South Korea has thrown its hat into the wave pool game in a big way. On Wednesday, Wavegarden announced construction was already underway on the “world’s largest surf park” at an area called Turtle Island, just an hour from Seoul on the west side of the Korean Peninsula. The manmade island, located in Siheung in the Gyeonggi province, is manmade and quite literally looks like a turtle.
“Constructed on land reclaimed from the ocean, Turtle Island is a new international waterfront destination, which will have different water and landside leisure facilities including hotels, convention centers, and marinas,” explained Wavegarden in a press release. “The centerpiece of the 2.1 billion Euro (~$2.3 billion USD) avant-garde mixed-use development will be the Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon.”
According to Wavegarden, they inked the deal with South Korea’s largest real estate and them park developers, Daewon Plus Construction, back in November 2018. And the pool is set to open to the public in 2020.
“With consistent waves of different sizes and shapes, Turtle Island is going to be the new beach of Seoul and the place to surf for families, professional surfers, and everyone in between,” said Fernando Odriozola, Chief Commerical Officer at Wavegarden.
Since the early 90s, surfing has reportedly grown in popularity across South Korea. And the logic behind the proximity of Wavegarden’s newest facility to the nearly 10 million people that reside in Seoul is no secret.
“With a beach spanning almost 1 kilometer, and the capability of hosting thousands of visitors, Turtle Island is set to become Korea’s premier surfing and water activity destination and a ‘must-visit’ for the large resident market and the 10.8 million international tourists that visit the region annually,” Wavegarden explains.
According to the company, the South Korea project is just the latest in 30 signed contracts to bring Wavegarden tech to five continents across the globe.