Tom Lochtefeld’s Palm Springs Surf Club wavepool a miracle of genius and inspiration!

At Palm Springs Surf Club, every door is a back door!

Yesterday, after a cursory glance at a couple of YouTube clips doin’ the rounds following the debut of the new Palm Springs Surf Club’s full-sized tank, I mighta likened it to a slightly slicker version of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

Readers, very wrong, oh so wrong.

And, here, I want to bunch my fingers and twirled them about old man Lochtefeld’s knob and correct the record.

First, about Tom Lochtefeld.

There’s no bigger name in the wavepool game than San Diego’s Thomas J Lochtefeld, the former tax lawyer turned water park proprietor turned creator of surf dreams.

Lochtefeld got his surf chops threading caves at Big Rock in La Jolla, San Diego, and has spent the last forty years trying to recreate similar thrills at the punch of a button.

In 1987, he sold his share in a bunch of theme parks for two million dollars and used that cash, as well the sale of his beachfront joint at La Jolla for 950k to create a standing wave, called Flowrider, that ended up being installed in over 200 joints in thirty-five countries.

In 1999, the Swiss watch company Swatch toured a souped up version of the Flowrider called Bruticus Maximus and that caused more permanent injuries in one year than Teahupoo in the last thirty, around the world: from Florence to Munich, Vienna, Hanover, Long Beach, San Diego, Manila and Sydney, with Tony Hawke, Kelly Slater, Chris Miller and Terje Haakonsen wowing crowds with a surf, snow, skate combo of airs and tubes.
Lochtefeld’s real goal, however, was a wave that didn’t involve standing waves and finless mini-boards.

As computer tech got better, he deepened his research on the different ways of making waves: hydraulics, ploughs, boats.

Four years ago he told me and Chas about the Palm Springs Surf Club pool.

“It’s going to be an A-frame so you can backdoor it.”

God, he was right.

This twenty-five minutes cut of the full-sized Palm Beach Surf Club, below, starts slow.

But watch as Caity Simmers, Sierra Kerr, Jackie Doz, Blair Conklin, the ugly Coffin brother and Italo backdoor the wildest, bluest wedge you could ever imagine, and all amid the joyous roars from a crowd intoxicated with a well-earned victory.


Kelly Slater and the Betoota Advocate
Kelly Slater, left, and sexy comment that set trolls afire. | Photo: Slater Photoshop by @sensitiveseashellcollector

Circumcision debate turns ugly after “cut” Kelly Slater gets trolled over anti-vaccine stance

“The three friends I had die right after taking the COVID vaccine? Or the other ones that got Guillaume Barre, Bell’s Palsy, ALS, Myocarditis etc…”

It’s been days, possibly weeks, since Kelly Slater launched a major strike online, his time spent, perhaps, ensuring a smooth launch of the Abu Dhabi tank in his name. 

Kelly Slater, who is fifty-one, ain’t one to back down from an online skirmish, instances too numbers to list or link but his most enduring when he hit back at an historically inaccurate troll.

After much back and forthing and righting of the troll’s historical inaccuracies, Slater delivered his coup de grâce.

“Writing me out of the blue talking shit is such a crock of shit. Accusing me of being a racist? My girlfriend is Chinese. You’re on glue. You’re a miserable coward. And now you’re blocked.”

A few days back, a satirical account called The Betoota Advocate ran the headline, “Circumcised mate presents completely unbacked theory that chicks prefer his type of doodle.”

Yeah, it ain’t funny, but the champ liked it enough to give it his imprimatur and the throwaway line, 

“Unbacked theory? It’s field science,” said Kelly, whose bedroom romps are legend. 

Kelly Slater has a cut penis
Kelly Slater, proudly cut.

Do you remember the time an Australian woman revealed on a podcast the disastrous text she accidentally sent Kelly Slater, twice, following an intimate shower date? 

A recap on that. 

An Australian women of roughly middle age described meeting Kelly Slater at a bar-restaurant in Jan Juc, near Bells, twenty years ago. He memorised her telephone number after hearing her tell it to someone else, leading to a long-term and, mostly platonic, friendship.

“We’d become super super good friends. We were pen pals, emailing daily. He was on and off with Pamela Anderson, I was helping him through that. And a few of my closest friends, guys and girls, said you gotta seal the deal… my best friend said you’re going to become old and regret you didn’t do it… I promised I’d text her as soon as it happened.”

Anyway, a little while later Slater was in Sydney, the mystery gal in Melbourne.

She flies up.

“Middle of the day. Saturday. We obviously did the do. We were both in the shower and all I could think of was, shit, I have to call my best friend. I literally got out of the shower, wasn’t even dressed, and messaged these exact words. ‘Did it. Had sex. Going to leave now.’”

Despite disaster, she knew she had to inform pal of event.

The text went to Slater again.

“He was in the shower. I was sitting on the front of the bed. He asked me what was wrong, I said, can you please give me your phone? Give it to me!”

The friendship fizzled after the texts were revealed although, “I think he felt he had to prove himself after that. All I can say is he’s very competitive.”

Anyway, at the Betoota there was some lighthearted for and against on the issue of slicing off the skin covering the tip of the penis. 

“The question wasn’t whether you are ok with it or not,” wrote Slater. “The question is which do chicks prefer. We can’t reverse what’s already done but we can advocate for our kind.” 

Lighthearted that is until one fan, @ibhumphries, wrote:

“I’m surprised no one has asked yet; can you please cite some of the science you’re referring to here? Also, why do you trust that science and not the same scientific process and risk/analyses to form clinical recommendations around the safety and efficacy of vaccines? 

And, here, pushed too far, Kelly swipes the issue of mutilating baby cocks aside and, oowee.

“Well which efficacy do you speak of, Humphries? The 3 friends I had die right after taking the COVID vaccine? Or the other ones that got Guillaume Barre, Bell’s Palsy, ALS, Myocarditis etc after getting it? There are literally thousands and thousands of stories like this you’re either in denial or wilfully ignorant to. And if you took half a minute to see who was dying of COVID they weren’t healthy people under 60. And if you’re vaccinated, I’ll say it again, why are you worried about anyone else I trust personal experience along with science, and science is constantly changing…I think it’s pretty obvious at this point which side was right.”

The reply from @ibhumphries,

“I’m genuinely sorry to hear about your friends. The efficacy as a % comparing the number of cases of disease in the vaccinated group vs placebo group. Can you please cite some of the science you’re referring to here? If the science is always changing, why can’t you change your mind on the basis of scientific evidence?” 

Shortly after, he event corrected Slater’s spelling of Guillain Barré. 

(Actually has a hyphen. Both wrong! Guillain-Barré syndrome.)

Than a fusillade of taunts. 

“Still waiting on your to cite some scientific evidence. Whenever you’re ready.”

“Still waiting on your to cite some scientific evidence. Whenever you’re ready.”

Here, Slater wisely exited the melee.

Now, question: you think baby cocks should be cut?

Timmy Curran (insert) overlooking Oxnard and pissed.
Timmy Curran (insert) overlooking Oxnard and pissed.

Silver Strand locals seethe with pure rage, plot revenge as Oxnard named “least fun city in America”

"This ignominy cannot go unpunished."

Southern California, stretching from El Cajon up to Santa Barbara, is a country in and of itself. With a population greater than Australia and more economic might than the United Kingdom, the bottom quarter of this Golden State is certainly something. Now, I am not from here, originally, having sprouted in Oregon but folk here, especially the ones who have not blown in, take great pride in their various cities and towns even though, to the untrained eye, Southern California is one contiguous sprawl. Those who call Leucadia home, like Chris Cote for example, where that “L” haughtily on their foreheads (in ball cap form). Those who dwell in the aforementioned Santa Babs sneer at outsiders while slurping fresh sea urchin, like our very own Jen See.

Oxnard, west of Thousand Oaks, south of Ventura, doesn’t get much press though its locals are no less fiercely satisfied with their stretch of coast, including Silver Strand, famous for its wedges and menacing local reputation. Though, this morning, its 200,000 souls are waking up seething rage, plotting some form of revenge as the town was named “least fun city in America” by personal finance company WalletHub.

The list was compiled by ranking cities across this great nation on their “entertainment and recreation, nightlife and parties, cost of living” and sixty-five other metrics including “average business hours of breweries.”

Las Vegas, as you might imagine, ranked number one.

Oxnard, without explanation, dead last.

Timmy Curran pissed.

But have you ever been to Oxnard, yourself? I have a handful of times, none memorable except for the time that I visited Timmy Curran, surfer famous for inventing the alley-oop. Seeing what I saw in his eyes, I’d be terrified if I was a WalletHub exec. Absolutely terrified.

More as the story develops.

While it is developing, though, enjoy early Curran alley-ooping.

New Palm Springs Surf Club wavepool to charge an astonishing $US200 per one-hour session!

"Riding the wave starts at $100 for beginners (group of 12), $150 for intermediates (group of 12), and $200 for the advanced (group of 9)."

Three years ago, the world’s best surfers lined up to jiggle their thumb tips against the Palm Springs Surf Club’s pygmy dingus, a proto-wavepool built on the site of the old Wet N Wild in that storied little desert town. 

Wet N Wild was the pool used in the opening sequences of North Shore, a film from 1987 that tells the fictional tale of Rick Kane, a boy who learns to surf in a wavepool and then attempts to transpose his skills to Pipeline with mostly pleasing results.

“The surfing footage is fairly routine until the film’s climax, a contest featuring some spectacular shots of surfers seen beneath the overhang of breaking waves,” wrote the New York Times’ reviewer. “Otherwise, the surfing, writing, direction and performances are of a caliber to interest only undiscriminating adolescents.”

The surfing world quickly fell under the spell of the Hawaiian surfer Cheyne Magnusson who had singlehandedly altered the course of aerial surfing at BSR cable park in Waco.

Magunusson joined hands with the “godfather of artificial waves” Tom Lochtefeld and his Surf Loch tech to soup up the ancient Wet N Wild site.

“I come in and play the piano,” Cheyne told me of his role complementing the wave tech. “Give me a bunch of knobs to move water and I can make it sing.”

The pint-sized proto was built and surfers, including Mason Ho, Jackson Dorian etc, came from all over the world, flared and made clips. The pool was then demolished to make way for the full-sized tank.

 Now, the pool has been revealed and…a couple of things.

Oowee, don’ look much diff to the proto. Waves look small, Typhoon Lagoon-ish little, and it ain’t cheap.

Tiny burgers cost hundred bucks an hour, one-fifty if you wanna approximate a turn, and two hundred for the best it can pump out. If you’re an Australian swinging into town, that makes it roughly 350 shekels.

Again, oowee.

Here’s the spiel from the PR gal.

Situated just a short drive from Los Angeles and minutes away from downtown Palm Springs, PSSC spans 21 acres and combines the finest features of resort and leisure attractions, creating a vibrant community-based destination centered around surfing and the beach lifestyle. While the motto emphasizes that surfing can be for everyone, non-surfers are also catered to with a range of additional attractions and offerings. Enhancing the visitor experience, large LED displays are strategically placed throughout the club, capturing and projecting the dynamic surf action, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the excitement.

PSSC is redefining the surf pool landscape with its advanced pneumatic wave technology, pioneered by industry veteran Tom Lochtefeld, the founder of Surfloch Wave Systems. This innovative technology offers on-demand, customizable waves designed by expert surfers to cater to varying skill levels, ensuring a memorable surfing experience for all. Accommodating up to 25 surfers simultaneously, the park’s waves are not only pre-programmed for individual preferences but are also a testament to sustainable practices. PSSC stands out for using just 1% of the water volume required by a typical golf course while generating over 70% of its energy resources in-house.

Though crowds will come out to surf and watch the waves, guests visiting the facility (ADA-accessible) will also have access to a lazy river, waterslide attractions (opening later in 2024), cabana rentals, and more. Amala restaurant will provide sustainable eating options that will fuel a day of surfing and play. The open indoor/outdoor design is the perfect place to relax and take in the club’s desert surroundings. Three full bars with custom cocktails and beers on draft will round out the beverage offerings on-site. Guests are welcome to visit Amala for the restaurant experience and forgo the park entrance fee. Those hitting the waves or lounging poolside can also grab a quick bite at Drifter’s, the club’s second restaurant on-site. The retail store will have a curated selection of wetsuits, clothing, and accessories.

A wide selection of rental boards will be available for surf session reservations with a variety of boards available for purchase as well. Riding the wave starts at $100 for beginners (group of 12), $150 for intermediates (group of 12), and $200 for the advanced (group of 9). Winter club entry starts at just $20 and reservations can be booked at beginning on 12/13/23.

All pricing is subject to change.

The Palm Springs Surf Club, 1500 S Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Chas Smith and the best beach wagons of 2023

“The rugged fun of a wagon”

Are you in the market for your first, or new, beach wagon? 

In his latest vlog, Chas Smith (who hates surfing) discusses the essential beauty of the devices referencing an excellent review piece by thinking surfer’s website The Inertia. 

“When daytime hours get longer and the mercury level climbs,” writes The Inertia’s beach wagon reviewer Dylan Hayden, “it can only mean one thing: extended beach days with toes in the sand and butt in a chair soaking up the sun with friends and family. These are the days we live for, but the major downside of these magical moments coming together is the schlep. That is, getting everything you need (and want) for the day into the car and down to the beach. This goes double when the cargo includes small humans. For days like these, a functional beach wagon is an essential piece of the puzzle.”


The Best Beach Wagons of 2023

Best Blend of Performance and Value: Tupelo Goods Load-Up Wagon
Best All-Around Family Beach Wagon: Radio Flyer Beach and Boardwalk Wagon
Best Budget Beach Wagon:Amazon Basics Utility Wagon
Best Luxury Family Wagon: Veer Cruiser
Best All-Terrain Gear Wagon: earth+kin MULE

Re: the Tupelo Goods Load-Up wagon,

“For those looking for a capable classic fold-up wagon design that could easily pull double duty with kids and gear but is light on ancillary features like a shade or kid buckles, the Tupelo Goods Load Up Wagon is the answer. In testing, we found the Load-Up Wagon to be essentially an upgraded take on a classic with extra wide wheels for sand and uneven terrain, a tough powder-coated metal frame, quality tear-resistant fabric, and four colors to choose from.

“We liked the adjustable handle and ease of folding of the Load-Up. While the Load-Up’s design is very solidly in the utilitarian wagon lane, in testing we found ourselves wishing for some other handy features like an outer compartment for storage or to hold drinks.”