Dave & Mike share the story of how they became owners of their very own surf park

Dave Taylor and Mike Schwaab own Waco Surf, the Sputnik of surf parks in America. The facility launched in the early days of the wave pool race has since gone through many changes. Enter DT and Mike, two average guys who worked incessantly to fulfill their dream of owning a wave pool. Here is how it all happened…

Mike Schwaab is one of a dozen people in the world who get to surf their own wave pool. Photo Rob Henson.

WPM: What was your introduction to Waco?

Dave Taylor: Well, as everybody knows, when this park came out, it took the surfing industry by storm. And if you surfed, you wanted to get here. And so I actually got to come out with my friend in 2019, shortly after it opened and surfed this thing for the first time and was just blown away by what artificial wave technology could do. Like it blew me away, honestly, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I brought that back to Encinitas, the vision. And in my mind, just thinking like, this is magical. This is going to change the surfing industry.

WPM: And how did you two decide to move on this?
Mike: I think Dave had surfed here once, and heard about a potential incoming sale of the property. I was living in Hawaii at the time and he called me and said, “Do you still hate your job?” I was like, “Yes, I do.” And he’s like, “You should move back here. Let’s try and do something silly.” So I moved back and we started putting this thing together.

DT and Mike are wonderfully goofy. WavePoolMag asked for a profile photo of the two and received this Waco Surf/Baywatch mashup. Photo by Rob Henson.

I mean, financing is difficult but opportunities do present themselves, sometimes a perfect storm happens and you’re at the right place at the right time. I’m not going to say we’re like the most savvy business dudes you’ve ever met, but we’re probably some of the luckiest dudes you’ve ever met. And we were honestly in the right place at the right time.

– David Taylor