Surf pools: human-made waves for landlocked surfers | Photo: Surf Snowdonia

Are you an inland surfer? Are you an ocean surfer in a landlocked nation? Do you want to experience wave riding in a different scenario? Find your nearest surf park, or participate in a river surfing session.

The world's first wave pool was probably a swimming pool built in Munich, Germany, in the 1920s.

The indoor piscina was equipped with a hydraulic mechanism that produced regular waves.

In 1993, Japan decided to build what is still considered one of the best artificial wave pools of all time.

Located in Miyazaki, the Seagaia Ocean Dome delivered consistent, punchy head-high rollers and many tube-riding opportunities.

When it closed in October 2007, it left millions of surfers disappointed.

The world's first exclusive public surf pool opened on August 1, 2015, in Dolgarrog, Wales.

Surf Snowdonia was the first surf lagoon built with Wavegarden technology, and it pumped three sizes of waves for beginners, intermediate surfers, and advanced wave riders.

Nowadays, there are seven different wave-generating systems in the market:

  • American Wave Machines;
  • CityWave;
  • Kelly Slater Wave Company;
  • Murphy's Waves;
  • Wavegarden;
  • WaveLoch;
  • Webber Wave Pools;

But if you opt for standing waves, river breaks offer the ultimate freshwater experience.

The planet has stationary waves for all tastes - you can ride a river slope sculpted by Mother Nature or jump into an endless, man-made river flow.

And don't forget those relentless tidal bores - they're rare, but they're unforgettable. For a full overview, check out our comprehensive and up-to-date wave pool and river wave map.

Surf Snowdonia: the world's first surf pool | Photo: Surf Snowdonia

Wave Pools | Open To The Public (2024)

  • Alaïa Bay (Sion, Switzerland)
  • Avalanche Bay (Boyne Falls, Michigan, USA)
  • Big Surf (Tempe, Arizona, USA)
  • BSR Surf Ranch (Waco, Texas)
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (Orlando, Florida, USA)
  • Himlabadet (Sundsvall, Sweden)
  • Kalahari Indoor Waterpark (Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, USA)
  • Siam Park (Tenerife, Canary Islands)
  • Sunway Lagoon (Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
  • Surf Snowdonia (Dolgarrog, UK)
  • Surf's Up NH (Nashua, New Hampshire, USA)
  • The Wave Bristol (Bristol, UK)
  • URBNSURF Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Wadi Adventure (Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
  • Wave House (San Diego, California, USA)

Wave Pools | Projected (2024)

  • AllWaves (Knokke-Heist, Belgium)
  • Atlantic Park (Virginia Beach, USA)
  • Crest Surf Clubs (New York, USA)
  • Fireside Surf (Texas, USA)
  • Ka’ana Wave Co (Bridal Falls, Canada)
  • Kelly Slater Wave Pool (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
  • Lost Shore Surf Resort (Scotland, UK)
  • O2 SurfTown MUC (Munich, Germany)
  • Palm Springs Surf Club (California, USA)
  • Qiddiya (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
  • Revel Surf (Canon Beach, Arizona, USA)
  • Rif010 (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
  • São Paulo Surf Club (Brazil)
  • Surf Center (Curitiba, Brazil)
  • Surf Poel (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Surfland Brasil (Garopaba, Brazil)
  • URBNSURF Perth (Perth, Australia)
  • URBNSURF Sydney (Sydney, Australia)

Wave Pools | Test Facilities (2024)

  • Kelly Slater Wave Company (Lemoore, California, USA)
  • Surf Lakes (Yeppoon, Australia)
  • Wavegarden (Zarautz, Spain)

River surfing: the world is full endless fun and endless river breaks | Photo: Shutterstock

River Surfing Breaks

  • Barking Dog (Coloma, California, USA)
  • Bend Whitewater Park (Bend, Oregon, USA)
  • Boise River Park (Boise, Idaho, USA)
  • Bono/Seven Ghosts (Sumatra, Indonesia)
  • Bulken (Bulken, Norway)
  • Columbus (Columbus, Georgia, USA)
  • Corner Pocket (Durango, Colorado, USA)
  • Cunovo (Bratislava, Slovakia)
  • Dalhem (Gotland, Sweden)
  • Eisbach (Munich, Germany)
  • Fils (Göppingen, Germany)
  • Floßlände (Munich, Germany)
  • Gunny (Gunnison, Colorado, USA)
  • Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada)
  • Hauptbrücke (Graz, Austria)
  • Hawaii 5-O (Denver, Colorado, USA)
  • Hawea (Albert Town, New Zealand)
  • Industrial Hole (Rock Island, Canada)
  • Isar (Plattling, Germany)
  • Kelly’s Whitewater Park (Cascade, Idaho, USA)
  • Kugelfang (Steyr, Austria)
  • Lippstadt (Lippstadt, Germany)
  • Miracle (Denver, Colorado)
  • Mizzoccola (Domodossola, Italy)
  • Nile Special (White Nile, Uganda)
  • Óbidos (Foz do Arelho, Portugal)
  • Pororoca (São Domingos do Capim, Brazil)
  • Radetzky (Graz, Austria)
  • Severn (Gloucestershire, UK)
  • Sewer (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Sherbrooke River (Sherbrooke, Canada)
  • Subiaco (Tivoli, Italy)
  • The Bitches (St Davids, UK)
  • The Mountain (Kananaskis, Canada)
  • Turbo (Turbigo, Italy)
  • U2 (Denver, Colorado)
  • Wave O Saurus (Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA)

Have we missed a surf pool, man-made wave, or river break? Send us an email.

Top Stories

History is a complex puzzle of dates and facts, and sometimes, a small clue or hint can change our solidified perspective of the past.

Ka'ana Wave Co. is an innovative wave pool concept with interchangeable wave-shaping heads.

The lifeguard tower is an American landmark and an architectural symbol of US beaches and ocean safety. Learn how to draw these classic seaside structures.

It's quite a paradox, but summer in the Northern Hemisphere really is surfing's silly season.