With two years to go until surfing’s historic debut on the Olympic stage, national teams hoping to make their mark are gearing up. Australia recently held a training camp at Kelly Slater Wave Company’s facility in Lemoore. China has recruited Australian champion Peter Townend to coach Tokyo hopefuls. And, in a recent announcement, USA Surfing explained Texas’ newest wave pool at BSR Cable Park in Waco will be its official Olympic training site.
“USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse said the wave pool is part of a comprehensive plan for optimal training that prepares athletes to take on the world’s best in beach break conditions,” explained USA Surfing in a press release. “All three upcoming international competitions feature beach break conditions: the September 2018 ISA World Surfing Games in Tahara Japan, the October 2018 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach, and the Olympic Games 2020 at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba Japan.”
USA Surfing is clearly operating under the assumption that surfing’s debut will definitely take place in the ocean – something that Kelly Slater Wave Company and the WSL are quickly and quietly trying to change. If they swing it, Surfing Australia’s training camps in Lemoore will be a definite competitive advantage. If not, many have openly wondered what business Australia’s best surfers have training for a crumbly beach break at a perfect barreling artificial wave. The same could be said, however, for the punchy waves produced in Waco – a far cry from the surf expected at Tsurigasaki Beach in summer.
Still, USA Surfing is confident its relationship with BSR Cable Park will give USA surfers the best opportunity to train.
“The technology allows repeat, made-to-order waves that are perfect for training,” said Cruse. “With the capacity to produce three waves per minute at 12-second intervals and different wave configuration at the push of a button from right point to left point to right point with a perfect air section, this wave offers USA Surf Teams the opportunity to train in an environment that closely mimics ocean conditions.”