surfers at surf snowdonia

Surfing Spot: Surf Snowdonia Review

Is Surf Snowdonia good?

If you haven’t yet visited The Wave Garden at Surf Snowdonia then you are missing an amazing day out. The attraction in North Wales has grown into a complete experience and full day out. As you drive into Dolgarrog, you will see how this small Welsh village has now become recognised as a revolutionary surfing attraction. If North Wales isn’t too much of a road trip for you, then this is a good place to get your board wet!

When we first visited Surf Snowdonia in 2017, it was relatively new. With just the Surfing and a bit of water inflatable fun. It was great fun then. We returned not long ago and it has now expanded to offer something to entertain everyone. There is now the gorgeous Wave Garden Hilton Spa hotel. The camping pods, more activities to book in too. A soft play for the children.

Surf Snowdonia isn’t just for experienced surfers either. It certainly can cater to your surfing needs who, if like us, you don’t get to go the beach much then at least you know you are guaranteed some waves. Nothing worse than when you’ve booked a few days down at the coast and there is barely any surf.

Surf Snowdonia can be the perfect place to give Surfing a try!

Check out Top 10 Surf Trip Essentials for tips of the best surfing products to take with you.

How do you surf at Surf Snowdonia?

If you don’t know, the waves at Surf Snowdonia are completely controlled. You know exactly what’s coming and where from therefore it perfectly caters for everyone from Advanced, Intermediate to the complete beginners. Powered by an underwater snowmobile it generates a wave every 90 seconds – amazing technology.

If you can already surf (you don’t have to be an expert) then you can book their hourly ‘Just Surf’ sessions.

They organise it well so that you know when it is your turn, which allows for a break to get yourself ready for the next wave. Believe us when we say you’ll want that break as there is always a perfect wave ready to ride! On a side note, if you are an occasional surfer who hits the wave a couple of times a year you’ll know that your fitness is important. Take a look at our Getting fit for surfing article for some tips.

Surfer paddling at Surf Snowdonia, North Wales

With the waves being so consistent – which isn’t a bad thing as you’re not going to be let down but it will feel like a workout! The waves take some getting used to, it’s a different ride to your coastal waves.

When surfing the advanced wave, stick as close to the metal grid as you can and paddle just past the take off point. I missed a few waves due to a slow paddle and being too safe by being behind the take off sign. This meant the wave didn’t have enough energy to get up on. It moves pretty quickly so by the time I realised I needed more speed I’d missed it.

Another tip for surfing the wave garden is to head down the wave at an angle. Just like a normal wave, you need to “drop in” and then cut back along the face. My first few attempts I went straight down the wave, which made the cut back so much harder.

However once you’ve found your flow, you will have a lot of fun…but I was fairly annoyed with myself to have missed out on a wave that I’d paid for! We have always found the lifeguards on duty to share some helpful tips if you need some.

If you are looking to learn surfing then they have surf lessons available for beginner for all different ages. On our visits we have always seen a real mix of people, ages and families altogether taking surf lessons. They also offer other lessons and day courses if you are wanting to polish up your surfing skills.

Can you watch the surfing at Surf Snowdonia?

Absolutely! The Wave Garden has been created perfectly for you to watch the action. It really is fun to do. If your partner wants to head here for a surf and you’re not sure if you’ll be bored – you definitely will not be. It is enjoyable, if not entertaining watching your loved one getting wiped out a few times! (Even better if you catch it on video.)

Surf Snowdonia also has a great café alongside the waves that allow you to sit and watch through the floor to ceiling windows. The food and drinks on offer are great, and there is plenty of room.

The children also loved spectating. They loved being able to spot their Dad surfing, cheering him on and best of all – saying how they cannot wait to be able to do what he can do! There is a path that goes right the way round the Wave Garden that also provides some entertainment for them to run or whizz round on their scooters!

Children holding hands walking together

What else can I do at Surf Snowdonia?

As well as the Surfing at Surf Snowdonia, they have expanded what else is on offer. From climbing to zip wire, high ropes and the ‘pump track’. The pump track is a great place to take your bikes, including the kids. It is a fun track with bumps and berns for skateboards as well as bikes. The Adventure Parc really does have lots to do. If you plan and book ahead, you can really make a day of it. When we return, now with our children being a bit older, we will look to do a bit more than Surfing and soft play.

The location of the Adventure Parc is idyllic. So as much as all the amazing and fun activities you can book on to, there are plenty of places around to venture to, with many picturesque walks.

Can you stay over at Surf Snowdonia?

When we first went to Surf Snowdonia, they had just opened the camping pods which were perfect for staying over in as just us adults. They still have these, right next to the Wave Garden, and they are ideal if you like the idea of being more outdoors.

The new Hilton Garden Inn with the Wave Garden Spa is very nice! We booked to use the spa facilities on our last visit and they are very luxurious – a bit small, but they have very cleverly put the outdoor hot tub where you can watch the surf.

The new Hilton Garden Inn hotel is spot on if you are looking for somewhere to relax after your Surf and activities. The rooms look amazing and the bar and restaurant food is delicious. If you are lucky enough to be there on a nice warm evening, they have a lovely outdoor seating area where you can relax with a drink or two.

Should we go to Surf Snowdonia?

Without the real sea, and real waves, visiting a surfing spot like Surf Snowdonia is a must. It offers great fun for any surfers and families. There is an activity for everyone. With all the recent developments it doesn’t just have to be a day out for only surfers, it can be day or weekend away for couples, friends or families and if you’re after an active outdoors hen or stag do.

You should definitely book ahead for any of the activities, especially in the school holidays! We really enjoy visiting here and can’t wait to head back again soon, as an outdoors family who are into our surfing, having now had children it is so exciting to be able to have an attraction like this that we can have fun and share as a family.

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