The Best Opinions On Kelly Slater's Wave Pool Yet Are In Part 2 of SW's Fireside Chat

7 Feb 2018 3

Is this the future of competition surfing? World Title contender Courtney Conlogue at the experimental Future Classic WSL event in 2017. Photo: WSL/Morris

Is this the future of competition surfing? World Title contender Courtney Conlogue at the experimental Future Classic WSL event in 2017. Photo: WSL/Morris

“As a surf experience it was dissatisfying…”

Surfing World Magazine recently hosted the first of their fireside chats series, taking on the Slater Wave Pool with the talking heads and opinions of surf writing legend Nick Carroll, Surfing World Editor Vaughan Blakey, two time World Champ Tom Carroll, Stab/Surf Europe/Beach Grit founder Derek Rielly, former World No.1 and one-time wave pool competitor Rob Bain, and wave pool creator/surfing futurist Greg Webber talking about it all on some couches. It was great.

But little did we know that all the most interesting thoughts and opinions around the pool would drop in part II of the same conversation! Just like The Godfather, no.2 is where it's at.

You should head on over to the Surfing World website and watch it right now.

Where Part I went into great detail about what the experience of surfing the pool is actually like, the second half of the discussion bounces wildly about what this all means for surfing

“As a surf experience it was dissatisfying,” says Nick Carroll.

Greg Webber counters that with the idea that WSL surfers and people like Nick Carroll – elite surfers – are the stage for the pool, but the reality is the market for wave pools is a different type of surfer entirely (worse surfers, of which there are many more of).

Derek Rielly posits that in 50 years there will be empty lakes and wave pools all over the world, like roller skating rinks built in the disco-70s.

“I find it really hard not to be close minded on this,” says Rob Bain, adding, "I kind of don’t want to know about it.” He then explains with the wit we love him for just why that is.

“The best pool hasn’t been built yet,” says Greg Webber.

“Don’t you think the best analogy is sex workers?” asks Derek Rielly.

Nick Caroll tells us of his existential crisis in the pool, and his saving revelation: “I was tortured by that pool … I was extremely angry that the whole thing was being kept at arms length from the surfing communities of the world ... I immediately realised that the wave pool is nothing to be afraid of. They don’t hold a candle to the ocean.”

And Surfing World Ed, Vaughan Blakey, had a typically Vaughan Blakey simple, yet clear in its pure love of surfing, take on what this all means for surfing:

“At the end of the day, if there’s a wave, and you surf, it doesn’t matter if it’s in the Basque country, or Lemoore, it’s fun,” he said.

Seriously, its good viewing. Crack a beer or pour yourself a cup of tea or perhaps eat a sandwich, and sit down to give it a watch over on Surfing World dot com dot ay younow.

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