New project in Tennessee aims for family-focused wave pool development
It’s a busy endeavor pulling together a wave pool project. Along with the standard home-building construction challenges, there’s the labyrinth of surf-centric creation issues from ground conditions to local board approvals. Matthew Ford and Jonnie Corrie are currently in the midst of building a new surf spot complete with residences and activities that will embrace a family-centric slowed-down lifestyle. We were curious to learn how taking on such a massive challenge will ultimately equal more family time. In the process, we were privy to a peek at what Tennessee’s first surf pool will look like.
Tell us a little bit about how this project came to light. You found yourself in Tennessee and then you found this land in Tennessee.
Jonnie and I met through a mutual friend that pulled together a group of men who were trying to live life intentionally as fathers, husbands and business owners. As Jonnie and I got to know each other, we discovered that we both shared a passion not only for business, but for bringing families together, being out in nature as much as possible and of course surfing. And you guessed it, we were off to the races.
What is special about the land here?
We’ve been stunned by the warmth of the community and the sheer beauty of the landscape. The green pastures, rolling hills, calming forests and pristine river are incredibly special. To think it’s going to be possible to surf with this backdrop is almost surreal.
The history of the land, caught our attention too. Before and during the Civil War, self-made entrepreneurs Robert and Samuel Graham who owned the property, never employed an enslaved person. They would go so far as to rescue individuals by purchasing them out of slavery and bringing them to Pinewood as freemen.
We want to steward that revolutionary spirit at Pinewood, for generations to come and nurture a community that encourages each other to live a truly free life.
What is Pinewood Surf Club’s operating model?
Pinewood Surf Club will be a private residential community with 300 one-acre homesites. Members will pay a joining fee and yearly dues.
Are you attracting surfers who live in Tennessee or families who want to learn to surf and make it central to their life?
We are already attracting a global market. The unique combination of surfing, equestrian, golf, fishing, tennis, volleyball, spa and field-to-fork cuisine, means that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Not to mention our amphitheatre, where we can host Nashville’s plethora of talented musicians.
Our unique nature-based setting is resonating with those who want to feel like time is more vertical than linear, where they can really slow down and connect with themselves and others on a deeper more meaningful level.
Tell us about the technology you chose to anchor this development.
We wanted a technology that gives our members a variety of quality waves. Endless Surf enables that – you can have a different wave every day if you like – the options really are endless. From a 7ft barrel with a 26sec ride time, to gentle rolling waves for absolute beginners, the technology is a dream.
Nashville has some exclusive communities, mostly centered around golf. Does surfing have the same pull?
We believe that surfing will have a greater pull than golf. The surf pool industry is a nascent one, but we believe within 10 years from now, it will be well established. Not only will people be able to catch amazing waves on demand, but they can do so year round without the obstacles and overcrowding you find at most surf locales around the world.