Sun-Powered, Man-Made Waves

Kelly Slater Creates a Solar-Powered Technological Marvel


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In the history of technological arms races, the quest to create a rippable, barreling, man-made wave is probably least likely to change the course of human history. But in terms of using technology to create stoke, joy and happiness, this movement is unrivaled. When surfers first laid eyes on Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, they found their first genuinely rippable, barreling, man-made marvel. There are other contenders building wave pools, of course, but none have created waves that rival the ones unveiled by Kelly Slater.

The facility in Lemoore, California, is currently invite-only, unavailable to the public at large. Initial tests for the man-made wave pool were made using a 1:15 scale, donut-shaped tank located in a restricted warehouse in Los Angeles. And they focus on issues close to many a salty-haired surfer’s heart: environmental sustainability. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced in a statement that “Kelly Slater Wave Company is one of the first California businesses to partner with PG&E’s Solar Choice to go 100 percent solar, purchasing renewable energy with zero greenhouse gas emissions and lowering their carbon footprint.” As Noah Grimmett, General Manager of Kelly Slater, puts it: “This [solar] program allows Kelly Slater Wave Company to act environmentally while building the best man-made wave.”

Sun-Powered, Man-Made Waves: Kelly Slater Solar-Powered Marvel
Photos courtesy of Kelly Slater Wave Company