When a billionaire goes wave pool shopping!
Words by Morgan Williamson Nick Woodman’s a gent you may know. Or, maybe not. Regardless, you know his work: GoPro. See, Nick is the slick CEO and founder of the little camera that’s taking over the world. Here’s something you may not know: he’s the richest cat in surfing! And in this case, ‘rich’ means he’s […]
Words by Morgan Williamson
Nick Woodman’s a gent you may know. Or, maybe not. Regardless, you know his work: GoPro. See, Nick is the slick CEO and founder of the little camera that’s taking over the world. Here’s something you may not know: he’s the richest cat in surfing! And in this case, ‘rich’ means he’s a fucking billionaire. As of today, Mr Woodman is worth a cushy three comas, eight zeros, fore-fronted by a two and seven. He’s sitting at #73 on the Forbes Richest People in Tech list, with a self-made score of eight. That’s in the excellent range!
He’s our Richard Branson, a walking blend of cash and visionary ideas. As Mr Branson seeks to send commercial flights to the moon (although Elon Musk is rather closer), Nick seeks to build the world’s greatest artificial wave. And if there’s one thing in surfing that’s a buzz term right now (besides sharks), it’s wavepools. A utopian dream removed from the unpredictable coastline. A wave unaffected by wind and swell, that you can set from waist high-plus, to tunnels, wedges and open face. Geared towards whatever’s your flavour.
Mr Woodman and GoPro Ambassador Kalani Robb took a recent trip to Snowdonia to dine on the hype. A friendly sampling of potential competition? Snowdonia may be considered the world’s best wavepool at present, but the technology can be better. The current trajectory of surfing’s evolution is very exciting. The richest surfer in the world, who wants to build his own wavepool, flies his private jet to an already existing wavepool in the UK, to test it on opening day… you can’t make it up.
So, we’re rooting for Mr Woodman. He may not surf at a high performance level, but he’s a surf-dork of the highest order, and we say that with endearing respect. The world needs men like Nick, people who see more than the present. The new order of understanding that as we advance, tech is king. After all, he created a camera that outclassed Sony, which is a feat itself. This cat beat the Japanese tech industry! He’ll get his backing, because he’s proven himself as a fucking doer. Having the world’s richest surfer with his sights set on building the world’s greatest wavepool, is better than anyone else trying to build a wavepool – we all want to, but he can deliver.
That’s the thing here; If Nick wants to build a wavepool, the odds are on his side. He’s got more of a chance to make it great than you, me, Greg Webber or Kelly Slater. Who knows? The man who made the most user-friendly action camera in the world could create the most user-friendly wavepool. Next thing we know, we’ll have little wavepool HERO4s in our backyards. Who’s to say a man can’t dream?
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