After Four Years And $80 Million, California’s First Realistically Affordable Wave Pool Is Set To Open In 2024
The Palm Springs Surf Club will quench your wave thirst in the desert.
The pool at Knott’s Soak City was filled with piss. I have a feeling that the Palm Springs Surf Club will be cleaner (and have waves that actually break).
A little backstory: For one week each year throughout elementary and junior high school, my family would indulge in a week-long trip to Palm Springs. After hot dusty hikes around Coachella Valley, I couldn’t wait to run around Knott’s Soak City. While I thought the park’s water slides were the perfect way to cool off in the heat, dozens of people preferred to mingle in a waist-high pool, wading in a wash of chlorine and (I assume) the aforementioned urine.
The waterpark eventually closed in 2018. A year later the property was bought by Pono Partner LLC in 2019 for an undisclosed sum with the intention to turn it into a surfable wave pool. After years of R&D, the Palm Springs Surf Club is set to reopen in January 2024. And it won’t cost you $75,000 to get a few head dips.
According to a release from PSCC, it’s $20 to enter the property. Beginner, Waikiki-style waves start at $100/hr (for a group of 12) while the intermediate waves cost $150/hr (for a group of 12). The advanced sessions will cost $200/hr (for a group of nine). Private reservations give you other settings like “Clean Easy Tube,” “The Slab,” and “Air Section.” Rental boards are also available. Book your slot, here.
The waves are pumped out using Surfloch Wave Systems, developed by Tom Lochtefeld. According to Wave Pool Magazine, the tech produces 2-to-6-foot faces “with the ability to go bigger in the right setting. Waves can be created to break right, left or as a central peak producing both a right and a left. The length of the ride depends on the size of the pool and the number of swell-producing chambers.”
The pool offers rippable rights and lefts, easy longboard waves, and a-frame barrels at advanced and intermediate levels. If you’re hunting shade, the Advanced A-Frames produce three set waves with an eight-second interval between waves and approximately one and a half minutes between sets. The intermediate settings produced three waves every 15 seconds, with one and a half minutes between sets.
The settings have been tweaked by two chlorine experts: Kalani Robb and Cheyne Magnussen (formerly the wave architect at BSR Surf Resort in Waco). The club uses one percent of the water volume required by a typical golf course in the area and generates more than 70 percent of its energy resources in-house, according to a release from PSSC.
The 21-acre site, curated by developers Tim and Colin O’Byrne, includes other amenities to indulge in when you’re surfed out. There’s a lazy river, cabanas, three full bars and two restaurants — Amala and Drifter’s. New waterslides are planned to open sometime next year. If guests just want to dine at Amala, they can forgo the entrance fee.
Little bonus for getting to the end of the article, dear reader: Stab has a special event planned in the PSCC in the near future. And an interview coming soon with with Cheyne Magnusson. And a short film with Chippa, Eithan, Taro, and Bobby — stay tuned.
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