Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater Wavepool Is Still On The Cards For The Gold Coast

Kelly Slater Wavepool Is Still On The Cards For The Gold Coast

… kinda.

news // Jul 11, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Place in the world that least needs a Kelly Slater Wavepool, the Gold Coast, hasn’t ruled out building one – in fact, the Mayor loves the idea.

“Gold Coast, you have not missed out on ‘surfing’s Disneyland’,” announces the Gold Coast Bulletin, putting to rest concerns that one of the most wave rich zones in the world (and admittedly most over-crowded) won’t get a KS tub. While the City hasn’t been approached by the KS Wave Co (or their owners, the WSL), the story details the opinions of Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark, and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate; Stark assuring that the San Diego pool will do nothing to stop a similar development on the GC, and Tate noting that he “welcomed a development that included a pool because it would fit in with the city’s reputation for surf and attractions.”

Neither of which offer concrete plans to build a pool. But, Gold Coast residents will no doubt be thrilled to learn that the those who can help actually facilitate such a thing are very much on board.

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Photo: Juan Carlos Medina (JCM Photography)

“The proof is in the pudding,” says Stark of how good the pool is, and how good one on the Gold Coast would be. “When Steph Gilmore surfed (Kelly’s wave) she looked like she was right at home in a Greenmount barrel.”

The Gold Coast was actually home to one of the first potential sites for a KS Wavepool: Madison Estate. That was until the company bankrolling the proposed site, LM Investments, went into voluntary administration back in 2013 for, uh, shady shit. Luckily, no money had changed hands when the LM’s deviance came to light. As Kelly told us at the time: “If we were actually producing a pool and had entered into contracts with them or gone further down the road, this would be a real pain in the ass but seeing as how it’s relatively early days and none of that has come to fruition, it’s an easy choice for us to pull back from any more movements at this time and watch from the sidelines.”

Kelly slater wave pool 001

The Madison Estate concept illustration.

If LM hadn’t made misleading claims, breached law and owed big cash, could the world, instead, have been ogling transmissions from the Glitter Strip instead of Lemoore? Perhaps! One thing’s for sure: Even if the City of GC wants the be first to the KSWC, they’ll have to battle other major cities in the Australian wavepool race. “The Gold Coast already has perfect waves,” says Stark. “I think the wavepool could be more viable in Brisbane, Western Sydney or Melbourne where surfers have to drive a while to get good waves.”

Yeah, the GC would be an obvious choice for Kelly, given his $2.15m luxurious Palm Beach apartment, or stake in Currumbin-based Firewire Surfboards… but it’s no longer really up to Kelly where the next pool lands, is it?


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