I was bobbing in the water when I heard a gentle rumble behind me.
Looking back, I could see a growing wall of water, covered with white foam, closing.
As I steady myself on my surfboard, Ross, my instructor, hovering about 5 feet to my right in a bright red wetsuit, shouts, “Remember, when it touch your foot, I want you to give it four mega- racquets.”
Seconds later, a wave of thunder hit me and, like an underwater rocket, propelled me forward with great force.
The water roared, engulfing me as I fought to ride the current.
This isn’t the powerful surf of Hawaii or Bondi or even Cornwall, but instead the world’s first inland man-made lagoon on the outskirts of Snowdonia.
And this is my first time on a surfboard.
Swept away by the fast current, I tried to get up but just like that, I was thrown off the board and submerged in the water.
Floating elegantly in front of me, Ross turned and shouted encouragingly: “You almost got it. Only 90 seconds until the next. “
So I waded and splashed, headed back to my starting point 30 meters away, ready to move on.
Filled with Welsh rainwater, the tug-of-war lagoon at Adventure Parc Snowdonia is a feat of engineering ensuring waves are accurate down to the minute and a half.
With the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn conveniently located nearby, it’s the perfect base for an adventurous trip on the outskirts of the ever-stellar Snowdonia national park.
Guests in this Welsh wonderland enjoy premium comfort – neck-free surfing.
Luxurious modern rooms and 31 luxurious sleeping compartments that can accommodate up to 4 people, are ideal for those who want to feel close to nature without losing the cons of mods.
There is also an on-site Zephyr Bar & Grill that serves hearty dishes, such as Welsh sirloin steak and a surfer’s burger served with fries.
It’s all much appreciated after spending an afternoon battered by those waves, or a day hiking the nearby peaks.
After my first day of surfing, I decided to rest my beach legs and head for the majestic mountains instead.
The Cwm Idwal Trail, about a 40-minute drive from the hotel, has some of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen.
GO: Parc Snowdonia Adventure
THERE: A mini-break for two starts at £315, including a night’s stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia, with breakfast, a choice of 55-minute treatments per person and dinner for two at Zephyr’s Bar & Grill.
See Adventureparcsnowdonia.com or call 01492 353123.
The three-mile hike will take you around a small lake set among soaring cliffs covered in clouds.
It takes about three hours and isn’t the easiest of the treks, with rocky roads, peaks and rocky trenches, but the dramatic views make it worth it.
Once I revel in the sights, my muscles crave a relaxing afternoon at the hotel’s Wave Garden Spa, which is sure to soothe even the most aching body.
This tranquil haven offers views of the lagoon and nearby hills, and features an outdoor patio where you can watch the surf while taking a soothing dip in the heated pools.
With a glass of Prosecco in hand, I head straight for the spa’s waterfall pool and luxurious Himalayan rock salt sauna – be sure to polish your nipples before entering.
But it’s the outside area of the spa that really stands out – with a warm hydrotherapy pool, loungers, lounging pods and a fireplace to keep guests feeling cozy on even Welsh’s wettest days. .
Newly opened last year, the spa uses chemical-free water and promotes cleansing and purifying treatments, along with Welsh-grown herbs to help with relaxation.
For my treatment, I opted for a hot wave massage that uses warmed ceramic shells scented with lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary to slowly soothe stiff muscles.
The waves outside may not match those in Australia, but if every surf session here ends with a gentle back rub, I’d take Adventure Parc’s lagoon past Bondi Beach any day. any.