Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater Plans To Build The "World's Largest Wavepool" Outside Of Palm Springs

Kelly Slater Plans To Build The “World’s Largest Wavepool” Outside Of Palm Springs

Another water-sucking oasis in the California desert. 

news // Feb 27, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Because sparking the wave pool revolution and putting a tiny podunk California cow town on the map wasn’t enough, Kelly Slater is at it again.

Plans have now been revealed in which Slater intends to construct the “world’s largest man-made wave” in California. 

According to reporting by The Guardian, the Kelly Slater Wave Co. (owned by the WSL) is partnering with “private real estate investment and development firm Meriwether Companies and Big Sky Wave Developments, founded by Michael B. Schwab, son of brokerage pioneer Charles Schwab.”

Schwab is a bonafide surf junkie. He’s about as local as a surfer gets in Lemoore, golfs with Slater regularly and recently took a trip to the Maldives with Shane Dorian. In other words, he’s got some bonafides … and the cash to chase the dream. 

The development is planned for bucolic La Quinta, California, just 25 miles outside of Palm Springs. It carries an estimated $200 million price tag (coincidentally, the same amount oil giant Equinor was going to pour into the Great Australian Bight). Construction is slated to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2022. Designed to sit on a 400-acre site, the resort will be built at the base of Coral Mountain. It will feature a hotel and up to 600 homes (priced between $1 to $5 million).

“We chose to do this project because it allows us to further build on our technology and also because one of our founding partners, Michael Schwab, is heading up the group running the project,” Slater told The Guardian. “We’re excited to make another KSWaveCo design and I’m personally excited to create a new wave that will be a stand alone design that nowhere else in the world has.

“This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project.”

There’s no word yet on how they intend to make this the “world’s largest man-made wave” and what that specifically means. Is Pipeline coming to Palm Springs? Or will it simply be a larger facility that allows for more wave-riding opportunities?

According to the article, the “complex will be the 18 million-gallon wave basin that has room for roughly 25 surfers – about five on the main wave, 10 each on the smaller waves at the ends of the basin.”

Whatever happens, more and more it looks like Palm Springs is going to be California’s new epicenter of surf, and that just seems really weird.


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