NLand Surf Park, Austin’s first inland surf park, will open this Friday.
The water-themed park, located east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on a 160-acre lot at 4836 E. Hwy. 71., was created by surfer Doug Coors, descendant of brewing company founder Adolph Coors.
Coors, the park’s founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement released today the park had been a dream of his for the past 20 years.
“We have had our share of challenges, but they are behind us and I look forward to sharing our waves with the world,” Coors said.
The park will boast 11 different surfing areas, with difficulty levels ranging from beginner to professional, and waves that vary in size from 1- to 6-feet-tall. The surfing lagoon will cover an area the size of nine football fields, or roughly the size of Lady Bird Lake between the Congress Avenue and South First Street bridges.
The attraction also includes a Surf Shop, which sells gear, surfboards, sunglasses and apparel; a restaurant called Blue Prairie; a smoothie bar; and the NLand Training Center, a state-of-the-art surf school.
One of the challenges NLand Surf Park faced was how to regulate the lagoon, which is completely self-sustaining and captures rainwater from the property.
In July, the Travis County Commissioners Court sued NLand Surf Park to stop it from opening without meeting the minimum requirements of a public pool under state law. The court argued the park should be treated like any other public pool and meet the minimum standards, but park developers said it was exempt from those standards.
The two parties announced an temporary injunction today that regulates the lagoon. NLand will use a water treatment system that uses bio-filtration, permanent media filtration, ozone and chlorine to maintain a specified water quality. Travis County commissioners approved the agreement during today’s meeting, leaving only a district court judge to approve the injunction—the last barrier to NLand opening as scheduled.
“NLand represents innovation in technology, sustainability and sport. While this innovation outpaced regulation, I am glad an agreement was reached as this project represents the best of Austin,” said Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez in the release.
“Our top priority is water and water conservation,” Coors told Community Impact Newspaper in 2015. “The surf community is environmentally conscientious, and they pride themselves on environmental stewardship. We share those values.”
Coors told Community Impact Newspaper the project is privately funded. The surf park was designed by Spanish engineering firm Wavegarden and constructed by Austin-based White Construction Company.
Here’s a video showcasing the features of the surf park:
Surf passes range from $60 to $90, and public and private coaching sessions and clinics range from $65 to $190. A shore pass is also available for those who prefer to remain on land, watch the surfers and visit the restaurant, juice bar and shop. Boogie-boarding is also available.
Softboards are included in the lesson or clinic, and high-performance demonstration boards are available for rent for $25 or for purchase at the Surf Shop.
The park offers three types of waves: Reef, a steep, high-performance wave with a 35-second ride; Inside, a “party” wave with a long ride, used to perfect turns; and Bay, a playful, white water wave ideal for new surfers and children.
Kelli Weldon contributed to this story.
NLand Surf Park
4836 E. Hwy. 71., Austin