- 24 May 2016 | Surfing
The World Surf League (WSL) has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC).
The pro surfing tour aims to build "a global network of WSL-branded high-performance training centers" with the surf pool concept designed by Kelly Slater.
The deal is inked via WSL Holdings, the parent company of the World Surf League, but the financial details have not been revealed. The WSL plans to rely on the "certainty of scheduling" to include man-made waves on the Championship Tour (CT) and Qualifying Series (QS) agenda.
"We do believe that all stakeholders - athletes, fans, broadcast and corporate partners - will be super energized by the advent of Championship Tour-level competition with man-made waves, but the ocean will always be our home, and the great waves on our tour will always remain the backbone of our competitive schedule," notes Paul Speaker, CEO at WSL.
The executive underlines that the WSL will "evaluating all the possibilities in the coming months with the Commissioners' Office and the WSL surfers."
"Surfing great waves in a controlled environment adds a new dimension, as there is no hassling for waves, no stress over who got the best wave - they are all good. Everyone can relax, have fun and focus on improving their surfing," adds Kelly Slater.
The Floridian surfer/entrepreneur believes that the new business partnership "will democratize surfing and provide incredible training opportunities for athletes as well as aspirational surfers in areas with no ocean waves."
The Kelly Slater Wave Company unveiled the quality of its artificial waves in December 2015. The demo site is located in Leemore, California, and produces perfect, long and hollow barrels that mimic some of the best surf spots in the world. The scientist behind the wave pool project is Adam Fincham.
It's all set for surfing in the Olympic Games.