Sun beats down on the lagoon. A pier stretches into the distance, wood decking and rails above still water. Below, the surfers float and wait for a wave.

I am on the outskirts of Austin, squinting through repressive Texas heat. It’s July at NLand, a wave-making venue unlike anything else in America.

The wave machine comes to life with a shudder under the pier and a low humming. Now it appears: A wall of water, energy incarnate, pyramidal and breaking, with surfers paddling to hop on for the ride.

NLand opened last year. Its founder and CEO, Doug Coors, believes the park is a look into the future of the sport. “It’s analogous to a climbing gym,” he said. “The environment is contained and the sport is distilled to its essence, allowing anyone to practice and learn.”

For more on the wave garden go here gearjunkie.com/nland-surfing-austin-texas-wavegarden.

Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

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