It has been something we have all been dreaming of… long, perfect, unending barrels! Maybe these dreams are on the verge of coming true for Palm Beach surfers. It was announced this week that Kelly Slater’s Wave Park is proposed to come to our hometown.
So long inconsistent surf, hello Surf Ranch Florida!
Slater has asked permission to build this wave park on 80 acres of lank at Palm Beach Park of Commerce in NW Palm Beach County. This follows an announcement in May of 2016 that WSL Holdings, the parent company of the World Surf League (WSL), acquired a majority stake in the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC). The partnership between the WSL and KSWC was strategic to promoting the growth of high-performance surfing around the world.
“For Kelly Slater, the 11-time WSL world champion, the creation of this wave technology is the realization of a lifelong dream and a 10-year project.”, according to Kelly Slater Wave Company. “Surfing great waves in a controlled environment adds a new dimension, as there is no hassling for waves, no stress over who got the best wave – they are all good. Everyone can relax, have fun and focus on improving their surfing.”
What is Kelly’s wave pool?
Basically, Surf Ranch will be “a world-class, man-made surfing lake which will provide consistent waves and a safe environment for public recreational and competition purposes,” according to Slater’s zoning application.
“KSWC technology creates an opportunity for surfers to practice and develop ever-higher levels of performance in a repeating environment, with unprecedented opportunities for surrounding camera and sensor arrays providing immediate and perfectly accurate feedback on their progress. Consequently, this is the first repeatable man-made wave that convincingly delivers the power and shape of ocean waves most sought after by accomplished surfers, including a hollow barrel allowing for long tube rides. While high- performance surfing is the core mission of both the WSL and the KSWC, the wave technology is flexible and can also create variable waves for beginner and intermediate surfers.” -Kelly Slater Wave Company
West Palm Beach’s Decission
Seems like we will all be keeping our fingers crossed on March 23 when the Palm Beach County Commission will hold a zoning hearing. They will consider a request to amend the county’s “planned industrial park” regulation to allow large scale commercial recreation facilities. While amendment would apply countywide, the specific purpose would be to allow the Surf Ranch Florida to be developed.
“I’m so excited that the World Surf League is working to bring the first high performance center with our wave technology to my home state of Florida,” Slater said in a statement. “And I’m hopeful this will become a reality soon.”
We have seen the technology in action as Slater already has built one wave park, in rural California. Most of all, this park continues to receive rave reviews for the quality of its manmade surf with long barrels, and incredible consistent surf.
“It’s just an amazing, amazing wave,” Robert “Wingnut” Weaver told National Public Radio. “It’s mind-blowing.”
“Thanks @kellyslater for making me a left… Nobody will ever find it… The best artificial wave ever made.” – Rob Machado (@rob_machado
About Kelly Slater’s Wave Company
Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC) is an innovative wave technology company. They are the first to develop a formula that combines cutting edge science & engineering. As a result, they have produced a design that creates the longest, open-barrel, high-performance wave in existence. The wave system can mimic the power, speed and experience found in the best ocean waves. KSWC exists to evolve the sport of surfing by making it more accessible. The company is creating world-class, high-performance training centers where top athletes can perfect their talent. In addition, the company is looking at development applications for surfers of any level to enjoy the best man-made waves.
About the World Surf League
The WSL celebrates the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices all over the world. The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events. The WSL possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage. Still, it promotes progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.