All this reflects the Federation´s vision for a facility. We want to invest in facilities where breadth, top, self-organized and organized can run their activity at the same time, says Hylland.
Learning to surf and develop skills in a safe and intuitive way can be very motivating. The Surf Association wants to create arenas where good role models show the way. Wavepool and river waves are facilities that provide this opportunity.
- We have a good example of this through the snowboard event King Of The North in Oslo Winter Park, which we arrange together with Torgeir Bergrem. Here there is a kid class, open qualification and a professional class, where everyone uses one facility, which is available to the public both before and after the event, says Hylland.
Such an event would be possible for surfing in a wave pool. There, classes, heats, divisions and levels can be easily adjusted at the touch of a button.
In parallel, Brettforbundet works to design and develop national and international event concepts where there is an after-use of newly established and existing facilities. It is a goal that the local community should always be left with a good facility and offer when clubs, partners or the Brettforbundet have centrally arranged activities or events. This applies across the activities of surf, skate and snowboard.
Katrine Røed, vice president for surfing in Brettforbundet, points out that - Wave surfing is first and foremost a recreational activity that is mostly self-organized, but there are many eager surfers out there who will greatly enjoy such facilities, and then it is our job to ensure so that they are heard against the sport, Røed concludes.