A world-first stop for the Adaptive Surf Championships

This week we are seriously delighted to welcome some of the world’s best adaptive surf athletes – including former world champions Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (AUS) and Bruno Hansen (DEN) – to a very sunny North Wales.

They are here at Adventure Parc Snowdonia to take part in a world-first inland surf competition which we are the very proud hosts of.


A world-first for adaptive surfing

The Welsh Adaptive Surf Championship will take place Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July 2019, on our man-made waves. It will be the first international adaptive surf championship to be held on an inland lagoon anywhere in the world.

Twenty-four surfers – male and female – representing thirteen nationalities will take part in the event. The current adaptive surfing circuit sees competitions in Hawaii, Bali, South Africa, USA and Europe. It serves as a qualifier for the ISA World Adaptive Surf Championships which have been held in La Jolla, California, since 2015. This is the first time Wales has hosted a stop on the circuit.

Each of the surfers taking part has overcome significant personal challenges – including limb amputations, cancer, life-changing accidents and paralysis – to excel at their sport at a globally competitive level.

The main sponsor is Abersoch Land & Sea, and competitors include Welsh surfers Ethan Jolosa from Monmouthshire, and Llywelyn Williams from Abersoch.

Llywelyn, who lost his leg after a skateboarding accident, is a member of the organising committee who brought the event to North Wales. He said:

“Surfing is in the lifeblood of so many people living in Wales. I grew up surfing at local beaches like Porth Ceiriad and Porth Neigwl.

“I always wanted to see a Wales stop on the adaptive surf circuit, but the uncertainty of waves and unreliable weather was always a limiting factor. On top of that, access to beaches can be difficult for adaptive surfers.

“That changed when Adventure Parc Snowdonia launched its world-first inland waves. It ticks all the boxes for us: guaranteed surf, fantastic food and accommodation, and world-class facilities in the most beautiful location. The international surfers coming here will get a real taste for Wales whilst seeing the great facilities that are on offer.

“Competing on consistent and reliable inland waves will make for a better competition, and the fact that spectators can get so close up to the waves makes it a much more interesting event."

The event has been generously sponsored by Tony Ford and powerboat specialists Abersoch Land & Sea.

Consistent & reliable inland waves

The surfers will compete in three categories: standing, kneeling and prone.

Standing surfers are typically able to stand on their board and steer, kneeling surfers will surf on their knees or one knee, and prone surfers lie on their board.

Australian Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart is amongst the competitors. In September 2015, at the age of 53, he won the inaugural International Surfing Association World Adaptive Surfing Championship in La Jolla, California. He said: “The wave here is amazing, well worth the two-day journey from Australia. The accessibility, quality and consistency of the waves is a game-changer. Inland waves are without doubt the future of our sport.”

Andy Ainscough, managing director of Adventure Parc Snowdonia said: “A few of the competitors arrived early to enjoy a bit of North Wales sunshine and to get some practice before the big event.

“Watching them surf is technically impressive and genuinely inspiring. We hope we’ll get a good crowd down on Friday and Saturday to watch some world-class surfing and soak up what will be a great atmosphere.”

The popularity of adaptive surfing has grown significantly since the first ISA World Adaptive Surf Championship in 2015. The International Paralympic Committee, the body which oversees the Paralympics, will make a decision on whether to include it in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games later this year.

This year’s international adaptive surf competitive circuit will culminate in the ISA World Adaptive Surf Championship at La Jolla, California, in Autumn / Winter 2019.

Event details 

  • Come and support these amazing athletes! Admission to the event is free.
  • The Welsh Adaptive Surf Championship has been organised by the Welsh Adaptive Surfing Society and sponsored by Abersoch Land & Sea.
  • Adventure Parc Snowdonia has accessible facilities and viewing areas.
  • Competition takes place 11am – 3pm Friday 5th July and 11am – 1pm Saturday 6th July.
  • A podium presentation will follow the last waves on Saturday.
  • Parking is free.
  • Delicious food and drink served all day at our deli, and out surf side Bar & Kitchen.

Learn to Surf in North Wales

Fancy getting on board with surfing and having a go yourself? We offer surf lessons and waves and paddleboard sessions to all abilities from age 5+, from £35. Please contact us in advance to arrange a chat with our expert coach team if you are a first-time visitor and an adaptive surfer. Find out more here.


Friends Surfing North Wales

International Surfing Day 2019 | Why we love Surfing

It’s International Surfing Day today, and - as you might have guessed - it’s a day we like to celebrate here at Adventure Parc Snowdonia.

Caring for our environment and keeping our beaches clean is one of the key messages of the day, and plastic pollution - and each of us doing our bit to help reduce it - is super important to us. Small changes really can make a big difference.

One significant change for us this year is that we have stopped serving water in plastic bottles at our deli and now have a free water station so you can refill your own reusable bottle. Don’t forget to bring a reusable bottle next time you visit!

But International Surfing Day is really just about celebrating what is surely the world’s best sport. For International Surfing Day we thought we’d share some of the things we love most about surfing.

Woman Bertie Norman Surfing Waves Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Keeping in shape with Surfing

Surfing is great for your physical health. This is kind of an obvious one. It is a great cardio workout, which means you’ll be chewing through calories at an impressive rate – up to 500 of those babies per hour! That’s because when you’re surfing you are constantly moving around and working your body and major muscle groups. Surfing is a super-fun way to earn yourself a free lunch. Or dinner. Or a great big slice of cake.

Surfing for Mental Health

The benefits of surfing don’t only apply to your physical health, there are plenty of benefits for your mental health too! Because surfing is such a fun sport it really does help offset the negative effects of stress, anxiety and work overload. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the natural world, and we guarantee that jumping on your board will banish all thoughts of the daily grind. There have been plenty of studies of the physical and mental health benefits of surfing which go so far as to say that surfing, more than other sports, encourages feelings of tranquility and serenity.

Surfing in Wales inland surf pool

Accessibility in Surfing

We’re particularly proud that with our pioneering inland surf technology the sport of surfing can be so much more accessible – and achievable - for so many different kinds of surfer. Our safe and controlled environment is particularly great for beginners, for children, for adaptive surfers and anyone who is nervous about being in the sea.

Joy and the Surfing Community

In our opinion, the surfing community is one of the best out there. The history is rich and deep and we’re so glad to be a part of this amazing bunch of people. We love the joy surfing brings people. From groups of local school children enjoying some exciting learning-outside-the-classroom to adaptive surfers who are able to try out a brilliant new sport for the very first time. We love that we have helped so many of you to enjoy the thrill of catching a wave. It’s a wonderful feeling that we think the world would do well to stock up on.

group surfing having fun North Wales Surf Snowdonia

Instant rejuvenation

It’s a well-known fact. Surfing will instantly knock 10 years off your age (though this only applies to the over 30s). OK, so we’re joking. Maybe. But there’s something about that heady combo of heart pumping, oxygen whirring, vitamin D glowing, massive grinning, de-stressing fun that makes you look pretty darned wonderful. Just you wait, the compliments will come rolling in. Be cool with it. Ride the wave and smile.

A better night’s sleep

Did you know that surfing could help you to fall asleep faster and remain in a deep sleep for longer? Regular exercise like surfing increases the many positive benefits that sleep brings. So book in for some sleep of the just. Just book in for a surf session first.

Evolution of Surfing

SUPing in North Wales

Even with our reliable waves, surfing is always evolving. SUPing has surged in popularity in recent years, and we love having SUPers take to our lagoon! If you’d like to book in for a stand up paddleboarding session just check in here.


And we can’t talk about the evolution of surfing without mentioning the inclusion of surfing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! And only a year away! It’s a huge milestone for the sport. Check out how our pioneering inland surf lagoon helped to make the surfing Olympic dream become a reality, here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed International Surfing Day. Now go forth, go surf, and share the stoke!