Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool for WSL World Tour?
1432 Views

Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool for WSL World Tour?

The mill spins! The vine grows!

news // Apr 14, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

This one’s been swirling for a moment but I thought it important to wait until April Fool’s Day was well in the rearview. Stab has heard, and believes (see also: hopes), that currently, many moves are being made to add Kelly Slater’s wave pool to the Samsung Galaxy World Tour.

Goodness me!

Let’s rewind briefly. On December 15 last year, Kelly rode the first wave of what some in the business might call the end game: A fast, hollow, walling, rideable, entirely man-made wave. In a body of water 110 miles from the coast. Watching Kelly slice off his first sample still chickens the skin. Revisit it above.

“Working on something for 10 years… I think it’s a big thing for surfing, if done the right way,” said Kelly of his synthesised lineup. “We wanted to make an elite level wave. Seeing that (first wave), I’m 100 percent positive that our team built the best wave that anyone’s ever made. It’s a freak of technology.”

He’s not wrong.

Kelly Slater Wave Pool 0

Here’s what the WSL’s Chris Mauro wrote about Kelly’s pool at the time of unveiling:

“What’s so incredible about this wave? In a word: everything. Its power, shape, and face quality. Slater is repeatedly setting up shop in its hollow tube, and staying put for extended periods of time. The rides are 45 seconds long. The ramifications of this reveal are immeasurable at this point, but certainly will change the face of surfing as we know it. Much more to come on this…stay tuned.”

Speaking of the WSL; It isn’t difficult to join the dots here. The WSL’s transition into the superpower it is today has been because of the funds from ZoSea, the company who acquired the ASP back in 2013 before rebranding it to the WSL. You’ll recognise a few of the top names from ZoSea: Paul Speaker and Terry Hardy, backed by billionaire Dirk Ziff. Terry is also the director of the Kelly Slater Wave Company. And, Kelly’s manager (as well as John Florence’s). It all makes sense —> just follow the ca$h trail.

Anyhow, surely an “elite level” wave has a place on the elite tour? When asked by Stab to confirm or deny whether Kelly’s tech will appear on the WCT schedule, the WSL’s ever-charming Dave Prodan said:

“The WSL Commissioner’s Office continues to work closely with all emerging wave pool technologies to determine what, if any, level of engagement is appropriate. That said, we are excited about the potential these technologies represent.”

Kelly Slater Wave Pool 1

Aren’t we all? Read into that what you will. Mr Prodan continued:

“As with any development to the technical part of the sport (venues, format, judging, etc.), an evolution or addition requires the Commissioner Office’s consideration and approval. With regards to the energy wave pool technology market, I’d imagine there would be extensive QC testing of any potential candidate by the commissioners themselves before any engagement would take place.”

Picture: Kieren Perrow, wearing white lab coat, sitting in a murky brown middle-American spin cycle, smiling to himself about the QC “testing” he’s doing and how good his job is.

Word is, Kelly’s current location has a limit of 20 people allowed onsite at any one time. Unless he can figure a way around that, it’s hard to imagine a second pool being built in time for a 2017 slot. So, despite Stab’s intel that the pool is locked for next year, 2018 is a more likely reality. Though, we’ve also heard there’s a litmus test planned with a smaller, more low-key event in summer (August).

Kelly Slater Wave Pool 2

Now, this won’t be for everyone. The core will undoubtedly shudder at all this. But for contest fans, it might just be a dream. And the surfers? Let’s ask a few if they’d wanna include Kelly’s wave as a tour stop…

Jordy Smith: “YES. By the looks, I love the idea of the equal opportunity. I’d love it to be a bit bigger, and also a bit warmer – from the video it looks pretty cold.”

Julian Wilson: “Nope. It looks soft. And, I have no idea how long you’ve gotta wait between waves.”

Ryan Callinan: “I would for sure. I think the fact that it’s the same every time you stand up and you know what’s going to happen, takes the luck out of it and the best surfers should win. I mean, they sometimes still wouldn’t, but this takes out a lot of factors that should bring out the better surfer more often.”

Josh Kerr: “Yes. What excites me about it? The level playing field. And, a new creative format.”

Either way, it’ll be as close to removing all subjectivity from competitive surfing as we’ve ever been; Especially if the WSL goes ahead with fitting all competition boards with Trace technology. An even playing field and measurable metrics? Isn’t that a foreign concept in this game! Now… how do we judge style?

Kelly Slater Wave Pool 3

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Stab Surfer of the Year: The Stab Premium Vote

Day Ten: You voted, we counted.

Feb 1, 2023

Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More

A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.

Jan 31, 2023

20:37

“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”

Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…

Jan 30, 2023

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023

38:24

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023

23:26

Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023
Advertisement