Wave Pool Update: Snooping around the Palm Springs Surf Club

The desert outside of LA is known for spring break, ritzy hotels, and pristine golf courses. If you are looking for surf, you have gone about 100 miles too far east. While sunny Southern California has long been known as a surf mecca for places like Malibu and San Onofre, Palm Springs is far (both literally and figuratively) from being a surfer’s dream destination.

I have had to endure one too many vacations in this sand-locked place with people who think hours swinging a club at a little ball is a sport. Little did I ever dream that someday this might be my favorite surf destination, or that it would even be possible to catch a wave in this place.

So the decision to check out the progress on one of the newest wave pool parks, that has been promised to open in the desert area was made out of more than mere curiosity. I want this place to be done right, and I have high hopes that at least one of the places that have been promised in the area will meet or beat my expectations.

So, I decided to do a little recon mission and check up on The Palms Springs Surf Club’s building progress. So what did I find? Did it look like the next North Shore in the making? Well, there are Palm Trees. And if you blur your vision, you could mistake the lizards for geckos.

The Palm Springs Surf Club under construction. The site expects to open in late 2020. Photo by Sean McCoy


The day I drove out it was mid-November and bright and sunny. There is a reason that people come from all over the country to winter here. The average temperatures are in the mid-70s to low 80s in the winter, but enough snow collects on the beautiful mountains that surround this scenic valley that you don’t forget what season it really is.

(Main image) Amongst the cacti and palm trees, I found a solitary, concrete wave waiting for a new name. Will The Palms Springs Surf Club keep the retro look? We will have to see.

As I strolled the perimeter of the park, cement trucks were moving about and a construction crew that appeared to be diligently working on what I believe is the new wave pool. I wanted to get a closer look, but it probably wasn’t worth running into security and having my phone checked for park footage.

On the other side of the park the only thing that was moving during my visit was the occasional lizard making a break for it on the road crossing and the untrimmed palm trees swaying in the wind.

Right now it’s a ghost park. But the hope is that by this time next year, there will be hundreds of people waiting in line to submerge themselves in chlorine. For now, it lies quietly.

Satellite view of the former Wet ‘n’ Wild water park in Palm Springs

The Palm Springs Surf Club, South Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA, USA

Accessibility: Not open to the public yet, but should be open November 2020.

Type of wave(s): Knowing Cheyne’s penchant for ramps and wedges, expect something similar to the American Wave Machines‘ technology in Waco.

Wave Generating Technology: Totally new invention from Cheyne Magnusson

Wave’s Technical Information: The pool is a tad smaller than the BSR Surf Ranch and will use the existing outline of the previous Riptide Reef pool at Wet’n’Wild, although recent social media images suggest some restructuring of the pool was done.

Hours of operation/Seasonal Hours: Unavailable, but we’ll keep you posted

Price Breakdown: None yet

Waves per hour: unknown