Alaïa Bay in Sion, Switzerland, will begin filling its 8500 square meter (91,493 square foot) Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon in January and has confirmed the pre opening for April. After 12 months of construction, it is finally possible to dream of surfing in Switzerland on ocean-like waves, the realization of a daring project launched in 2016.
Long-awaited by the entire Swiss surfing community, this moment provides some positivity during these challenging times. The Alaïa Bay surfing lagoon will be filled in December, concluding a five-year project to open the first Wavegarden Cove in mainland Europe. Construction started in November 2019 and Alaïa Bay is now steadily drawing closer to completion after reaching this first milestone.
“Our teams have put a lot of enthusiasm into this project,” explained Adam Bonvin, Alaïa’s founder, “and we are thrilled to be able to keep the schedule as planned. Despite the public health situation, which required the introduction of certain restrictions, there has been very little disruption to the construction and we can now reveal the dates for the next stages of the project.”
While the Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon is completely finished and will start being filled with water in December, the first tests of the wave generating machinery will begin in January. During this phase, the settings will be fine-tuned to configure the 20 types of waves that will be on offer to the public. As Josema Odriozola, Wavegarden’s creator, explained, “It is a crucial phase. The calibration and testing phase is a technical challenge for our teams in weather conditions that we have never experienced before. This project represents a wonderful showcase for our company, as it is the fourth project to open to the public, after England, Australia, and South Korea.”
In parallel, the final work on the buildings will take place between December and February. Furnishings will be added to the 300 square meter (3,229 square foot) retail shore as well as the restaurant and surf school.
In March, the site is planning to welcome its first surfers for exclusive test sessions – the perfect opportunity for Alaïa Bay’s 60 staff members and 20 surf coaches to test ride the waves. Surf stars, local surfing associations, and partners will be invited to catch the inaugural waves and relish a unique experience in Switzerland. Alaïa Bay will open to the general public in Spring, giving surf fans as well as beginners and families, the opportunity to discover the joys of surfing on ocean waves in the heart of the Alps.