From 2011, the world's first outdoor artificial surfing machine will try to rival the Atlantic breakers of Devon and Cornwall using cleaned river water. The plan is to persuade surfers to take to their boards in Tower Hamlets rather than make the long drive to the West Country, where the surf is sometimes more millpond than Maui.
The £20m Venture Xtreme project at Silvertown Quays has secured outline planning permission, and building work to transform the former grain dock will begin this year. An artificial beach with palm trees, boardwalks and rentable fire-pits and barbecues is planned for post-surf relaxation.
Surfers can expect to pay £30 ($60) for an hour's session that will offer at least 10 waves per rider, each rolling more than 100 metres as the swell spreads from the dock to the wide beach. The wave machine can be set to make the surf break left and right from a central peak, allowing surfers to ride comfortably without fear of collision.