CitySurf to Launch Pop-Up Venue in Issaquah

Prior to the CitySurf flagship venue opening in 2019, a pop-up version is coming to Issaquah this summer.

If you’re impatiently waiting to “hang 10” at the Eastside’s new indoor surf venue, CitySurf, the company is building a pop-up surf park this summer in the Issaquah Highlands.

Co-owner Trisha Hoss said CitySurf construction has been delayed, so she and her husband John Hoss plan to open the pop-up venue in August and run it through the end of Salmon Days in October.

“Since we have all the components (like massive pumps) and engineering ready to go, we decided to put it together and create some stoke and excitement this summer,” Trisha said. “We are forever grateful to Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly for championing our project and helping us find a spot to activate this summer.”

Trisha said if the temporary surf venue is popular, they may try and build an enclosure for it and keep it open until the flagship facility opens in 2019.

CitySurf in Issaquah

Rendering courtesy Geoff Anderson, ORB Architects

The highly-anticipated CitySurf has been in the works for about a year. The technology, dubbed the Rogue Wave by the Hosses, was created by John and is similar to river surfing in Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado, but it can create waves higher than what mother nature would create.

The expansive facility will offer surfing for beginners and advanced water enthusiasts, and the size of the waves will be adjusted accordingly — generally 3- to 5 1/2-feet tall. The 1 1/2-hour surfing experience will be broken into three parts: stretch, surf, soak. The stretching involves a safety briefing and yoga-inspired exercises to activate muscles, the surfing will allow a queue of 12 surfers to ride the waves, and the soak rounds out the experience with 35 minutes in the hot tub. The Hosses said they plan to offer events, kids parties, and camps.

The Hosses also have partnered with Jason Stoneburner, a celebrated chef and restaurant owner in Seattle, for an in-house restaurant catered to spectators. When researching indoor surf facilities, John noticed there were more spectators than there were participants.

“The goal was to also create an environment where people can hang out and have a meal or a glass of wine and watch their kids,” he said. “We’re trying to provide an experience that’s wrapped around action. There are certain times of the year (in this area) where there’s not enough to do. Kids can unplug and parents can unplug. There’s music, drinks, and there’s action and entertainment.”

John got the idea to create the park when he was helping a client do research for a water park in Eastern Washington. He tested surf machines in other states, but wasn’t impressed. The pools were shallow, only a couple inches deep, and it felt more like standing on a trampoline surface with water shooting at your feet. Because it was so shallow, participants had to wear elbow pads and helmets and it hurt to fall. Then he was invited to test a surf machine in Europe, and a yellow light bulb went off after trying it. The European machine fulfilled the effect of deep water surfing, and there was nothing like it in the U.S.

John’s machine pushes out 250,000 gallons of water a minute, and is several feet deep, so there’s no need for protective gear.

“When you add that with the secret sauce of our machine, it creates a wave that you’re really only limited by how big (King County and insurance companies) will allow your wave to be,” John said.

Trisha said they’re in the permit process of building the facility, and have a patent-pending on the Rogue Wave surf machine.

The temporary venue will offer 30 minute sessions for around $30 a ticket, with monthly promotions in collaboration with Stoneburner. Trisha said they’d like to host a surfing contest during Salmon Days and are trying to bring in some professional surfers to test out the machine.

For the official opening of the pop-up CitySurf, visit its Facebook page for updates.

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is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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