Are you wondering what the hell is going on over at Kelly Slater’s surf ranch? This article will tell you everything you need to know about Kelly Slater’s famous wave pool.
Where is Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch located?
It’s located in the Central Valley region of California in a town called Lemoore.
How to get there:
- Take a 1 hr 15min flight from Los Angeles to Fresno, California.
- Drive 40mins south to Lemoore
How does Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch work?
- The wave is formed in a 700m long artificial lake that was originally built for water skiing.
- A locomotive the size of three train cars sits atop 150 truck tires and is pulled along a track down the side of the pool.
- The locomotive drags a wing-shaped hydrofoil through the water to create a wave.
- When the swell hits specific areas of the lake's bottom, the wave starts to break thanks to carefully calculated man-made contour reefs of different depths.
- The pool floor has the springy feel of a yoga mat.
- Rides can last for up to 50 seconds and it takes 4 minutes for the water to calm before the next wave can be created.
Who designed it?
The man responsible for bringing Kelly’s wave pool vision to life was a scientist by the name of Adam Fincham. Fincham grew up in Jamaica and only began surfing in adulthood. When first asked to do the project, Fincham had absolutely no idea who Kelly Slater was.
How much does it cost to surf at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch?
The surf ranch is not open to the public. However, select industry insiders can be invited to surf the wave. The cost is rumoured to be as follows:
- One day pass = US$ 50,000
- One session pass = US$ 9,000
How much did it cost to build?
The Surf Ranch cost US$30 million to design, develop and build.
What are Kelly’s future plans for Surf Ranch?
When Slater first opened the Surf Ranch he envisioned that wealthy surfers might want to buy into luxury, private resorts built around a wave, similar to the Discovery Land Company’s high-end golf communities around the world.
However, it appears management have recently changed tact and the venue will remain a “research facility” only.
Wave improvements are in the works, including testing different reefs, increasing the swell size, and even adding giant fans to control the wind.