Welcome to the future!
Every morning, or so it seems, there is an announcement of some new surf-themed resort and/or wave tank being developed in the United States of America. Today’s is two being planned near Palm Springs, California. One in Indio the other in Coachella and how thrilled will Luke Davis be? The world’s second most handsome surfer has made the Coachella Music Festival his second home! But let’s read, very quickly, and then discuss.
Honokea Surf Villages and Resorts, a Hawaii-based company that helped design a recently opened surf park in Austin, Texas, says it has land under contract in Indio for an outdoor recreation facility that would include a “surf lagoon,” skate park, BMX track and acquatic track for stand-up paddleboarding.
That proposal joins one from Matteson Capital, working with Quiksilver Hotels and Resorts, which pitched a surf park and recreation facility for Palm Desert two and a half years ago. Agreements between the company and the city have been renewed once, and Matteson is due to present new plans to the City Council in April, city staff said.
“The development of standalone surf parks and man-made surf destinations, with the focal point being a high-quality surf pool or surfing lake, is not necessarily new, but it is picking up a lot of momentum in the last five years,” said John Luff, founder and president of Surf Park Central, a six-year-old trade publication for the surf park industry.
Luff said two surf parks have opened in the U.S. in the last five years, and he estimated 30 to 50 more are in various stages of development.
He was familiar with both Coachella Valley proposals, and believes several other developers may be eyeing the desert for their own surf parks.
The surf park industry has its own trade pub? 30 to 50 parks in various stages of development? An “acquatic” track for SUP? And really 30 to 50? Thirty to fifty? I mean, think about those numbers for one minute. That is a lot of wave pools. More wave pools than there are waves on the East Coast and Gulf Coast combined.
I suppose I’m just confused by it all. Has America gone totally surf mad? Are there studies being done where citizens of inland towns are begging for waves? Grandmas begging for SUP tracks? If this is all true then we are on the precipice of a massive surf industry boom. 1980s style! And BeachGrit will be there to capitalize bringing you the hottest inland gossip and a brand new chlorine resistant speedo.