The Surf Boardroom: can’t beat real waves, no matter how good Kelly Slater’s wave pool is

Kelly Slater competes in the 2017 Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii. Picture: Koji Hirano/Getty Images
Kelly Slater competes in the 2017 Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii. Picture: Koji Hirano/Getty Images

NO matter what you think of Kelly Slater’s wave pool at Lemoore in California, it does produce quality waves.

Straight off the back of the Margaret River Pro, which was cancelled midway through due to some overactive sea life, the World Tour’s elite headed to the California desert for the Founders’ Cup – a team competition between Australia, USA, Brazil, Europe and the rest of the world.

Five surfers from each team went head to head and wave for wave, with the top two teams advancing to the final.

After a hard fought qualifying round, team Australia was edged out by Jordy Smith’s World team in a tie breaker, with the World then going on to beat team Brazil and team USA in the final.

The Surf Ranch at Lemoore is an aquatic and engineering masterpiece and may well be the future of the sport of surfing.

The 15 million gallon wave pool poured out waves of perfection from start to finish and I can’t help but feel that professional surfing has changed forever.

However, maybe three-time world surfing champion Tom Curren summed it up best on Instagram when he asked: “Do you prefer fresh peaches or peaches from a can?”.

Personally, I like mine fresh.

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