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Retro clip cool: 2008, the year of promise and the great recession

Are we deep enough into the wave pool blitz to have a nostalgia movement yet? 2008 was a crucial juncture in human-made wave development. Kelly Slater and Greg Webber tussled with their respective designs and the world’s largest surf shop, Ron Jons, was in the midst of an Orlando pool build.

At the height of it all was this four-minute clip of blurry test pond footage set to dramatic narration. “There is god. There is Mother Nature. And then there is Dr. Kerry Black,” claims the announcer.

The rest of the clip is chock full of computer models and pixelated test tanks representing wave pool state of the art at a time when Flo Rida topped the charts with “Low” and Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impersonations kept America laughing.

The focus in this clip is intrepid science guy Dr. Kerry Black who created Surf Pools Limited which developed wave pools (and artificial reefs in conjunction with his other company ASR). Black is most known for his mixed success with artificial reef designs at Narrowneck in Australia and Bournemouth in the UK. But his pool game was strong, as evidenced in this vintage clip all about the bright future of wave pools.


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