The Mailbag: Will the Surf's Up pool ever reopen?

Q: I know we have the Huron Park Splash Pad for kids to cool off during the summer, but it would be nice to have a city pool. What's going on with the old Surf's Up pool? Will it ever reopen? - Keith on Washington Street
Sarah Weber
Jul 25, 2012


Q: I know we have the Huron Park Splash Pad for kids to cool off during the summer, but it would be nice to have a city pool. What's going on with the old Surf's Up pool? Will it ever reopen? — Keith on Washington Street

A: It would be great to have an operating pool in city limits, but that depends on the city's finances and the intentions of city leaders. So far, no one at the city has said much about the Surf's Up property except that it was too costly to keep open due to the insurance and maintenance. The pool was the country's first "wave action" pool back when it was installed in the 1980s. It closed in 2003. The most recent development, as far as we know, was in 2010 when a group of city residents started discussing potential plans for the park and the pool. They suggested creating a regular pool without the wave action, filling in the deep end of the pool to ease insurance costs and running it as a chemical-free biopool — kind of like a pond. But, it's been two years and there hasn't been any movement on those proposals. We'll be sure to keep you posted if we hear more.


The Mailbag is a daily feature on Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident.

To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail mailbag@ Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."



 Isn't there an abandoned pool at Osborne Park as well?

yea right

the city is 75% welfare..NO income..anybody with money has loop holes NOT to pay the city or very little at all.. the SHS class of 1955 is bigger then the class of this telling you that the city of Sandusky is failing..the only way it will get a pool is when lake erie floods and takes over downtown..



75% welfare where do you get all your stats from you are so far off there is alot of people on welfare but not that much there are alot of hard working people in sandusky the problem is people like you that always has something bad to say about our city if you dont like it move if you dont live here then just stay away



Yea right got her stats confused. There are over  75% of the homes in Sandusky used as rentals and over 80% of the students in the Sandusky School System on free or reduced breakfasts and lunches.

Just want to clarify.

yea right

this is the stats for SANDUSKY only..NOT Perkins..Huron..and Margertta Townships..and dountshopguy i am NOT a woman..50 yr old male here thank you


Again, @yea right, please post your source.

yea right

Re: camero..facts are right..happy to say im from the south side of Perkins ave..and now reside in Beverly Huron..only reason stats change during the summer is because of Cedar Point..i know its not your fault the city planners dont like money..back a few yrs ago Hearst Corp want to locate their IT headquarters in downtown sandusky..they said NO.. they went to another state and now employ over 3000 WELL PAID ppl..


so camero go look at the facts and stats..


1990's???  Sorry, but it opened in the very early 1980's.


That drowning and lawsuit that followed because of it pretty much closed that pool forever.  I doubt it will EVER reopen and that last I heard they didn't intend to ever open it again.  It had little to do with CP or anyone else.  The cost of running it was more than expected and the, I believe, second year is when the little boy drown. 

Don't look for it to ever open again.  Besides, with the culture and problems within the triple cities now:  Beverly Huron, Prickly Perkins and Sandusky the kids that would be drawn there would probably cause problems. 

Oh, yes, your children from Huron and Perkins are no darlings.  I saw evidence of that last night first hand at Goofy Golf.  They need a lesson in manners and self control.  WOW, their language is atrocious and their manners are even less than their mouths.  How do I know where they are from?  It was written all over their lovely little tees shouting HURON and PERKINS.  So you cannot tell me that they are such great kids anymore and have ME believe it.  At least the SHS kid held the door for us,.  and the two Margretta cheerleaders with us (and they had NOTHING showing they were from there).   


I doubt anyone really cares what you believe about their kids. Oh, and what the heck is Beverly Huron & Prickly Perkins?


A bio-pool, like a pond? Thats what it looks like now! If Valley Beach in Norwalk can get insurance for their HUGE pool, then whats the problem with this pool?

Sarah Weber


You're right. It's been fixed.

seriously 1137

I cannot stand Wiredmama's know it all posts. NEWSFLASH..There are rude pottymouth snotty ghetto hick kids in EVERY school district around here...get off your HIGH HORSE


I was just wondering about Surf's Up and Osborne pool today.  I was driving through other counties in the Northwest part of this state and drove by several outdoor public pools.  Why is it that other communities find a way to support pools, but the leaders in this community can't figure out how to make it work in this area.  The excuses don't work for me.

Sue Meredith

 I don't understand why cities and villages like Norwalk, Bellvue, Clyde just to name a few can maintain a public pool, but Sandusky/Erie County couldn't. Everytime I went to Surf's Up or Osborne Park there was always a good crowd.


I sure have fond memories of that place; I 1st went there in 1982 and had a blast.  I remember the ads saying "1st Wave Action Pool".  Whenever I'm in town and I drive by that place I always shake my head when I see what it has become.

T. A. Schwanger


      Surf's Up Aquatic Center, now known as the Sandusky Bay Pavilion, was constructed with partial financial assistance from a $350,000 National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.

     There have been several attempts by private developers to take over this property. An adjacent property owner to the west of the property tried in mid-late 1990s for condos and parking

     Another attempt was made by a Columbus developer in 2007--the Marina District Project at Battery Park.

     What makes this property so appealing to private developers is its waterfront location and years and years of neglect by the City. A sitting City Commissioner excited the community 3 years ago with a novel idea to transform the pool area into a Bio-pool click "we are on youtube"

     Save Our Shoreline Parks continues to have dialog with City and Ohio DNR officials regarding the property with emphasis on repairing structural neglect and establishing a committee ASAP to take public input on future recreational opportunities at the site.


Tim Schwanger

Save Our Shoreline Parks @



 Near the end, before it closed for good, Surf's Up was hurting. Not many people there & they were down to maybe 3 lifeguards on duty.  Too bad Cedar Point couldn't buy it & use it as a dock for a new Cedar Point Ferry & an offshoot of the park with CP employees manning the facility. Ride the Ferry, then take a dip in the wave action pool, since Soak City costs extra & locals could enjoy the whole thing.I'm sure the Yact Club would have some complaint about it disturbing their coctail hour(s). Hey, or, the Yact Club could buy it & call it "Serf's Up" for the poor people of the community (everyone) to use! My greatest idea would be to turn it into a huge pool with live fish. fish.....


Atrocious behavior by area kids definitely but that is everywhere (and maybe parents should care what others think about the disrespecful behavior and then do something about it but that is a whole another issue) but still large cities have pools for the public.  Sandusky and Erie County need pools.  Surfs up and  the pool at Osborne should be reopened.  What a waste with them just sitting there unused and deteriorating.  Sad...


@yea right- You tell us to look at the stats.  Please post your source. 

Ohio, as a whole, has around 18% of the population on welfare in 2012.  While Sandusky may not be the most successful and wealthy city in the state, it is by no means the worst off.  It's not even in the bottom half, I can assure you.  There is absolutely no way that more than half of the residents are on welfare.


Seeing all the ways people find to screw up something really great always makes me sad.

Swimming pools can be iconic community assets and some are even on the National Register of Historic Places.

"Surf's Up" - both the pool itself and the park it's in - could be great but have suffered, and continue to suffer, from neglect, incompetent management, lack of vision, racism, and sabatage by covetous private interests.

It's not too late. Even without the surf, it could be a very nice "zero entry" pool in a fantastic setting. It would not be easy or cheap, but with will and commitment by community leadership, it could succeed.



I can't blame the city for not reopening Surf's Up pool.  It is too much of a liability to put anything that has to do with water back into the pool.  It is the sign of the times and other communities are following the same trend to close their pools.  There is no money or personnel to maintain a pool. That said, the Pavilion in it's present rundown condition  is not presentable to the visitors who do come to the park.  It is almost as if the city wants it to run down so they can have an excuse to get rid of it.  I am sure the Yacht Club or Battery Park is just waiting for the chance to take it over the property.  The taxpayers have an investment in the park and we are not going to let that happen without a fight to keep it a public park.