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Friday, February 1, 2013

The Kelly Slater Wave Company!?!

People have been wondering: what would Kelly Slater, with more surfing world titles than most (normal) people have fingers, do for the follow-up act to his surfing career?  It looks like we now may know at least part of the answer.  He plans to develop wave/surf theme parks around the world.  Sounds crazy, I know.  But so does 11 world titles!

the perfect wave?

Some general plans for his wave/surf theme parks are laid out on his website,  The biggest draw is a circular wave pool: "Kelly Slater Wave Company's unique circular format allows for maximized wave production, efficiency and a continuous stream of surfers on and off waves.  It also allows for the optimum use of spectator vantage points on the large outer perimeter."  Really.

world titles on world titles on world titles

The wave/theme park is then built around the circular wave pool.  It will offer more than just the wave, it will offer "popular amenities" and "unique entertainment" for family and friends too.  But who are we kidding, the wave is the main draw.  It claims to offer waves tailored to an individual's ability and preference - count me in for a long barrel!  Pity the fool who begs for the blown-out storm chop...

But haven't wave pools been tried in other places, and failed?  The KSWCo. says it has or will develop proprietary hydrofoil generators to create specific types of swell that form directly next to the generators.  "KSWC does not pump air or water to generate waves, as these processes are inefficient and unreliable."  Hey don't tell that to mother nature!  But seriously, "Advanced Patent Pending technologies control currents, waves and chop within the closed circular basin.  These include wave, seice, and chop cancellation; passive flow redirection; and other current mitigation systems.  The bathymetry of the basic is designed to provide optimal wave shape and guest safety."

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The idea of a circular wave pool that spits out perfect waves on repeat is so unbelievable it's hard to imagine.  On one hand, I get psyched just thinking about tucking into barrels that I would otherwise have no chance of tucking into.  On the other hand, wouldn't this be the ultimate commercialization of surfing?  The best surfer ever selling out the sport to make $$$?  If you think there are a lot of kooks out there now, wait until there are circular wave pools!

My hope is that the fake waves are so good that people forget about the real ones.  I won't mind getting up at the crack of dawn to grab glassy sets by myself while the sun rises.  Even if the waves are "inefficient" or "unreliable."  Thanks Kelly, I can get used to that.