With surfing in the 2020 Olympics, and China’s heavy investing in their athletes for Gold Medal performances, it seemed inevitable that a wave pool would eventually pop up behind the red curtain. Although developing Gold Medal surfing talent in a pool, in a year’s time, seems like a pipe dream, footage of China’s wave dropped yesterday in the mysterious video above. The video is strangely sped up, notice how quickly the vehicle pulls into the structure on the left side of the screen at the 0:00 mark.
The pool’s tech bears striking resemblance to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. A jerry-rigged version of the slap-a-foil-on-a-rail approach to man-made wave making. There’re rumors that the pool costs $4 million, a fraction of Slater’s $30 Million. Based on the video above, it looks to be a fraction of the wave compared to Slater’s too.
KS Wave Co. isn’t the only surfing machine company susceptible to biters in this wave pool arms race. The Chinese tank also stole Australian company Surf Lakes’ incredibly terrible reveal strategy of debuting their wave before it cranks. A “wave machine” is just a pool until it’s properly rippable, even then, pool surfing is still asterisk surfing. To be fair, it’s early days for both Surf Lakes and this mysterious Chinese wave pool, and if we’ve learned anything over the last couple of decades, it’s that technology moves incredibly fast and that China is incredibly good at, let’s say, adapting it.