New Hampshire is a hidden gem in the world of surfing, boasting a 13-mile coastline that serves up some of the best surf breaks in the entire northeastern United States.
This favorable geography has inspired a local legion of die-hard surfers, who are so passionate about the sport that they often brave frigid water, angry storms and unpredictable waves, all to get their fix of surfing in the winter months.
However, New Hampshire surfers have recently been granted a more comfortable, predictable way to surf, 365 days a year. In fact, the largest indoor surfing facility in the U.S. has been built in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Called "Surf's Up”, this indoor surfing utopia allows beginners and experts to practice their best Blue Crush impression, regardless of the outdoor conditions. So a winter snowfall or a summer’s day devoid of Atlantic waves are no longer excuses to keep your surfboard at home.
It’s no secret that surfing and sunshine go hand-in-hand. That’s why it was important for SkyVenture, the owner of Surf's Up, to flood its venue with natural sunlight, all-year-around. The creative way of achieving this was to install a retractable glass roof.
To this end, OpenAire was tasked with designing, manufacturing and installing a 61’ x 67’ retractable enclosure over the surf pool. The roof’s component parts are slick, semi-translucent sliding panels. At the touch of a button, 50% of the roof opens up, allowing a rush of outside air in. Supplementing the roof is a glass wall structure that allows for enhanced spectator viewing.
Surf's Up has been a resounding success with customers. A quick glance at TripAdvisor’s ratings shows that 57/62 customers rated the SkyVenture experience as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.
Surf's Up’s popularity can be partially explained by its ability to cater to surfers of all abilities. Their 32-foot wave-waking machine, SurfStream, is extremely versatile and can produce waves of different sizes and shapes. So, for those new to balancing on a board, "baby waves” can ease you into the sport. For more seasoned veterans, 5-feet overhead barrel waves will keep you on your toes!
Rob Greer, owner of SkyVenture NH, is very optimistic about the future of indoor, adrenaline-inducing sports. “This is the world’s first indoor surf park and skydiving facility and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” he says. “The decision to have OpenAire design, build and construct a retractable glass roof was integral to our success, as the fresh air and sunlight it provides helps make the experience feel even more authentic.”