Australia to build Kelly’s Wave on the Sunshine Coast

The World Surf League issued a press release to non-endemic media platforms this week announcing they are planning to bring their Surf Ranch venue, Kelly Slater Wave System technology, to the Sunshine Coast of Australia. The main talking points on the press release pointed out that the new wave pool will provide Olympic training for Aussie athletes and pump tourist dollars into the local economy.

It is the third publicly named Kelly Slater Wave System in the works, with the second being the revamp of the NLand pool in Austin Texas.

“In addition to powering Championship Tour events like the recent Freshwater Pro, the Kelly Slater Wave System produces waves for all levels of ability and preferences,” the WSL said in the press release. “The wave, coupled with purpose-built coaching and safety, provides the ultimate environment for surfing progression, competition, and pure enjoyment.”

According to the release the Sunshine Coast project would combine the Surf Ranch experience with Australian inspired architecture and culture and include overnight accommodations and programs to explore the region and the broader world of waves up and down the Sunshine Coast.

The Surf Ranch in Lemoore California took advantage of a pre-existing waterski park to build their facility. WSL has earmarked a large parcel of land (without pre-established water feature) 10 minutes from the Sunshine Coast Airport as the location.

“Australia is a core market for the WSL,” said WSL and WSL Wave Co Asia Pacific General Manager, Andrew Stark. “We view the Sunshine Coast as a natural home for a Surf Ranch, given its culture, history, and roots within surfing as well as its pristine beaches and commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Specifics on how the facility will be used weren’t pin-pointed. The Surf Ranch in Lemoore is available for rent at $33,000 off-season and $55,000 peak-season for an eight-hour day. In that time the machine produces between 120-140 waves – about $250-$400 per wave.

The release said the Surf Ranch on the Sunshine Coast will anchor broader tourism development. The project would include the development of a luxury eco-lodge, event and training facilities, tourism accommodations, public open space, and an environmental experience centre.

“We are committed to working with those in the local area,” continued Stark “Over the coming weeks we will be talking to the community to explain the Surf Ranch concept, as well as listening to local perspectives.”

Jesse Mendes of Brazil at the 2019 Freshwater Pro . Photo by Kelly Cestari/WSL via Getty Images

The World Surf League added that with surfing set to make its Olympic debut in 2020, the Surf Ranch would complement the natural breaks of the Sunshine Coast, and “provide infrastructure to ensure reliable, world-class waves that could be part of a Queensland bid for the 2032 Olympic Games.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the announcement was a great win for the tourism industry on the Sunshine Coast.

“Having seen this experience first-hand, I can say without doubt that this will be a major drawcard for thousands of people around the world,” she said. “We know surfers are always on the lookout for a consistent break – this wave delivers the perfect barrel every time. The Sunshine Coast is one of our key growth destinations for international and domestic tourists.”

Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil in Lemoore. Photo by Kelly Cestari/WSL via Getty Images

Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Brodie, said the Surf Ranch facility would complement the region’s existing tourism offer.

“Sunshine Coast offers some unforgettable outdoor experiences, and with existing flights from Australia’s East Coast and Auckland offering connections from America, Asia, and Europe, Surf Ranch would enhance the region’s reputation for adventure,” Mr Brodie said.

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