The Inertia

So is South Florida Really About to Get Kelly’s First Commercial Wavepool?

The buzz of a new wavepool proposal in South Florida has had the surf world anxious for Kelly Slater Wave Co’s first (likely) commercial surf park. No doubt, putting Kelly’s wave on offer for the common surfer will be the biggest news in manmade waves since…well, ever. Wavegarden’s opened two surf parks to the public in the past two years with confirmed plans to build several more in the future. But there’s no denying the general surf public has been much more excited about KSWC’s barreling perfection since getting our first glimpse in 2015.

The 22-page zoning application, submitted by the West Palm Beach firm Urban Design Kilday Studios, is requesting to develop “Surf Ranch Florida” on an area of land UDKStudios says has been available for development for the past 10 years. “The Surf Ranch would be comprised of a man made surfing lake and support facilities intended for public recreational and competition purposes, which may include larger events requiring separate approvals for Special Events,” the application reads. Building the first competition arena for a WSL event seems to be the most intriguing possibility that’s been discussed since the news broke.

There are two mentions of KSWC in the application and of course, the use of the name “Surf Ranch” is a pretty good hint that this is in fact Kelly’s wave. Just a week ago Kelly dropped a hint that there are some exciting projects in the works, including some good news for goofyfooters. But other than that the proposal never explicitly says Kelly Slater Wave Company is Urban Kilday Design Studios’ client, and neither UDKS or the WSL responded to confirm by email or phone that “Surf Ranch Florida” is in fact a KSWC project.

So while every common assumption tells us this new South Florida surf park is going to be the world’s first chance to flock to Kelly’s wave, it looks like we’ll all have to wait just a bit longer to know if this dream is finally going to become a reality. I’m still holding my breath. It’ll probably be worth it.

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