Kelly Slater joins with WSL to ride ‘controlled’ wave dream

Gold Coast surfers who gave up hopes of an inland wave break can start to dream again, following the latest news from the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC).

WSL Holdings, the parent company of the World Surf League (WSL), is purchasing a majority stake in the world champion’s business.

A statement on the KSWC website explains how the partnership will be “dedicated to promoting the growth of high-performance surfing around the world”.


“The WSL and the KSWC envision the build-out of a global network of WSL-branded high-performance training centers utilizing this wave technology” it reads.

“While surfing for me will always be about adventure, travel and the ocean, this wave brings a new opportunity to the sport without taking away the soulfulness that attracted many of us to surfing in first place,” Kelly Slater said.

The 11-time WSL world champion is committed to creating waves in a ‘controlled environment’ and in the past had considered building a wave pool in a housing development in Pimpama on the northern Gold Coast..

However, the deal fell through about three years ago.

Slater sees the creation of the wave pools as a way to reduce ‘wave rage’ which he has spoken out about during time spent on the Gold Coast, in relation to the overcrowding of breaks including Snapper Rocks.

“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.”

The WSL agrees.

“[We] represent the best in men’s and women’s competitive surfing globally, and the amazing man-made wave technology developed by Kelly Slater and his team is a revolutionary innovation that has the power to dramatically enhance every aspect of our sport,” CEO of the WSL Paul Speaker said.