Without a doubt wave pool technology has progressed, with the wave size and quality increasing over the past few years. Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch is definitely leading the charge at the moment with the waves looking awesome and completely perfect.
It’s great to see this clip on social media this week. Kai Lenny making it look easy charging on his SUP on a super fast face. But have you seen the size of his board?!! With a board that looks so small it’s definitely blurring the line between a SUP and a shortboard (prone), it does get us thinking.
When it comes to wave pools and parks, will there be a point where the whole concept of a SUP just won’t work? If all you have to do is stand up for 10 seconds before the wave comes and paddle 2 strokes then the board size can go smaller for many SUP surfers not just Kai rippers.
Don’t get us wrong, SUP surfing a fast wave like this is great on a SUP. But apart from charging down the line and going for the barrel, what you can do on a wave like this is limited because of the board size and having a paddle. The boards can get smaller and paddles shorter but is the perfect wave pool a place where performance SUPers will just go short boarding instead?
There is no right or wrong answer to this, but it does get you thinking about perfect wave pools like this and how it’s going to work with SUPs in the future. Is the wave pool going to be the place that a paddle is just not needed? Whatever happens it will be fun to watch over the next few years.