Kelly Slater’s wave pool design is the most famous of all wave pools.
The prototype transformed an abandoned waterski park in Lemoore California into the upscale Surf Ranch, the darling of the WSL and company team-building power perk for the Fortune 500 surf set.
The system is a simple plow design: a specially designed submerged foil is pulled down a straight track at high (or low) velocity, displacing water to create a wave that breaks along the wave pool’s specially designed bathymetry.
Adjustments to the large, noisy machine temper the speed of the plow affecting the wave’s steepness and size. Unlike other pools, Kelly’s wave plow only generates a rideable swell on one side of the track. But it is bi-directional, going in one direction to create lefts and the other direction to create rights.
The pool is 700 meters long by 150 meters wide clocking in at 45 seconds – the longest of any of the world’s wave pools to date.
A wave is generated about every two minutes and ranges in size from 3-to-6-feet.
Breitling watch maker brand invited us to surf the pool with Kelly and Stephanie Gilmore.
I was lucky to share a wave with Steph. It is my favourite wave ridden to date.
Photographer: Tom Schaller