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A Complete Guide to Waco Surf's Wave Pool in the Heart of Texas

When most people think of Texas, some of the first things that probably come to mind are barbeque, country music, cowboy culture and The Alamo – not great surfing.

Almost smack in the middle of Dallas and Austin though is Waco Surf Park, an up-and-coming wave pool that also offers wakeboarding, waterslides, a lazy river, and cabins for guests to stay overnight.

I had the privilege of visiting this past summer and am already hoping to make a trip back soon.

The facility is planning to reopen for the spring at the beginning of March, so as the countdown begins for both returners and newcomers let’s go over what you’ll need to know before arrival.

The History Behind Waco Surf Park

Waco Surf Park was formerly known as Barefoot Ski Ranch (BSR) Cable Park, which was opened in 2002 by brothers Ryan and Stuart Parsons.

Initially intended solely for cable wakeboarding, BSR Cable Park became BSR Surf Ranch when the duo added the wave pool back in 2018.

Three years later in 2021, new ownership took over and the property was renamed and rebranded as the Waco Surf Park we know and love today. 

How to Get To Waco's Surf Park

The town of Waco is right around an hour and a half drive from both Dallas and Austin.

For out-of-state visitors, flying into either DFW or AUS then driving to the park is the easiest way to go.

The ride is pleasant with super flat roads, rare traffic, and no turns or lights since you’ll take I-35 the whole way regardless of if you’re traveling North or South.

The park is super secluded and cannot be seen from any surrounding main roads, but as you get close there’s plenty of signage to guide you to the main entrance.

What to Pack

Preferences of rash guards and wetsuits as well as their lengths and thicknesses will vary from person to person and depend a lot on what month you decide to visit.

The wave pool is open from March through November, so do your research on Texas weather and check the water temperatures, which the park updates daily in season, before you decide what you’ll be sporting.

Speaking from personal experience, if you book a session in late August, wear as little gear as you’re comfortable surfing in! 

The park has both fiberglass and soft-top boards for rent but welcomes guests to bring their own.

In intermediate and advanced sessions, boards exceeding 8ft are highly discouraged, while only foam boards are allowed in beginner lessons.

Breakdown of the Wave at Waco Surf

Waco has 4 different levels of sessions with a variety of waves for surfers to choose from. So whether you’ve never been on a board before or grew up with the ocean in your backyard, there’s a perfect fit for everyone.

The Coaster – Beginner

If you’re just learning to surf or are super out of practice, the beginner session will allow you to take things slow. The wave you’ll conquer is called ‘The Coaster’ and lives up to its name. It’s gentle, small and gives surfers plenty of time to pop up and catch a long, smooth ride.  

The Runner – Intermediate

‘The Runner’ in the intermediate sessions is a faster paced wave, more similar to ‘The Peak’ – which we’ll look at next – than ‘The Coaster’. It’s chest to head high, and the steep takeoff makes ‘The Runner’ great for turns and maybe even a small barrel. 

The Peak – Advanced Session

In advanced sessions, surfers can ride ‘The Peak’. With a speedy takeoff and open face, this wave is ideal for working on bigger turns and top to bottom surfing. 

The Point – Pro Session

Pro level surfers have the opportunity to ride ‘The Point’, a wave that can be catered to both lefts and rights. The lengthy, steep sections allow for maneuver progression and another potential barrel.

The Wedge – Pro Session

The second wave pros can enjoy is called ‘The Wedge’. Appearing exactly as it sounds, ‘The Wedge’ is meant for polishing your tube-riding abilities. 

The Ramp – Pro Session

Last but certainly not least, ‘The Ramp’ is a wave that offers surfers the chance to get some serious airtime. Its consistency promotes sending tricks you’re hoping to land for the first time or just with more stability. 

Water Activities in Addition to Surfing

For folks not looking to surf or wanting to switch things up after a session, Waco has its cable park and waterpark.

Visitors can try their hand at dodging obstacles and going over ramps as they’re being pulled through the wakeboarding course or get launched off the ‘Wedge Water Slides’.

Those hoping to sit back and relax can float down the lazy river that wraps around the property.

The Bottom Line: Surfing in Waco

Surfing in Waco is truly an amazing experience and not just because you’ll get to see their PerfectSwell technology up close in action.

All the staff members are super down to earth and are genuinely excited to watch you show off and progress.

If you’re as lucky as I was, you’ll also meet some pretty cool visitors who come from all over the world to share these incredible waves.


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