If you haven’t had your ear to the ground regarding the latest wavepool-industry news, you might have missed that last year, a massive pool and lagoon resort was proposed on the west side of Oahu at the Wai Kai Lagoon. Why am I telling you this now? Because as of last week, those plans were approved, and construction on the new resort has begun, including a 100-foot-wide standing wave using Citywave technology and in collaboration with Oahu local and decorated former CTer, Shane Beschen. However, the question begs itself. With so much incredible surfing already on the island, why bring a wavepool to O’ahu? I had a quick chat with Shane and Skip Taylor of Surf Park Management (one of the companies behind the project) about that very thing, and a few other tidbits about their vision for the Wai Kai wave and accompanying resort.
Wavepools, although relatively new, have cemented themselves in our consciousness as an inland phenomenon – something to bring surf to the new, wave-hungry masses. But artificial wave technology has drastically improved, revealing answers to the above question (why on Oahu?). First, there’s the beginner-friendly aspect. Even when, like last weekend, 50-foot waves pound the North Shore, at Wai Kai, the surf stays consistently rippable and lessons and learning can continue, business as usual. According to the team, with two dividers, the 100-foot wide wave at Wai Kai can be turned into three separate features to accommodate multiple people at the same time, and the close, contained aspect will allow for direct, one-on-one coaching, even when you’re up and riding.