Surf's up in Austin: NLand Surf Park now open
The United States' first surf park opened Friday and it's right in our own backyard.
NLand Surf Park is open near Del Valle in Travis County. The park engineers six, three and one foot waves for surfers Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
"Everyone thought it wouldn't happen, but we're here. It's happening. It's amazing," says Micah Fenton. Fenton was one of the first surfers giving the man-made waves a ride in the parks' 14-acre lagoon.
"To just come out here and have the exact wave you want ... perfect every time ... it's unbelievable," says Fenton.
"I'm not very good. I've surfed before, but I need a lot of work and it's perfect for that," says Tim Sorrells, another surfer at the park.
NLand CEO Doug Coors says the wave-making concept is simple, but it's an engineering feat.
"We have a central channel and in that central channel we have essentially a snow plow that is being pulled through the water by a cable system attached to a chairlift motor," Coors explains.
Surfing at NLand costs $60 per session. Each session is an hour. They provide the boards or you can bring your own. The park also offers private lessons and crash courses for beginners.
"Everything from very beginner ... to if you're an expert wanting to make some sharp turns and try and get a barrel or two," Coors says.
Surfer or not, a new sandy beach awaits just outside of Austin and every two minutes -- surf's up.
"You don't necessarily have to be a surfer. It's a great vibe ... environment. Everyone is having a great time out here," Coors says.
If you just want to check it out, there is a free overlook, restaurant and surf shop on the property. If you want to go inside the park but not get in the water, admission is $5.