Sports psychologists have produced countless studies on what drives the very best in the world to be just that – the very best. Their conclusion is usually that the top performers are wired differently. They have an inhumane determination, an ability to push through barriers that would stop normal people. Be it mental fortitude, sheer physical strength, or a combination of the two – elite athletes are able to exert themselves harder and for longer.
Kelly Slater without doubt fits into this category. Obsessive to the point of neuroticism, it has led him to unrivalled success.
Recently Kelly has diverted a little of this obsessive nature to the controversial world of artificial waves. The internet has been awash with artistic mock-ups of circular waves, fictional park layouts, and pleas for funding. Websites detailing Kelly’s dream of a perfect artificial wave have been around for a while, but until now it’s been just that, a dream. And it’s by no means a new concept; artificial waves have been incredibly prominent recently, with a few projects getting pretty close to working, but in each case, seemingly just falling short.
Enter Mr. Slater. He knows nothing other than perfection. And in typical fashion he’s re-written the rules of the artificial wave. A perfectly barreling, steep faced, performance wave, allowing the inland surfer to experience the holy grail of wave riding – the tube. This is surely the greatest artificial wave ever to be created. It just now needs to prove itself capable of overcoming some of the hurdles that blighted projects such as the Wave Garden, boring but essential qualities such as reliability. But with Kelly Slater involved, you’d not bet against anything other than triumphant success.
Kelly’s excitement is clear in this short film as his artificial waves roars into life for the first time.