Cloaked with secrecy and anticipation, Kelly Slater has released the first look at a full-scale prototype of what he’s calling the world’s best wave pool.
Now that the world title has been decided, Slater unveiled the video on Instagram saying it was the culmination of 10 years of work by him and his team at the Kelly Slater Wave Company.
“This is something I dreamt about as a kid,” Slater wrote. “Through rigorous science and technology, we’ve been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen.”
Where it’s located, how it works and when it will come to market are all questions that have not fully been answered. But we do have some clues.
Slater reportedly inked a partnership with REAL Watersports in North Carolina to bring his wave pool to the park sometime in the near future in exchange for Slater investing in the company. The 11-time surfing champion had shelved plans to construct a park in Australia, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
The specific design of the pool has been kept as secret as the formula for nuclear fission. Last year it was reported that Slater teamed with USC engineering researcher Adam Fincham. The goal was to create a perfect wave, but one that varied similar to natural conditions.
To meet this demand, Fincham helped design a circular pool with an island in the middle. The system works through a series of hydrofoils that create two waves on opposite ends of the park, so if surfers wipe out they have time to get back on their board and catch the next wave, according to a story in the USC Trojan magazine.
Wave pools have taken a dramatic leap forward this year with the opening of the first Wave Garden in Wales. This design utilizes essentially an underwater tractor that shoves the water forward, creating a wave on either end like a point break.
Following its initial success the company plans to build six new parks in the next year, including one in Austin, Texas coming in early 2016.
Photo credit: Rendering by Kelly Slater Wave Company