RiF010, the world’s first urban surf pool is about to open

RiF010 has a world first: it is the first surf pool in the middle of a city. Urban surfing, in other words. The location in the heart of Rotterdam is easily accessible to a wide audience and transforms a forgotten part of the city into a new, vibrant heart. Soon the first waves will roll through the Steigersgracht, and surfing will be possible in the city center.

The increasing interest in surfing is evident from the fact that surf pools have been appearing in more and more countries in recent years. A surf pool is essentially a swimming pool with a wave machine and a specially shaped bottom where the waves break. This creates ideal conditions for surfing. At sea, you are dependent on the weather, and conditions may not always be favorable, but in a surf pool, the waves are always good. That’s why surfers love it.

Two surfing spots

The surf pool will have two surfing spots: one where beginners can take lessons, and another where more experienced surfers can go. The beginners’ spot is on the west side of the Steigersgracht and is called ‘the Bay.’ Here, the water is shallower, and the broken waves gently roll onto the beach. Beginners receive a safe, ‘soft top’ surfboard and a helmet and are guided by a surf instructor, while lifeguards ensure safety. On the side of the Markthal is ‘the Reef,’ where more experienced surfers can go; the waves are higher and faster, inviting spectacular surfing.

The wave machine is adjustable: are there only advanced surfers in the water? Then the waves can be cranked up a notch. But there’s more. From the beach house, RiF010 rents out canoes and SUPs, and you can explore Rotterdam from the Rotte.

Edwin van Viegen conceived the idea over ten years ago, during a lunch overlooking the Steigersgracht. “I felt like surfing, but had no time to drive to the beach. Then I thought: how great would it be to be able to surf here?” Initially, some people reacted with laughter, but Edwin didn’t give up. “I discovered that there was a twinkle in people’s eyes when I talked about RiF010.” 

Official opening July 6th!

Construction began at the end of 2022, and the surf pool took shape in 2023, with the beach house on Vlasmarkt ready in June 2024. The top floor houses the entrance and a surf shop. The basement will have changing rooms with warm showers. On the middle floor, at water level, there will be a surf bar/restaurant with a covered terrace. From there, you can watch the waves with a drink in your hand. It’s an experience that is also attractive for non-surfers. The atmosphere is relaxed, with lots of wood and plants, inviting you to linger. This is a place to visit with friends or for a date!

 In June, the surf pool will be ready. Surfers who have purchased SurfCredits will have priority to book the first surfing sessions during the initial phase. Do you want to try the waves as soon as possible? There are still some SurfCredits available at RiF010.nl.

 On July 6th, an international surfing competition is scheduled to celebrate the official opening of RiF010, the Rotterdam Surf Open. You will then have the opportunity to see the best surfers from the Netherlands and pros from abroad up close in action!

Sustainable and social

The wave installation and the beach house operate on sustainably generated electricity, and energy saving has been considered in the design. For example, the water in the surf pool is filtered with micro-sieves, which use much less energy than traditional sand filters. In the surf bar/restaurant, you will find no disposable items, and the shop sells sustainably produced surfboards.

The RiF010 Foundation aims to introduce all Rotterdam schoolchildren to surfing and other water sports through a gym class or sports day. Every wave you surf and every cup of coffee you drink helps make this possible! Thus, RiF010 becomes a place that brings people of all ages together and motivates them to enjoy sports.

Edwin van Viegen couldn’t be happier: “Almost every day, I take a look at the construction site; it’s magnificent to see how all those years of dreaming, planning, and organizing are now taking solid shape. This will be a calling card for the city of Rotterdam, reaching out to the whole world!”

 

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