Surfing Legend Plans World's Largest Man-Made Wave

Kelly Slater is planning to build a massive, man-made wave in the desert.

Surfer Kelly Slater surrounded by fans in Anglet, France, Oct. 9, 2019.
Surfer Kelly Slater surrounded by fans in Anglet, France, Oct. 9, 2019.
AP Photo/Bob Edme, File

Kelly Slater is planning to build the world's largest man-made wave in the desert.

Plans for Coral Mountain, announced on Tuesday, feature the largest rideable open-barrel human-made wave in the world with technology from Kelly Slater Wave Company, a division of the World Surf League.

The 11-time world champion surfer is teaming with private real estate investment and development firm Meriwether Companies and Big Sky Wave Developments, founded by Michael B. Schwab, son of brokerage pioneer Charles Schwab.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2021 with the opening slated sometime in 2022, pending design and amended approval. The land was previously approved for 750 homes and an 18-hole golf course. The new proposal maintains the same density and will require less water than the previously approved golf course.

β€œWe chose to do this project because it allows us to further build on our technology and also because one of our founding partners, Michael Schwab, is heading up the group running the project," Slater said in a statement. "We’re excited to make another KSWaveCo design and I’m personally excited to create a new wave that will be a stand alone design that nowhere else in the world has. This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project. I can’t wait to get underway.”

The wave basin will be part of a 400-acre site in La Quinta, California, set at the base of Coral Mountain. The masterplanned community in the Coachella Valley will include a full-service resort, residential homes, a private club, multiple dining venues and adventure sport offerings.

The $200 million complex will have a 150-room hotel and up to 600 homes in the $1 million to $5 million range. Access to amenities will be exclusively available to homeowners, hotel guests, members and their guests. Dining will be open to the public through reservations.

The centerpiece of the complex will be the 18 million-gallon wave basin that has room for roughly 25 surfers β€” about five on the main wave, 10 each on the smaller waves at the ends of the basin. It will feature waves for all levels of ability and preference.

β€œI originally invested with Kelly in 2013 for my own personal surfing progression,” Michael Schwab, said. β€œI had no idea the impact it would have on my life, and I realized immediately that I had to share this opportunity."

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