Slater-esque limelight steal.
The upcoming Tokyo Olympics was, let’s be honest, supposed to be the grand culmination of Kelly Slater’s vision. Six years ago his pool was unveiled in California’s Central Valley, “a wave so perfect most thought it was a prank,” Derek Rielly recently writing.
Six years ago and exactly six years since surfing was shortlisted on the list of potential new Olympic sports to be rolled out in Tokyo.
The script was not difficult to read. Japan has small waves in the summer, Slater would build one of his magic tanks there, 2021, would be the lofty apex of his dream. “Surfing” and “Kelly Slater’s version of surfing” would be one in the same. Millions of people watching the wave that sprung directly out of his mind. Millions of people imagining a KS taco every time they imagined surf.
In 2018 Kelly Slater Wave Co., then recently purchased by the World Surf League, announced it was building a tank outside Tokyo.
In 2018 Japan announced that surfing would be done in the ocean, not a tank.
There has been no word on KS Wave Co.’s Japan progress but major competitor, American Wave Machines, has just announced that its pool will be open ahead of the Olympics for practice, limelight stealing and whatnot.
– American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM) announces that the final commissioning of PerfectSwell® Shizunami (静波サーフスタジアムPerfectSwell®) will commence at the end of the month. Located in the surf town of Shizunami, Makinohara, Japan, PerfectSwell® Shizunami will offer world-class competition surfing in a safe, controlled environment. The surf pool will also be available as a training platform for Olympic surfing teams.
Evan Geiselman, pro surfer and winner of the 2016 Ichinomiya Chiba Open, will be part of the commissioning team putting PerfectSwell® through the paces. New in Japan are software platform innovations like ‘Temporal Distortion’, a wave design parameter that will bring additional levels of control. “Temporal Distortion will lead to an entirely new selection of waves for both high-performance and learning applications,” said William McFarland, AWM Surf Programmer. “It will add shifting elements to the surf creating a more dynamic wave overall.” Other new features include upgrades to the system’s power response. “Start-up test results confirm that the enhanced performance response has been achieved,” said Lead Engineer Miquel Lazaro.
Is this the final dagger for Slater’s ownership of the future?
Is it officially over?
Karmic revenge for using his pool to bury the Li’l Plumber Adriano de Souza’s happiness?