What is it? The world's first inland surf lagoon. But don't imagine some sloppy wave rolling through an outdoor swimming pool - this is as near as technology has come to creating a "real" surfing wave.
Where is it? In the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, in north Wales, so, rather than swaying palms and tropical breezes, you encounter green wooded hills, scudding clouds and, yes, plenty of rain.
Who is it aimed at? Everyone from "groms" (precocious kids) to experts. There are three waves: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The latter is a fast, powerful two-metre-high wall of water that rolls for some 300 metres along the freshwater lagoon without losing power or shape. One wave is released every minute, providing very respectable rides of up to 18 seconds; reef breaks such as the famous Pipeline in Hawaii rarely offer rides of more than 10 seconds (although they are somewhat warmer and bigger). I shared the advanced waves at Surf Snowdonia with former pro-surfer Kalani Robb, from Hawaii, who was "totally stoked" by the experience. In fact, he'd flown over from California to surf here - that's just short of a 20,000km round-trip for two hours of surfing on a man-made wave, which gives some idea of the novelty value this place has.
What if I don't want to face a two-metre wall of water? For learners, the beginners' wave is fun and far from intimidating; instructors will get you up and riding on an easy-to-use board. The intermediate wave is a playful, waist-high roller on which you can improve your technique. Boards and wetsuits can be hired on site and there are options for non-surfers, including a watery assault course in the separate Crash and Splash Lagoon, and The Blob …
Er, what's The Blob? It is a huge air-filled rubber tube floating on the Crash and Splash Lagoon - you, aka the "blobber", sit at one end of The Blob; your friend, aka "the jumper", climbs a 4.5-metre tower at the other end, leaps off onto said Blob and launches the "blobber" high into the air to then splash down into the lagoon. How else would you spend a summer afternoon in the heart of the Welsh countryside?
Wow. Is there anything else? There's a café and bar alongside the lagoon; it's mesmerising to watch the surfers ride past just a few metres from your cappuccino.
Isn't north Wales now being touted as the adventure capital of Britain? Yep, it sure is. Within a few miles drive of Surf Snowdonia there are epic downhill mountain bike trails, at Antur Stiniog, while Zip World Velocity, in Bethesda, is the fastest zip wire in the world (and the longest in Europe) and Zip World Titan, in the historic slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, is the first four-person zip line in Europe. There's also the bizarre Go Below, at Conwy Falls, where you can zip line in an underground cavern. There, you can also climb a vertical shaft in one of the largest abandoned slate mines in the world, traverse an underground abyss, scale a subterranean waterfall and abseil down to the deepest point in the country.
Or you could just go for a nice walk in the mountains …
Where could I stay? There's basic accommodation alongside the surfing lagoon in the form of wooden pods, which have two single sleeping areas and one double, but you'll need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Or check out the Groes Inn, at nearby Tyn-y-Groes. It's the oldest licenced inn in Wales and has beautiful views over the Conwy Estuary, lovely rooms from £100 per night and an award-winning menu.
So how much does it cost to surf this man-made wave? A one-hour session costs £19 (HK$225) for the beginner wave, and £29 for intermediate and advanced. Surf lessons cost from £39 including all equipment. The Crash and Splash Lagoon (including The Blob) costs from £15. Accommodation in a pod costs from £50 per night. Surf Snowdonia is in the small town of Dolgarrog, in the Conwy Valley. For details, go to www.surfsnowdonia.com.