Total Cost of Ownership: Building and Operating a Surf Lagoon

Any successful business needs to determine how their invested capital is paying back. A surf park is no different. Serving as the anchor to the venue, the surf pool is likely the most expensive and undoubtedly the most important component of the venue. In order to ensure successful ROI, developers and investors must look at the Total Cost of Ownership of their surf lagoon. Too often when we make a purchase, we look at ticket price, not factoring in ongoing costs. Buying a car is a perfect example, as people oftentimes forget to factor in high fuel and insurance costs, or even expensive maintenance services. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), in the world of surf pools can be summarized as the costs incurred to purchase the pool technology, plus the what it takes to construct and continually operate the pool overtime.

Upfront costs like the equipment itself and construction of, can differ depending on what the needs of the surf venue are. Often, size is the major factor in these cost estimates, as developers need to navigate size (pool footprint) vs. performance (wave quality, ride time, etc.) in order to find that “sweet spot.” A surf pool should be large enough to satisfy surfers wave-wise but small enough to provide a lower TCO and higher ROI money wise (Read more here on why Size Matters!). Operating costs on the other hand are ongoing. Although they cannot be avoided, they can certainly be minized based on technolgy choice. Ultimately, TCO has many levels to it and the savings (or losses) start right when you break ground on a new development. Let’s dive deeper…

Construction Considerations

First things first, a surf park needs building. No matter the size and scale of the venue, building a surf pool is quite literally no small feat. For example, many projects require a minimum footprint of at least 2-5+ acres, but usually more depending on the overall scale of the venue.

An aerial view of construction at o2 SURFTOWN MUC featuring Endless Surf

Many elements of construction need to be considered in this phase of the process, including:

Construction processes are certainly not cheap, so we’ve set out to help find ways for developers to save on costs while gain increased pool performance capabilities. With a compact and scalable footprint, Endless Surf consistently builds for 1/3 less than competitors without sacrificing wave length or quality (in fact, we’ve found a way to do the opposite). Less size translates to less land needed and less construction to be completed, not to mention less impact on the environment, but more on that later.

Maintenance and Operation Considerations

Ultimately with Endless Surf technology, many areas of cost savings from construction translate to more, on-going savings within maintenance and operations. Once waves start to roll out toward the edges of the pool, although surfers may disappear into the barrel, the visibility of operating costs will become very apparent. Plus, costs associated with maintaining your newly acquired equipment cannot be avoided.

Ongoing operating costs include but are not limited to things like:

  • Energy consumption
  • Filtration
  • Pool chemicals
  • Water loss
  • Maintenance on machinery or the wave basin

When it comes to that size and performance “sweet-spot,” a compact footprint will be beneficial toward cost savings, especially when wave-making capabilities are unsacrificed. Beyond the benefits from the footprint, we’ve set out at Endless Surf to offer a wave technology that boasts incredible flexibility when it comes to operations and longevity when it comes to long-term performance. Based on the same foundations of the pneumatic wave pools that we’ve been building at WhiteWater for the last 30+ years, we know that our system is unqiely light on maintentance requirements and will last for the decades to come. Plus, all of our mechanical components are conveniently located outside of the water, saving surf parks from astronomical maintenance costs and revenue losses.

Key Innovations Lowering the TCO of a Surf Lagoon


A critical innovation we’ve built into Endless Surf is operational flexibility. Although developers and investors would love to believe that wave deprived surfers will consistently be lining up to visit their venue even on a Tuesday morning in January, the reality is that there will be plenty of off-peak times. When capacity is low, the waves must keep pumping, even for the handful of expert surfers (paying customers) who traveled to surf a world-class wave on command. In these off-peak scenarios, it might seem surprising how a surf park could make money to offset the energy costs.

However, with Endless Surf’s innovative flexibility, we offer more control than any other surf pool on the market. Between Split Peak, Single Peak, or Half Power operating modes, operators only need to use the ammount of pneumatic caissons necessary in order to staisfy the capacity of surfers in the lagoon. In addition, the nearly infinite variety of wave types that our pneumatic technology can offer, provides park operations with the option to run waves that fit the surfers in the pool, as not all wave types consume the same amount of energy. Just like a cars fuel economy performs differently when driving in the city vs. on the highway, a surf pools energy consumption will vary as well. (More on that here).

Sustainability and Lessened Impact

As an extra tier to TCO, environmental costs need to be factored in. Although indirect to developers themselves, postive public perception on environmental impact is extremely important. Expect this not only to come up in planning requirements and approvals but also will need to be answered in your marketing to reassure your target audience they can surf your pool with an untroubled conscience. Along with carbon offsetting and the implementation of clean energy to power portions of a surf park, there are additional ways to lessen impact when it comes to technology choice. Endless Surf’s compact size and flexibility offers operational freedom to help you use less and save more over time, ultimately benefitting both your wallet and the environment. Plus, in addition to our relaible wave making hardware with simple preventative maintenace requirements, our exclusive partnership with the Myrtha Pools stainless steel technology allows for a more durable and sustaianble alternative to concrete.

A lower TCO equals higher ROI

When taking this comprehensive bird’s eye view of surf pools, it becomes apparent that you need to see your investment over the long term to truly understand the costs of building a surf lagoon and therefore, the payback. Being able to save money from the start of a project without sacrificing product quality and performance is hard to achieve. However, with Endless Surf we’ve done it. From the build to the day to day operations, Endless Surf’s key features drive venue success in some impressive ways, not to mention the flexible wave programming capabilities will futureproof your business by keeping stoked surfers of all abilities coming back for more time and time again.







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