Can You Bodyboard at the Wave Bristol? (Everything You Need To Know)

Have you always wished you could surf or bodyboard but are unfortunate to live inland?

Of course, there’s river and lake surfing, but neither of these present ideal waves for bodyboarding.

The Wave Bristol has bridged the gap between landlocked communities and ocean sports and has now become a mecca for landlocked surfers and bodyboarders or those suffering from a dry period.

Let’s take a look at what The Wave Bristol has to offer and how it suits a bodyboard. 

What Is the Wave Bristol

Considered more of a surf lake than a wave pool, The Wave Bristol was established in 2019 as the first wave pool of its type.

The surf lake offers two pools separated by a center walkway, one with a left and the other with a right-hand running wave.

The inland surfing destination makes use of Wavegarden Cove technology which is capable of generating up to 1,000 quality, surfable waves per hour.

This technology produces waves ranging from 1.7ft (50cm) to 6.5ft (2m) tall and can push out a new wave every 8 – 10 seconds.

Furthermore, Wave Garden technology uses 10 times less energy than other wave pool tech, which has made it a viable option for commercial use.

The Wave Bristol makes use of 100% renewable energy.

The surf lake is designed to give surfers space and enough waves so that they never need to compete with crowds. 

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The Wave Bristol offers a variety of waves for all levels.

The surf lagoon includes six different surfing zones with waves of varying size and power that can support up to 80 surfers at a time.

How Much Does It Cost to Bodyboard at the Wave Bristol?

There are various options when bodyboarding or surfing at The Wave Bristol.

Although surf lessons are only done with surfboards, it’s possible to use your bodyboard during one of your booked surf sessions.

The Wave Bristol Surf Lessons

Lesson TypeSuitable ForWave HeightPrice (Adults)Price (Children)
Beginner LessonBeginners aged 6 and above0.5m (white water)£70£60
Waikiki Surf LessonImproving surfers above beginner level, aged 6+0.75m£70£60
Intermediate Surf LessonIntermediate surfers .not suitable for beginners1m£70£60
Advanced CoachingExperienced and advanced surfers1.2m – 1.9m£130£130

The Wave Bristol Surf Sessions

Lesson TypeSuitable ForWave HeightPrice (Adults)Price (Children)
Beginner SessionBeginners aged 6+ who have already had a lesson0.5m (white water)£60£50
Waikiki Surf SessionImproving surfers above beginner level, aged 6+0.75m£55£45
Intermediate Surf SessionIntermediate surfers. not suitable for beginners1m£55£45
Advanced SessionExperienced surfers1.2m – 1.9m£55£45
Advanced Plus Surf SessionAdvanced surfers1.7m – 1.9m£60£50
Expert Barrel SessionExpert surfers onlyApproximately 2m£65£55
Expert Turns SessionExpert surfers onlyApproximately 2m£65£55

Spectator Pass

The Wave Bristol also offers an extremely affordable spectators pass for only £2 (free for children), which gives you access to the following:

  • Watch the surfing from the lakeside or pier
  • Enjoy and use the wide outdoor space
  • Relax and look over Bristol from the deck
  • Buy food from the cafe/ bar or guest food pop-up stalls
  • Free Parking
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A spectator pass will provide you with all-day access to the park on the day of your booking.

Is It Safe to Bodyboard at the Wave Bristol?

Because surfing and bodyboarding are extreme sports, practicing them always comes with risks.

The Wave Bristol has done everything possible to ensure your safety when using the park, including professional lifeguards, health and safety tips, and dedicated videos about different wave sections.

That being said, they do remind guests of possible injuries when using the surf lagoon. 

Some of these include:

  • Cuts and scrapes, sprains and bruises to the head, face, shoulder, arms, and legs
  • Injuries to feet and ankles from jumping from your board in shallow water
  • Overuse injuries such as repetitive strain on the neck, shoulders, and elbows. This can lead to injuries such as surfer’s elbow
  • Cramp
  • Fatigue and exhaustion. Being fatigued in the water reduces your response time which increases your chance of injury
  • Sun Burn
  • Dehydration (which could lead to heatstroke)

To prevent injury while using the park, The Wave Bristol team encourages guests to read through the health and safety page and videos.

Always remember to warm up before heading out for a bodyboarding session, as well as listen to your body and stay within your limits.

When Is the Best Time to Go to the Wave Bristol

The Wave Bristol is open 7 days a week, although the opening times vary throughout the year as seasonal changes affect daylight hours.

  • Monday – Thursday: 6am – 10pm
  • Friday & Saturday: 6am – 11pm
  • Sunday: 6am -10pm

The Park can get very busy on the weekends and during evening hours, so when possible, surfing during the day on weekdays will give you the most space and the smallest crowds.

Summer months also bring more guests than winter months as the lagoon is not heated, which means winter surfing can be extremely cold, even with the thick wetsuits that are provided for your session.

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The temperature of the wave pool is approximately 3 degrees warmer than the outside temperature, which can range from 5°C (42°F) to 27°C (85°F), although average temperatures usually range from 17 to 24°C (64°F to 80°F).

Beginners and new surfers tend to stay away from the water when it’s cold, which provides more opportunities and smaller crowds.

You should always make sure you use the correct wetsuit when bodyboarding to avoid overheating or becoming too cold and needing to leave the water sooner than you’d wish.

What Else Does the Wave Bristol Offer for Bodyboarders?

Apart from surf lessons and a large variety of waves to play on (both for surfers and bodyboarders), Wave Bristol offers the following services:

  • Café-bar
  • Shop, selling surfboards, wetsuits, accessories, clothes, and more
  • Children’s playpark
  • Outdoor walks and seating areas
  • Changing rooms
  • Showers
  • Equipment hire
  • Spectator passes
  • Family-friendly camping grounds
  • Woodland walks
  • Sensory gardens
  • Play in the bay (play sessions in shallow water with no boards)
  • Women-only surf sessions

Furthermore, there are kids programs designed to encourage the love for nature, creating, and play.

These activities are currently only available on Saturdays at select times.

Activity NameDescriptionAge GroupDurationTimePrice
Wilderness ExplorersAn adventure through nature to discover life with bug hunting kits4 – 890 mins10.30 am£10
Eco Arts & CraftsExplore the outdoors and find material from your surroundings to repurpose and create art4 – 860 mins1 pm£7.50
Story & Activity TimeFun activities and stories to conclude the day (parental supervision is needed)All ages 60 mins3 pmFree

What Else Can You Use to Ride the Wave Bristol

Currently, you can only use a bodyboard or surfboard at the wave bristol, although they may consider other watercraft at later stages.

If you don’t have your own bodyboarding equipment, there’s no need to worry.

A board and the appropriate wetsuit come included in the cost, but you’re also welcome to bring your own if you prefer.

You should, however, consider that the boards provided by the equipment store are over-glassed to make them more durable, but this also makes them heavier.

How to Book a Session At The Wave Bristol

If you are convinced that bodyboarding and surfing at The Wave Bristol is a good idea, all you need to do is head over to the website and book a session.

All sessions and lessons need to be pre-booked. This is also true for those that wish to spectate.

Simply choose the date and time you wish to surf/ bodyboard and the type of session you wish to participate in.

The Wave Bristol booking service gives you an idea of how busy a session is, so you know what to expect before heading to the lake.

You will need to arrive at least 60 minutes before your session begins to check in, acquire the correct gear, and go through a safety and orientation session.


The Wave Bristol is a game changer for those who don’t have access to the ocean.

The wave lagoon is the first of its kind, thanks to the unique wave-making technology of Wavegarden Cove.

The surf lake provides a wide spectrum of waves for all levels of surfer, regardless of skill level.

With lessons for the new and curling barrels for the advanced, The Wave Bristol and similar wave pools are a surfing paradise for the land-locked and flat-day surfers.

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