Kelly Slater’s Artificial Wave Pool Resembles World-Class Swell in Rincon PR
You could almost hear the jaws of surfers everywhere collectively dropping when surfing legend Kelly Slater debuted his man-made wave pool last week, a project ten years in the making that Surfing Magazine says resembles the popular head-high swells you can find off the coast of Rincon Puerto Rico. Unlike the other artificial waves out there, Kelly Slater’s wave pool actually forms a barrel, just like a natural wave, and the impact this new technology will likely have on the expansion of recreational surfing, among other things, has been called “mind-bending.” Imagine perfect barreling waves at your beck and call, and you’ll certainly agree with Kelly’s description of his wave pool as a “freak of technology.”
There’s no doubt that the technology behind Kelly Slater’s artificial wave pool could change the surfing world forever, making surfing more accessible to all parts of the world and bringing consistent, world-class waves to the surfer, rather than the other way around. “This is something I dreamt about as a kid,” Kelly wrote on his Instagram account after revealing the wave pool, which was developed in secret for close to a decade by the surfer and his crew. “Through rigorous science and technology, we’ve been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen.”
Kelly Slater’s wave pool has the surfing world going gaga over what most people believed was just a myth – the perfect man-made wave. And now that this myth has become a reality, Kelly himself is predicting that the technology will change a lot of people’s perception about artificial waves. “Artificial waves have long been a sort of holy grail for the sport – and business – of surfing,” says Huffington Post writer Chris D’Angelo. “By taking geography out of the equation, everyone from the Midwestern U.S. to the Middle East could experience the sport, providing an obvious boon for market expansion. The technology also could allow for surfing to finally gain acceptance as an Olympic sport by removing two of the biggest hurdles: ensuring standardized waves and unlocking the ability to host a surfing competition anywhere in the world.”
Sadly, most of us don’t have a direct line to Kelly Slater and his artificial wave pool. Until that happens, there’s always the real deal, which you can find all along the coast of Rincon Puerto Rico, a small surf town located on the northwestern tip of the island. Nicknamed the “North Shore” of the Caribbean, Western PR delivers consistent, near-perfect waves at various spots along the coast, including world-famous breaks like Tres Palmas, Domes, Maria’s, Indicators and Dogman’s. And with its laid-back vibe and consistently warm weather, Rincon Puerto Rico has become a popular surfing destination for surf fans around the world, expert and beginner alike.
Being a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico may seem like a distant island destination that most of us will only dream of visiting. That’s not the case though; for just a few hundred bucks, you can score a flight to Western PR from the East Coast of the United States, and three or four hours later, find yourself surfing head-high waves in Rincon Puerto Rico. In the meantime, we’ll just put the video of Kelly Slater’s first ride on his artificial wave on repeat and dream of pulling into that perfect barrel.