For a couple weeks now, rumors have been running of the World Surf League holding a specialty contest at Kelly Slater’s wave pool immediately following the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles. The WSL and Kelly Slater himself had yet to officially confirm it, despite it pretty much being a known thing within the surf world.
Well, today is the day and the WSL and Slater himself have both confirmed that a “test” is going on at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. They have announced it via a live blog on the WSL’s website, as well as social media posts.
While details are sparse (SURFER has a good round-up of what could be happening format-wise), the WSL provided this information as to what they are doing:
“Put simply: this is a research and development exercise that allows all the stakeholders involved in any future event to understand the wide array of opportunities available. Everyone from competitors, organizers, judges, broadcasters, sponsors and even a delegation of the sports founders are on hand to witness the technology that will have a dramatic effect on the future of surfing’s evolution.”
And of course the 11-time world champion and greatest surfer of all-time couldn’t help himself when the spotlight is on his creation. He was the first to take a stab at it today, despite healing from a broken foot which he had surgery on earlier this summer.
Going both right and left, it’s obvious that Slater is nursing that foot a bit. And stating that he doesn’t care if it takes longer to heal because of that, he clearly wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.
While there is no straight live stream of the event, this “test” supposedly includes the world’s top competitive surfers: Carissa Moore, John Florence, Mick Fanning, Matt Wilkinson, Gabriel Medina, Jordy Smith, Stephanie Gilmore and a few others.
This could certainly be a sign of future things to come, as the WSL likely would not have invested heavily in Slater’s wave pool (and brought together the upper-percent of the world’s best surfers to “test” it out) if they weren’t at least considering the idea of utilizing it for an event in the future.
More about wave pools from GrindTV