Podcast: From cranky pro to pool bro – Shane Beschen opens up

Find out why one of the few surfers to irritate Slater in the ’90s is emerging as a major player in the wave pool boom

Shane Beschen has found an impressive post-Tour career revolving around coaching and wave pools. Top ten surfer throughout the nineties, the only surfer to secure a perfect 30 heat and one of just a handful of surfers to trip up Kelly Slater,

He’s on the megaphone for CityWave’s standing wave design, he’s a major player in the upcoming DSRTsurf wave pool and he’s a sherpa for upstart SwellMFG.

In this latest episode of the WavePoolMag podcast, Shane talks to Nick Robinson about the post-traumatic stress disorder inherent in life after pro surfing and how that evolved into his new ventures in coaching and his role in the coming wave pool boom.

  1. Establishing personal context:
  1. California… Was it as good growing up there as Hollywood portrays it?
  2. San Clemente has a core crew of top surfers even today with Kolohe Andino, Griffin Colapinto, Kade Matson and tons of others. Was it like that back in the 80’s and 90’s?
  3. Take us through your perfect 30 at Kirra in Australia during the Billabong Pro back in 1996.
  4. What’s with you and Kelly Slater? Was that a real rivalry or something invented by the media?
  5. As your professional career on tour was winding down, what were your thoughts about the future?
  6. How tough is it to be a coach?
  7. Do you rate Gary Vaynerchuk as a coach?
  1. Artificial Waves
    1. I read that you jumped into artificial waves and the business surrounding that. Give us a history lesson of Flowriders, CityWaves and Surfstream. These things all look really similar, what’s the difference?
    2. Surely there are legal issues governing patents and inventions… did you ever come across any issues there?
    3. What is your role at City Wave?
    4. It appears that there are four stops on the City Wave World tour. How does it work exactly?
    5. Is the Rapid Surf League competition for the City Wave World Tour?
    6. As far as city wave installations go, there are currently 9 waves open with another 4 planned, right? (Have you surfed them?)
    7. As the next big thing in artificial waves rolls up, could you tell us about your involvement at DSRT surf?
    8. How did you feel when those renderings rolled out of the architects office?
    9. What status is the project at?
    10. Looking at the WSL, American Wave Machines, Wave Garden and Surf Lakes are there any other wave technology competitors you are aware of?
    11. What was the story behind the Wavegarden choice?
    12. As a coach you must be going crazy about the opportunities for competitive surfers to accelerate their learning in a pool. Are there any drawbacks to pool surfing?
    13. What board would you select for the “Beast” setting in a Wavegarden Cove?
    14. There is now a reality of going down to the mall for a surf. What do you think that does to surf culture?

  1. The Future of Surfing 
    1. The growth of surfing is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have more opportunities for people to work passionately in the space that they love, on the other hand you have more kooks polluting the breaks. How do you feel about the growth of surfing?
    2. It is said that there are 17-35 million surfers in the world today. Will the surfing population increase because of these pools?
    3. Greg Webber has suggested that there will be an oversupply of surf in the near future due to wave pools and artificial reefs. What do you think?