Inspired by his love for surfing and the desire to bring waves to a landlocked city, Nick embarked on a journey to create a revolutionary inland surfing experience. In 2019 – after years of perseverance and collaboration with experts in wave technology and sustainable design – The Wave was born, transforming Bristol into an unexpected surf hub. 

A really, really good Wave

The Wave is a cutting-edge inland surf pool, celebrated as much for being, well, a brilliant wave, as for its commitment to sustainability and innovative approach. It is designed with a strong focus on minimising its environmental impact while offering an exceptional surf experience and a safe, inclusive space for all surfers. 

By reinstating hedgerows, wildflowers and green spaces on the previously low-grade farmland, plus securing planning permission and funding for a solar and energy storage array, The Wave serves as a remarkable example of how recreational activities can be seamlessly integrated with eco-conscious practices. 

Nick chats to us about his inspirations, purpose and more – we are big fans of The Wave here at Soul & Surf, so we were a little bit excited about this one!

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Nick taking a stroll at The Wave | Photography by Jack Hewitt

Tell us about The Wave - its purpose, origins & goals. 

I have been a surfer for about 45 years but I was trained as an Osteopath, trying to improve health and well-being through manual therapy. 

Over time I realised that a lot of people's poor health was due to a number of things: 

  • Not exercising 
  • Not eating well 
  • Lack of connection to others (loneliness) 
  • Lack of nature connectedness 

So, I set about trying to pull these different factors together and look at how we could solve these issues through one holistic vision. By chance this was the same time that Wavegarden released a video of their first technology which would bring waves inland, for the first time. That was the eureka moment. The start of The Wave... 

Our purpose is to nurture a world of hope, health and happiness with every wave. 

We wanted to bring the positive power of water and waves to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, breaking down actual or perceived barriers to water and encouraging as many people as possible to try our wonderful blue space. We started in Bristol, but want to now roll this ‘Blue Print’ out to London and other cities in the UK and abroad.  

We also want to connect human health with environmental protection, as establishing this link is critical to the health of the planet and all who live on it 

Why do you think purpose driven businesses matter? 

By "doing the right thing" as a business, we are future-proofing and creating resilience to future change. Looking after people, planet and profit in balance is our principle.

  • It builds trust for employees (who we call Wavemakers) 
  • It brings trust and loyalty for the brand 
  • It makes sure we are not doing unnecessary harm through our decisions and actions. 

What is the biggest challenge about running your business? 

Seasonality is probably our biggest challenge. We are really busy in summer and relatively quiet in comparison in the winter. Water temperature is a big factor.  

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The UK Adaptive Surf Team - The Wave has hosted the English Adaptive Surf Championships for the past two years

Our purpose is to nurture a world of hope, health and happiness with every wave.


A place where people of all abilities - yep, including Justine Dupont & Ben Skinner - can surf quality, consistent waves

How do you connect with the Now? 

Personally, I get up each day super early and doing a few mindfulness practices, could be yoga, stretches, journaling or simply having a coffee watching the sun rise.

Surfing with the team first thing is a grounding ‘now’ experience. It's very special. 

Best surf trip? 

I lucked out once when myself and my wife went to the Caribbean as a recuperation from a shoulder injury. We went there as the weather was great and wasn’t known for good surf – or so I thought – until we rounded a corner to one of the beaches and found a perfect, empty, firing right-hand reef break.

I soon found a surfboard and used surfing as my rehabilitation! It was an amazing trip and what was great is that it was totally unexpected. Many of my other ‘Surf Trips’ have not been so lucky with conditions. Probably also why I wanted to build The Wave! 

What role does the ocean play in your work and life? 

100% it’s my happy place, a place to have thrills, learn, reflect connect with nature. It's everything to me, which is why I wanted to bring the joy of ocean activities inland and share it by creating amazing blue spaces for everyone. 


Apish Tshetsha at The Wave | Photography by Image Cabin

What are your thoughts on travel and the impact on the planet? 

Fundamentally, we need to tread carefully in terms of our effect on the planet through travel. Making sure we minimise impact on the planet, whilst supporting local communities who would benefit from having us visit. We are more conscious of the effect of travel as a family and prefer a slower paced journey of discovery in foreign lands. 

Do you have any sustainability goals, projects, tips or routines? 


  • Be 100% self-sufficient at The Wave. Same at Home ( a 10-year plan, realistically).
  • Reach 5,000,000 people and help education on the human and planetary health connection. 


  • Build another Wave, probably a few...      


  • Any big decisions in life, think of the effect of those decisions on People, Planet and Profit. Account for the net increase/decrease like you would money… 


  • Get into great and blue spaces. 
  • Start each day with the sunrise and put your bare feet in the grass if you can. 

Read The Wave's brilliant Impact Report here - it's worth sitting down with a cuppa for.

Any books/music/films/podcasts you’d recommend? 


  • Yvon Choiunard : Let my people go surfing 
  • Simon Sinek: The Infinite game 
  • Sustainable Stoke 


  • Simon Sinek: Podcast “A bit of Optimism” 
  • Steven Bartlett: Diary of CEO 
  • Matt Barr: Looking Sideways Podcast 
  • Fearne Cotton: Happy Place 
  • Dr Chattergee - Feel Better Live More 
  • The Pipeline Podcasts - The Stoked Bloke Show

S&S is all about Now / Soul / Risk / Balance. Do any of those strike a chord with you? 

This is the future of surfing. Taking balanced risks soulfully. 

And finally - what does Soul mean to you? 

My dyslexic self wants to say it's my favourite flatfish..! 

But Soul to me is the part of us that is indelible, impressionable - and once we move on, the best part of our legacy we leave behind to continue for generations. 

Find out more about the Wave over on their website:

& give them a follow on instagram: @thewave

Fundamentally, we need to tread carefully in terms of our effect on the planet through travel. Making sure we minimise impact on the planet, whilst supporting local communities who would benefit from having us visit.


'Looking after people, planet and profit in balance is our principle' ~ Nick Hounsfield