Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool Creates the Perfect Canvas for Surfers
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As one of the most popular and best surfers in the world, Kelly Slater needs no introduction. What you do need to know is that he’s got an entrepreneurial mind that keeps giving surf lovers what they need.
This time, it’s something so big, so important and so fun that will put Kelly Slater in the surfing history books: it’s a wave pool!
We’ve first heard of and seen the wave pool back in December 2015, when Slater showed it to the world, through his personal Instagram account. He stated that he had been working on the wave pool for a decade, struggling to create the perfect canvas for passionate surfers.
He shared a few words to accompany the clip:
“For nearly ten years, my team and I have been working on creating the first truly world-class, high-performance, human-made waves. This is something I dreamt about as a kid. Through rigorous science and technology, we’ve been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen. I’m proud to say we took our time to get it right, and the first fully-working prototype of the wave now exists […]. I’m still a little in disbelief and trying to process how much fun this wave is, but it certainly feels like this is going to change a lot of perceptions about human-made waves.”
Image caption: surfermag.com
Slater’s company, which is behind the wave pool located 50 kilometers south of Fresno, California, is called Kelly Slater Wave Company. The short description of the company reveals the goal of the wave pool:
“The Kelly Slater Wave Company combines cutting-edge science, engineering, and design to create the longest, rideable open-barrel man-made wave in the world.”
So what makes this wave pool so special, you ask?
The short answer would be that it manufactures perfect waves. Many believed that this was an impossible feat, but it appears that Kelly Slater and his hordes of engineers have achieved the impossible: a machine that makes perfect waves, on demand.
If other wave pools available in the world use hydraulics, Kelly Slater’s wave pool uses a hydrofoil, something that is akin to the wings of a plane. When a hydrofoil moves through the water, it makes waves that are very similar to the ones found in nature. Add to this, many other bits and pieces of technology and motion formulas and you get a perfect wave.
Coming back to the present day, just a few days ago, Kelly Slater launched the company’s Instagram account and it already is brimming with fun videos taken at the now-famous wave pool. The response to the wave pool and the clips has been massive, the account gaining around 65,000 followers in under a week!
Image caption: coastalwatch.com
The clip that many believe that has managed to break the internet, The Perfect Canvas, shows Kelly Slater surfing a perfect barrel.
Also, this time around, Slater invited some of his friends, all pro surfers, including Nat Young, Kanoa Igarashi, Carissa Moore, and Stephanie Gilmore.
In a clip that shows Gilmore surf what appears to be an endless barrel, she appears to be very excited and can’t stop smiling while inside the barrel. She concludes by saying “Who wants to get out of this barrel?”
Robert “Wingnut” Weaver is a longboarder who tried Kelly Slater’s wave pool. Even though longboarders don’t tackle the same waves are short boarders do, Wingnut appears to handle himself quite well.
Some surfers aren’t so happy about the existence of the perfect artificial wave, as the thrill of being in the ocean and open to whatever Mother Nature throws at you, is what makes surfing thrilling. But the overwhelming response to Kelly Slater’s perfect wave has been a positive one.
We believe that if the technology is there and the desire to have a perfect wave that goes on forever is also there, why not? Why not take advantage of technology to do things that will help surfers get better, that will entertain people and that will make surfing more accessible to people.
Want to perfect your surfing skills so that one day you too will be able to tackle Kelly Slater’s perfect wave? Join an intermediate surf camp and take your wave riding skills to the next level.