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From Lemoore to Abu Dhabi: Kelly Slater’s Wave Machine Brings Surfing to Arabian Desert



The World Surf League expects Surf Abu Dhabi to open in December. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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News of surfing giant Kelly Slater hitting an engineered wave in Abu Dhabi rippled across social media Monday as his Surf Ranch concept opens in the United Arab Emirates’ capital next month. And the proprietary technology used to create the wave comes directly out of Lemoore.

In June, news came out that Surf Abu Dhabi would open in December. Using precision engineering refined at the Surf Ranch, “the wave facility will deliver the perfect, barreling wave every time,” a news release from the World Surf League stated. The World Surf League owns the Kelly Slater Wave Co., according to Surfer Magazine.

“It’s hard to believe that this thing exists,” Slater said in the post. He’s an 11-time World Surf League champion and founder of the Kelly Slater Wave Co. “We knew that if somebody could build something to the best quality it would be here in this part of the world.”

Waves in Lemoore $415 Each Ride, $50,000 For the Day?

The hydrofoil powering the 6-foot-tall, 2,300-foot-long wave can be adjusted for different skill levels, according to the website. Riders can shred beginner waves to World Surf League-certified waves. The Lemoore resort has played host to the Surf Ranch Pro numerous times.

Getting a ride on the wave might be a little hard. Numerous surfing news sites say that lining up a Surf Ranch visit depends on who you know. The website does not advertise pricing. Attempts to contact the Surf Ranch, as well as the Kelly Slater Wave Co. and the World Surf League were not returned by Monday afternoon.

In 2022, website Surf Hungry advertised an all-inclusive VIP deal for $5,499 and a $182 booking fee. Renting the Surf Ranch for a day would cost $50,000 during peak season and $35,000 in the off-season. Based on how often a wave could be generated and ridden, the website broke it down to about $415 per wave.

But the Surf Ranch advertises more than just a wave pool. They also have coaches on hand to help beginners or pros and a chef cooking made-to-order meals.

The Surf Ranch has also brought celebrities to Lemoore, from Chris Hemsworth, Tony Hawk, and Eddie Vedder to more recently, professional snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White.

Kelly Slater Wave Co. licensed the technology to Surf Abu Dhabi, according to the release. Surf news magazine The Inertia reports the resort at Abu Dhabi will be more open to the public than the Lemoore Surf Ranch. The wave pool also will be larger and longer, though estimates are unclear of exactly how much bigger.

“When we opened the first wave, the mystery it created and excitement that ensued was something I’m not sure many have experienced,” said Slater. “Surfing reaches people in all corners of the globe and I’m always surprised with who gravitates towards this world. Having a KSWC wave in Abu Dhabi is something I’ve never dreamt would happen but here it is.”

Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at

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