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™.
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.