Kelly Slater’s Man-Made Wave

More than a year and half ago, Kelly Slater debuted a quick clip on his Instagram feed that showed a stunning curling left-to-right wave, at least seven- or eight-feet high, and then cut to Slater on the beach. The next half of the video shows Slater in the wave while, in a voiceover, he says, “This is the best man-made wave ever made. No doubt about it.” The Instagram video teased the creation of Kelly Slater Wave Co. as well as, what Bloomberg calls, “the dream of surfers for decades.”

In an in in-depth interview with Bloomberg, Slater, along with his team, explains how they’ve worked to create a mechanical right break with the press of a few buttons. And then they went quiet. Bloomberg notes that a Reddit user found the location of Slater’s manmade mecca, though the surfer and his company have remained tight-lipped about the wave’s location. The wave, according to the Reddit user, sits in a manmade 700 yards long and 70 yards wide lake “tucked among fruit farms and goat ranches outside the tiny town of Lemoore.” In the interview with Bloomberg, Kelly said, “I believe my job is to create and refine and evolve the technology. For me, selfishly, it’s all about high performance, and it’s fun. How you package that into a business, well, I think there are a lot of ways you can think of off the top of your head.”

In late May 2016, Kelly Slater Wave Co. announced World Surf League, which all surfers recognize as the professional tour where Slater and all of the world’s greatest surfers compete on, had acquired them. And since then the 700-yard long and 70-yard wide manmade lake become Surf Ranch — a buttoned-up and secure testing ground while Slater and co. perfect their prototype. Though Bloomberg’s editorial dives much deeper into Slater’s past and his motivation to build the manmade wave, Slater’s feelings on the influence of the wave can be summed up with just one phrase. He says it’s “the dream,” and you’d be hard-pressed to find a surfer to say he’s wrong.

The Network
Whale Global