Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater doesn’t seem overly concerned about pissing off the purists with his latest venture, a machine capable of creating an endless cycle of picture-perfect waves.
After spending nearly a decade working with a team that includes a USC aerospace engineer, the surfing icon launched the Kelly Slater Wave Company last year with a video that showed him cutting back and forth across a machine-made wave. The clip racked up more than 9 million views, and the sport was officially put on notice.
While the location of his wave pool was a closely guarded secret, a few intrepid Reddiors scoured satellite images to pinpoint its exact spot – more than 100 miles from the coast, in the city of Lemoore, California. The pool hasn’t been opened to the public, but recently, Slater invited some of surfing’s best to try out his new toy, and his Wave Company has just posted a series of clips that show just how crazy this whole endeavor really is.
Could his marvelous machine represent the future of competitive surfing? Slater won’t speculate on that – he wasn’t interviewed in a Los Angeles Times piece on his company – preferring instead to let the videos speak for him. And while the notion of artificial waves is basically blasphemy to certain sects within the surf community, it’s hard to argue that these videos aren’t, at the very least, totally amazing.