If the Olympics were to be surfed in a wave pool, this is what it might look like

Surfing is coming to the Olympics sooner rather than later. Yes, we still have the 2018 Winter Olympics with snowboarding and freeskiing on the docket for this upcoming winter, but surfing’s (and skateboarding’s) addition to the international games in 2020 is going to have an impact in shaping competitive surfing for the future.

There are still so many questions unanswered, and even those behind the scenes of all of it still don’t know how it’s going to operate. Qualifications, countries, team makeup, uniforms, contest format and a plethora of other important structural decisions still remain to be decided.

Team USA watching one of their surfers. Screen grab: Vimeo

And while it has been stated that the 2020 Olympic surf competition will take place in the ocean itself, there is obviously chatter of the possibility of wave-pool competition in the future.

Certainly with the rumors of Kelly Slater’s wave pool (which the World Surf League owns a majority stake in) one day playing host to a specialty surf event, it makes all the more sense that the International Olympic Committee would explore wave pool usage for surf competition.

But what would that really look like? Wavegarden decided to get a sense of it by inviting a bunch of the international surf teams to The Cove earlier this year when they were in Biarritz, France, for the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games. It also happened that the Atlantic Ocean was flat on this particular day.

The likes of the United States, Japan, France, Spain, England, China, Germany and Scotland brought their surfers and coaches for a day at The Cove. Surfing USA’s CEO says in the video, “I’m just thinking of the implications for competition. You could have a stadium, you could schedule TV time. Here we are right next to the breaking wave and you can see how impressive it is. It’s mind blowing.”

While that’s all well and good, what about the actual surfing that could be done on it? French surfer and Championship Tour competitor Jeremy Flores seems to reiterate the same sentiment: “I had so much fun, especially today; the ocean is flat, so this is a good training.”

Again, this is mostly hearsay at this point. But it is of note because it’s very plausible that wave-pool contests are coming soon to the WSL, and we would imagine that if that happens, then the International Olympic Committee would surely take note.

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