Bonus: Surfer and tactician Kelly Slater throws shade on Josh Kerr, Clif and Damien Hobgood, Shane Beschen!

Surf Tank Wars!

And by now you’ve read the wonderful news, the exciting news, that Kelly Slater and Michael B. Schwab* are building the world’s largest wave tank in the California desert near Palm Springs but were you initially confused? Did you scratch your sandy scalp and feel a overwhelming sense of déjà vu?

Well, that is because Josh Kerr, CJ + Damien Hobgood and Shane Beschen announced their DSRT SURF project almost eight months ago to the day and let us traipse down memory lane together.

Today, the terrifying ménage à trois of Clifton and Damien Hobgood and Josh Kerr simultaneously announced they’d been signed up to sell a new wave tank which is being installed at the Desert Willow Golf Resort, also in Palm Springs. There’s gonna be a “Surf Center” featuring two hotels and between 40 and 88 villas, which you can buy, as well as a Wavegarden Cove, and all under the handle DSRT Surf.

Yeah, took me a while to realise those letters ain’t an acronym. Like Slater’s VSTR or Tumblr etc.

Per CJ’s Instagram at the time.

!!!!!!!!!!!!! Desert Surf !!!!!!!!!!! [ Surf Pool @dsrtsurf Palm Desert, CA ]
The crew @josh_kerr84 @damienhobgood @shanebeschen and I have been at it for a couple years now to make this project a reality. We share the same passion for family, friends, good times and good waves. I believe we have the best team in place to make this a reality. Come along for the ride much more to come. To say my family and I are psyching might be understated!!!!

So now there shall be three wave tanks near Palm Springs as Cheyne Magnusson is involved in another project.

Kelly Slater, though, the master tactician, who paints in many hues of shade, patiently waited until he could make the biggest one, lancing four surfers at once and making his dismantling of Adriano de Souza’s joy seem like child’s play.

Do you think some of the exclamation marks will go missing from CJ’s above caption or do you think the boys are ready for the Battle of Borrego?

The wave tank wars will be extremely fun to watch and how do you think life will differ at Kelly’s Corral Mountain and DSRT SURF? Will the home buyers be very different? Will the overall vibe?

Much to ponder.

*How do you feel about people who use the middle name initial? Susan B. Anthony etc.?

Just in: Surfer and environmentalist Kelly Slater to build world’s largest wave tank in parched California desert!

A place for "people who want to get out of their comfort zone!"

And the day has finally arrived, finally come, where Kelly Slater, 11x professional surfing champion and noted environmentalist, will put a shovel into the dry, parched land and begin digging the world’s largest wave pool for us, for The People™ (who can afford homes ranging in price from one million dollars to five million dollars or one of 800 lovely hotel rooms likely to feature curtains spun from recycled fishing nets).

But doesn’t it seem an eternity ago that Adriano de Souza’s euphoria was entirely squashed by the reveal of that Lemoore facility? That perfect man-made barrel running behind Kelly Slater, in beanie, hopping up and down like an artistic child at the zoo? Smile spread ear to ear?

It certainly does and that facility, dubbed “Surf Ranch”, has since hosted two professional surfing contests and an assortment of wealthy, famous people, also crusty and rude surf journalists, but not The People™.

Not you.

Well get ready to book your ticket to LAX, John Wayne or San Diego International, rent a car a drive east to the desert paradise near Palm Springs and let us turn to the Los Angeles Times for more.

Coral Mountain would be a master-planned “wave-based community,” the first of its kind, developer Garrett Simon of Meriwether Cos. said, with a 150-room hotel and as many as 600 homes, mostly single-family residences priced between $1 million and $5 million. There would be a private club and multiple dining venues.

In addition to the 18-million-gallon surf basin, the features might include a network of ponds that hotel guests and residents could navigate on stand-up slow-moving paddle boards or decidedly faster electric hydrofoil boards that lift riders out of the water.

Coral Mountain would be the first of a group of inland surfing venues in the West employing wave technology developed by Kelly Slater Wave Co., said Michael B. Schwab of Big Sky Wave Developments, an investor who was impressed by Slater’s existing prototype in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley.

Slater’s Surf Ranch has turned tiny Lemoore into a “surf mecca,” Schwab said, in part because machine-made waves can speed the learning process of a difficult sport. It did for him.

“I knew that if I had a repeatable, perfect wave I could get better,” he said. And what he learned “transferred into real-world surfing.”

Schwab hopes that Coral Mountain can entice expert surfers but also introduce novices daunted by the prospect of trying to catch waves they can ride in the ocean.

About 25 people could surf at a time, with five or so riding the main wave and 10 surfers on each of the two end bays of the basin, where the waves would be smaller.

With surfing and other active sports, Coral Mountain “will be for people who want to get out of their comfort zone,” Schwab said.

I can sense how excited you are but also conflicted for you too are an environmentalist and worried about the tank’s impact. Well wipe that concern away. We live in the future where cake can be had and eaten and let us turn to the Times once more.

Despite its aquatic focus, Coral Mountain would use a fraction of the amount of water required by a golf course, Simon said. Golf courses use as much as 1 million gallons a day to stay green, he said, while Coral Mountain would give up about 18 million gallons a year in evaporation.

Per the press release, Kelly Slater said:

“We’re excited to make another KSWaveCo design and I’m personally excited to create a new wave that will be a stand alone design that nowhere else in the world has. This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project.”

Very exciting and of course we all have many questions. What are yours? Mine mostly revolve around Michael B. Schwab and Dirk Ziff’s relationship. Do you think they fight over Kelly? Do you think Ziff feels cheated on? Does the co-Waterperson of the Year sit at home, staring mournfully at his phone and think, “I used to be the most important billionaire in Kelly Slater’s life…” while Jack Johnston’s Bubble Toes plays on repeat in the background?

Much to ponder there.

Happy Japanese surfers, pre-news of possible cancellation of Tokyo games, caused by arch-enemy China. | Photo: IOC

Coronavirus: Tokyo Games “could be cancelled” says Senior Member of the International Olympic Committee! So long debut surfing!

"Be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation," the IOC's most senior official tells athletes.

If you’re attached to the internet teat like most, certainly me, you’ll be aware of a super-flu like disease that may or may not have been created by the Communist Chinese government but that certainly originated from the Middle Kingdom.

Coronavirus. Twenty-six hundred dead, seventy-nine thousand infected.

And spreading. Just hit Europe etc.

You remember SARS?

The last scary pandemic?

Eight hundred dead, eighty-thousand infected.

Now, with surfing’s moment of Olympic glory only months away, a senior member of the IOC has said the whole thing might have to be cancelled because of Coronavirus.

From the AP wire,

Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been on the IOC since 1978, making him its longest-serving member, estimated there is a three-month window — perhaps a two-month one — to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May.

“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’” he said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

If the IOC decides the games cannot go forward as scheduled in Tokyo, “you’re probably looking at a cancellation,” he said.

Pound said the future of the Tokyo Games is largely out of the IOC’s hands and depends on the course the virus takes.

“If it gets to be something like the Spanish flu,” Pound said, referring to the deadly pandemic early in the 20th century that killed millions, “at that level of lethality, then everybody’s got to take their medicine.”

Pound told athletes, “Be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation.”

A tragedy in so many ways, corpses littering the streets of Wuhan and precious little animals being destroyed in the millions, but…

Surfing’s Olympic debut?

Killed before it could be birthed?

And Tokyo’s second cancelled Olympics?

The first time ’cause it was busy massacring Chinese in the streets of Nanking and its pals the Nazis were shovelling Jews onto trains?

Oh, isn’t it ironic.

Breaking: After latest online audit, BeachGrit four times the size of entire World Surf League!

It hurts to be pretty.

And who would have ever thunk? Who could have ever thunk? It’s a modern miracle, maybe. The wave of the future where The People™, via their democratic socialism, shortened to BeachGrit, not only overtake The Establishment™, lengthened to World Surf League, but smash it into near extinction?

Altogether extinction?

It is both literally and figuratively true.

You, all of you, each and every one of you, make up over four times the audience of Erik Logan’s* World Surf League.

Your BeachGrit in All-American blue. World Surf League in tanking yellow.
Your BeachGrit in All-American blue. World Surf League in tanking yellow.

I would love to have fiddled with these numbers. Would love to be savvy enough but am not.

It’s the glorious truth.

Me, you, we pound the Dirk Ziff’s World Surf League unless they’re offering up a next level Pipeline extravaganza.

The People™ win.

Who could have ever thunk?

Who would have?

*Feat. Kelly Slater.

Watch: The most vicious face dislocation in the history of high performance shortboard surfing!

Surfing is fun?

You know exactly what I’m talking about here because we’ve all felt it. The stress, the absolute terror of paddling back out when someone is ripping down the line. Someone carving and bashing and smashing and there you are too far away from the already carved, bashed, smashed part of the wave to commit easy seppuku. To far from the soft shoulder.

Right in the way. Right smack bang in the way.

Or just chilling on the shoulder. Playing cool. Playing “I’ve-been-in-heavier-surf-than-this-and-who-cares” while just sitting on board being James Bond.

Figuring out how to commit seppuku is always the right call but sometimes…. damn it sometimes we rely on the goodwill, attention, of our high performance shortboard surfing sisters and brothers.

Them seeing us and dumb turning away or not seeing us and just getting lucky. Them understanding our cool James Bond thing because they’ve played it too and respecting the chill.


Unfortunately yes.

But on very rare* occasions signals get crossed.

And tell me true. Have you ever seen a more vicious face dislocation?

Have you delivered one?

Please tell.

*Excluding Gabriel Medina