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Now whilst this fea­ture is gen­er­ally about the ge­og­ra­phy and in­sights in to the nat­u­ral surf world we couldn’t re­sist an aerial peak at the world’s first com­mer­cial Wave­g­ar­den at Surf Snow­do­nia.

The old in­dus­trial site in the quiet vil­lage of Dol­gar­rog is a marvel when you can see the scale of the op­er­a­tion from above. 1. The pods. The lit­tle Hob­bit hut sheds are sim­ple but toasty and give you a front row view of the wave be­tween ses­sions. 2. The teepee. This is where the par­ties hap­pen for events and is a brill ad­di­tion to the place as it can be what­ever it needs to be. Bar, buf­fet, meet­ing room or very large chang­ing room. 3. The show­ers, shit­ters and we sus­pect the con­trol cen­tre for the me­chan­ics of the wave. 4. The hy­dro power sta­tion get­ting its grav­ity laden juice from reservoirs up in the hills. You can ei­ther walk up the pipes to the ridge for the epic view of the Conwy val­ley or you can be a lazy arse and drive up. Re­new­able en­ergy next door is handy eh?

5. The main build­ing home to of­fices, re­cep­tion, surf shop and most im­por­tantly for pun­ters: the bar and restau­rant. Crack­ing burg­ers and piz­zas are on of­fer along with de­cent craft beers. The brekkie you get if you stay in the pods is sweet too not to men­tion the wifi and cof­fee. 6. The splash and crash pool. Think To­tal Wipe­out for kids and folks that love mess­ing with physics. 7. The academy build­ing where lessons and the dark se­crets of surf­ing are im­parted. 8. The pon­toon. The chicken wire lined pon­toon pro­tects you from the wave gen­er­at­ing gub­bins un­der­neath. Take off spots de­pend­ing on abil­ity are marked on it for both di­rec­tions. It takes a while to get used to tak­ing off next to a fence but you soon for­get about it and con­cen­trate on whack­ing off … the lip.

9. The plough of doom. The se­cret machi­na­tions un­der the wa­ter are just that. From what we know it’s ba­si­cally a snow­plough kinda deal driven by ski lift ca­ble tech­nol­ogy. The mo­tors are housed in the con­crete is­lands. You never quite get used to the weird hum as ev­ery­thing kicks into gear. All you need to know is when you hear it start pad­dling as if your life de­pends on it!

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