By now, you’ve likely seen it: Seth Moniz hucking himself at the newest wave pool in Waco, Texas. It’s progressive, clean, and absolutely mind-blowing. And if you haven’t, well, press the little triangle in the embedded Instagram video above.
Last September, our senior editor, Alex Haro, published a fiction piece titled The Dystopian Future of Surf, and in light of the wild weekend of wave pool news between the inaugural Founders’ Cup and some of the first footage to come from BSR’s American Wave Machines installation, and now Seth Moniz’s monstrous backflip, a piece of Alex’s imagined future seems to have nearly arrived.
“He was riding this little disc with no fins, reminiscent of those skimboards people used to ride,” writes Alex. “I was on the pulley back out to the peak about halfway through my session, and I watched him do a full el rollo on it. I remember when that was something that everyone talked about, but never really managed. Far as I know, no one ever did one on a surfboard. Right at the top, he did a quick shove-it. He was upside down in a barrel, and he did a shove-it. Blew my mind, but he acted like it wasn’t anything.”
We’re not exactly at a moment in history when all this wave pool curiosity has subsided. Far from it actually. But while the furthest reaches of the internet seem concerned with which wave pool technology is superior (in this case American Wave Machines or Kelly Slater Wave Co.), may I submit to you that the question doesn’t even matter?
Clearly, the Waco wave is able to produce more clearly defined sections and short punchy tubes, while Kelly’s wave is designed for long barrel rides and a few drawn out top-to-bottom turns.
Imagine for a minute in the not-so-distant future a world with a handful of KS Wave Co pools, American Wave Machines pools, Wavegarden pools, Surf Lakes pools, Webber pools, and more. Barring cost and access considerations, a wave pool goer could theoretically work on barrel riding at their closest Surf Ranch for a day and practice air reverses at an American Wave Machines pool the next, then dip in the ocean and put it all together for free. Bottom line, the proliferation of pools is already putting surfing on the progression fast track (case in point: Seth Moniz’s backflip) by manufacturing identical wave after identical wave.