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Close READER POLL 2017
We promise this won't (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

Wave Pools Are For Old Men

When I was a typically disgusting teen boy, my second favorite thing to do in class was draw elaborate, if poorly illustrated, maps of the private surf park I would own one day.  Functioning wave pools were still far in the future but the notion already existed in the form of Rick Kane-esque garbage and semi-regular empty hype in all my favorite magazines.

That one day I would be a billionaire with effectively infinite cash fantasy in which I’d often indulge, daydreaming away lessons taught by disinterested public school employees. When I wasn't distracted by concealing erections brought on by an exposed bra strap or stiff breeze, I'd be sketching the layout of my future haven.

"Over here is the giant barreling right. Like Pipe, but in reverse, with a massive air section at the end.  The copy of Lowers goes next to it. Here's where I'll put the skate park.  This is an ice cream shop with weed and beer where everything is free.  This is my mansion and off to the side is the guest house full of hot chicks who totally want to show me their awesome boobies. It has a bridge that connects to my party yacht. Next to the dock is a giant hot tub full of more hot women with boobs."

(Note: Young Rory was all about breasts, but I've since become enamored of an ample rear end.)

A water park guest map conjured by the hormone-addled mind of the greasiest, horniest, not-yet-a-man who's ever cursed the earth.  I don't think I ever truly believed I could make it happen, but it engendered the same lovely "but, what if?" as a lottery ticket purchased on a whim.  

Maybe, just maybe, I'd get lucky.

Twenty-plus years later that dream's given up the ghost.  With a hundred million dollars I could maybe make it happen, but there's not nearly enough time in the day to suck two hundred million dicks. If I'd started years ago, when I was still pretty enough to charge a premium, then maybe I could've knocked out the fraction necessary before aging out.  But there's no point in dwelling on missed opportunities.

Besides, I love the ocean.  I moved away from Southern California’s ice cold overcrowded pollution a decade ago. Spent the time since playing in warm tropical waters.  Swimming, diving, surfing, paddling. Whatever the case, it's just too much fun. Riding currents, battling chop. I'm in the prime of my life and can finally somewhere I can make use of the ocean knowledge I've accumulated. I wouldn't trade it away for anything in the world.

But I know it won't always be this way. I can see the years creeping in. Mornings are a bit sore. I feel the consequences of a six hour session days afterward. My first gray hairs have sprouted, my rebuilt shoulder nags. I can imagine embracing a wave pool, when it's finally time to hang up my spurs.

It's fitting that Slater and co. are eyeing Palm Beach, Florida for the next big project. America's wang is the perfect place to be put out to pasture.  A relatively low cost of living, warm weather year-round. An ocean better suited to fishing than surfing. A man with a plan could buy a shanty with a dock and wait around to die. Grab a handful of ersatz waves at the local pool each day, just enough to maintain the stoke. Just enough to imagine he hasn't quit trying.

The peninsula's got its dangers, sure: Meth addicted pit bulls, face-chomping zombie hobos. Incest-crazed swamp monsters running amok on airboats. Terrified old men carrying firearms they are in no way capable of using responsibly.  But a pill mill on every corner would take away the sting. The sore-ass old asshole I'm sure to become could float through the aches in a lovely opiate haze. Cruise the poolside bar post-session for snowbird widows willing to embrace my shameful proclivities. Chat them up to a Jimmy Buffet soundtrack before retiring to a furtive press against my leathery old flesh.

A part of me still hopes I can achieve my dream. Fall face first into a pile of money large enough to solve any problem. That disgustingly pubescent boner nightmare eventually did learn to convince women it'd be a good idea to get naked. Sometimes the seemingly impossible is well within reach.

One can only hope the KSWC knows its audience. Builds the next version slightly softer, slightly slower. Panders to its market, old men who've lost a step and know no shame. Everybody wins when the gray hairs have a place to play.

We won't have to deal with them now, and today's kids won't need to deal with me later.

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