Among the arid cattle ranches of central Texas is the world’s largest inland surf park. Aptly named NLand Surf Park, it is everything us landlubbers could dream of. Imagine lounging with a cocktail and enjoying the soothing, rhythmic sound of waves crashing on the shore, inviting you to participate in a sport that, up until now, was only accessible to those who lived on the coasts.
Back in 2016, the great-great-grandson of Adolph Coors – yes, the one who invented the mainstay banquet beer – realized his dream of surfing in a landlocked setting. After years of searching, a Spanish company called Wavegarden released a newly engineered concept that creates even, surf-ready waves, even thousands of miles from the nearest ocean.
With technology in hand, the Colorado businessman went in search of the perfect piece of land on which to implement his surf park dream. He found it just outside of Austin, ten minutes from the Bergstrom airport and right in the center of the Lone Star State. Coors was in for a bumpy ride, though. When the park originally opened in 2016, it was greeted with enormous hype only to be promptly shut down after the liner under the lagoon tore.
A year later, the park opened for the a second life. This time, however, the opening was under the radar. For months Austinites quietly enjoyed the serene machine-generated waves as Coors held his breath, waiting for something to go awry. Nothing did.
Instead, the surf park began to evolve, adding in a juice bar, Blue Prarie, a restaurant that offers farm-fresh Texas cuisine with a chill surf vibe, a craft brewery, and regular events for the young and the young at heart. Now surfers can enjoy an après-surf drink or two as they relax to the sound of artificial crashing waves with a massive Texas sunset in the distance.
Of course, this surf park isn’t for seasoned surfers looking for a challenge. “Part of the adventure of surfing is the quest for a great wave,” Coors told Garden & Gun. But who would have ever believed that perfect wave would be found over 200 miles from the nearest ocean.
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