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Beach Grit

Texas Pool: “God gave me a beach!”

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Come taste divine fruits on opening day at Austin's new Wavegarden… 

Did you hear? Yesterday was opening day at NLand surf park, North America’s first Wavegarden, and only the second of its kind in the world.

The pool, which is twenty minutes drive from downtown Austin, promises “steep performance waves” for ninety dollars an hour, “Playful whitewater waves” at sixty an hour or you can ride alongside pals on “Party waves”, also at sixty dollars an hour.

The prices figure about the same as Surf Snowdonia, Wavegarden’s first commercial pool in north Wales (35-to-45 pounds an hour for “advanced surfers”) although the water in Austin is a bath-like 80 degrees fahrenheit (26 celsius) and ain’t no need for wetsuits when the air’s hitting 87 or 30 degrees. A thoroughly pleasant equation.

A sharp-eyed BeachGrit reader, Mr Bill Kemble, was curious to see how many videos were made by happy pool users after opening day.

Woke up this am, hoping to see the glory of NLand’s opening day ripping across YouTube. But only one (ONE!) video popped up. 

My observations:
– the quality of the “surf” looks like crap, no better than the gulf (which is only a few hours south of Austin)
– I see more lifegaurds on soft-tops out there than customers
–  a beautiful TX quote at 5:51 “God gave me a beach” followed by a few tears.”
Freed from the strictures of professional production and PR spin, the video gives a punter’s view of proceedings, complete with a breathy Jesus-y commentary.
“You know, I’m ready to surf too. I’m so ready. I’m going to. I’m going to do it, just like I started walking. I’m gonna surf.”
Watch here.