Last time I was in The Maldives a work friend emerged from the water post surf with a smile on his dial basking in the afterglow of an epic surf to say, “Its like a real fun park out there.“
I’ve often reflected on his comment, loved the analogy and so have since adopted it when appropriate.
It is exactly the way I perceive my favourite overseas surf holiday destination – the Maldives. I view the Maldives as one incredibly fun, natural, living, breathing water park. The reef set ups are almost too good to be true right?
The Maldives are waiting for you 😉
Posted by The Perfect Wave on Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Its perfect, there’s no real hazards. Yes there’s sharks, but they are generally well fed and mostly harmless reefies, there’s no history of attacks. Yes, the waves break on reefs, but there are no real death slabs or super shallow/sharp Indo or Sth Pacific style reefs.
There’s lefts, rights, fun walls and hollow sections – literally something for all standards from shredders to absolute beginners and everyone in between.
The variety and quality of food, service and accommodation on charter boats or land resorts is insane, and yes you can enjoy a relaxing alcoholic beverage without being harassed. The whole region really is some kind of fantasy surfing Garden of Eden with waves.
Which brings me to Kelly’s new wave pool – The Ranch.
Kelly’s wave pool is exactly that- a giant pool.
Over the last year or so just about every promo clip released has virtually broken the internet for good reason, the wave looks so perfect. You have perfect hollow sections, perfect pocket snap sections, air possibilities, cutbacks…. Everything.
The artificial wave undoubtedly provides the perfect canvas to potentially deliver the most exciting surfing you will ever witness.
Watching Kelly, John John Florence and Felipe Toledo surf 300 metres of perfection, scoring two 10-second barrels, performing multiple hacks and huge rotations, is as good as surf spectating gets. The world’s best surfers, in the world’s best wave without lulls, priority issues and closeouts.
All the good, nothing of the bad. A massive kink in the trajectory of performance surfing is now inevitable.
However, one can only wonder whether a few years down the track when dozens of global surf wave pools are operating whether future videos will garner much interest?
Swellnet surf forecaster Ben Matson recently said, “As each wave stood up in Kelly’s latest clip, I knew exactly what was going to happen, and how the wave would be surfed. The initial wow factor seems to be lost now that I know it’s a perfect, mechanical wave with zero surprise sections to negotiate.”
Former Tracks editor Ben Mondy said, “Okay, we’ll give Kelly his waves of a pencil case engineering props, but he has created a precious surfing commodity that will come with a hefty price. We will all now need to pay to surf and have to do it amongst a setting that is more Country Club than surf club.”
Mondy continued weighing up both glass half full and glass half empty angles when he said, “It’s the most exciting surfing you will ever witness.”
“It’s the worst thing to ever happen to surfing, in fact, it is the death of surfing. “
“Taking surfing out of the ocean will have the same effect of parachuting a blue whale from the Pacific and dropping it from 200 metres into the Arizona desert. After the initial high impact, it will rot, fester and decay with the corporate stench killing anyone who goes within an 80-mile radius.”
“It’s so perfect, it’s boring.”
“Perfection invites repetition and repetition begets boredom. Sure, watching one wave of Gabby Medina on fire is interesting, but try four waves, back-to-back of Courtney Conlogue doing the same forehand reo on a wave that never changes. Once the novelty wears off it could get boring.”
In conclusion, yes Kelly’s prototype is a beautiful, perfect small to potentially medium sized wave and a great proof of concept. It goes without saying that it would be so fun to surf, it will provide an opportunity for us average Joes to get wet when there’s no swell or onshore at our local to drive to the closest pool and get wet, but it is probably too small and predictable a canvas to deliver real mass drama, mystery, surprise or of course culture.
It could very well open massive doors for competition, sponsors, the olympic movement and of course take surfing to dozens of new landlocked corners of the globe, but it will never compare to the spirituality of interacting with nature and dealing with all the incredible natural variables that earth and the ocean throw at us.
So now we’ve compared the two!
Around the world there are waves that come straight to your head when you think of a natural wave pool. We’ve scoured through hours of video to match a bunch of lefts, rights, walls and barrels from Kellys wave pool to the oceans natural wave pool. Give us your thoughts in the Facebook comments and you could win a $200 Perfect Wave voucher.
Give us your thoughts in the comments and you could win a $200 Perfect Wave voucher!
Posted by The Perfect Wave on Wednesday, 24 January 2018
It especially makes sense to book before January 31 to take advantage of The Perfect Wave’s Early Bird deals and save!
Note. The Perfect Wave’s dearly valued contributor and roaming photographic ambassador Andy Potts was extremely appreciative for being invited to both ride and photograph The Ranch recently. Hope you enjoyed Andy’s exclusive clip of The Ranch and the comparison to a natural wave pool like the Maldives.