Kelly tests out Abu Dhabi namesake

The Kelly Slater wave pool project in Abu Dhabi is finished and the machine has begun rolling out long, peeling lefts and rights. First images of the new wave pool posted by Surf Abu Dhabi show a slick edit with voice over by the 11-time world champion.

“I’ve surfed hundreds of incredible waves across the world and this wave in Abu Dhabi stacks up well against some of the best waves on earth,” said Kelly. “I had an idea of what to expect, but to see it in person is a whole different ball game.”

About the new Kelly Slater wave pool in Abu Dhabi.

Kelly reports that the wave pool lagoon is saltwater while others have said it is actually longer than its sister wave in Lemoore. Visible in the clip is the Abu Dhabi skyline which is partially obscured by a stadium-worthy TV screen, presumably for surfers to watch their last wave.

The wave pool is part of Abu Dhabi’s Hudayriyat Island project. Developers say it will provide a highly desirable living environment by following an evolving global model of sustainable living. The wave is just one jewel in an expansive Modon masterplan for Hudayriyat Island which also includes a regional first velodrome, and the biggest urban park in Abu Dhabi. Bill O’Regan, CEO of Modon said the new wave tank will host surf competitions as well.

“As the world’s premier man-made surf experience, Surf Abu Dhabi is specified to host major international surf competitions,” said O’Regan. “It is a high-performance destination that will offer world-class surfers the perfect conditions to train or compete, while also growing the region’s surfing community, and inspiring wider society to embrace a healthy new activity.”

The surf park joins other popular attractions in the country including Ferrari World amusement park, Marina Mall, Etihad Tower and Yas Waterworld.