Surf Snowdonia’s Andy Ainscough tells us about two upcoming events at the revolutionary inland surf lagoon.
We’ve got a busy autumn coming up here at Surf Snowdonia. On 23 September, it’s the Help for Heroes Adaptive Surf Championship, sponsored by Stance. We’ll see adaptive surf athletes from the UK’s Army, Royal Navy and Air Force compete for top spot in a friendly one-day tournament. The emphasis of the day will be on inclusion and breaking down barriers, and it will be free for spectators to attend.
In addition to the action on the water, the Royal Welsh Regiment who will be attending with displays of military equipment, coordination and stamina challenges as well advice and information about careers with the armed forces.
This is set to be another great family day out here in Snowdonia and a powerful testament to the transformative potential of surfing. We’ve worked closely with Help for Heroes for more than a year now and regularly sponsor visits from former servicemen and women who use surf therapy to recover from mental and physical injuries. This event is a celebration of their courage and resilience, and we’re expecting a great crowd – and atmosphere – to support them on the day.
But that’s just the start. On 22 October, we’ll be welcoming the UK Pro Surf Tour back to Snowdonia after a successful first visit in 2016 which attracted more than 2,000 surf fans. The tour has been running for 20 years and is organised by the UK Pro Surf Association so it’s a pretty big deal to have it here, particularly as it is the only national pro surf competition in the world to take place on an inland lagoon.
Visitors can expect an exciting day of surf action as the UK’s best surfers go head to head in a knockout style competition. Off the water, there will be a real party atmosphere with refreshments, music and family-friendly activities to complement all the action on the waves.
Last year’s UK Pro Tour event was a great success for Surf Snowdonia and the Conwy Valley – we were blown away by the enthusiasm and size of the crowd who came to be part of it. It is something we are very much looking forward to repeating this year. Hosting the tour is a great opportunity for us to showcase some of the UK’s most exciting surfers and put on a unique, feel-good event. But it’s also an opportunity for us to showcase this region to new visitors – we know that many of our Pro Tour visitors and competitors last year were visiting North Wales for the first time. We hope the tour will become a regular fixture on our year-round calendar of Surf Snowdonia festivals and events.
For more information on both events, visit the Surf Snowdonia website.