Underwhelmed: Surf World Reacts to Kelly Slater's Abu Dhabi Wavepool Reveal

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Kelly Slater, at least his wavepool company, is going east. Far east.

Over the past couple months, we’ve been hearing about the project on Hudayriyat Island. It promises “the world’s longest ride, biggest barrel, and largest man-made wave pool.” Anticipation mounted, perhaps even surf trips being planned.

And more recently, we got our first official glimpse of the wave (following leaked video from a United Arab Air Force plane, and Google Earth images).

So, we’ve got our first look. Tubes, turns, airs…but, just being the first glance, it’s doesn't look ground-breakingly massive, as promised. We'er gonna need a more compehensive clip to get a better picture. (Stand by.) For more on what the pool , check out our piece which details everything we know (so far) about Surf Abu Dhabi.

And how’s the surf world reacting? Somewhat underwhelmed, actually.

Here’s a smattering of comments on the post:

“Damn, really thought they would scale this one up for stand up barrels, must not be possible with Kelly Slater Wave Co. technology.”

“Is this just for multimillionaire and sponsored sport stars or is also for normal people?”

“Fresh water must be really hard to come by in that part of the world. Where are you getting it from?”

“Looks exactly like the surf ranch but with a different backdrop. Whatever.”

“Cool but was expecting a pool with bigger waves and different sessions! Kelly's pool with boa vista village! Tube sessions and aerial sessions.”

“playgrounds for the rich.”

Conversely, soon after, current World Champion Filipe Toledo sampled the wavepool, too, with some searing lighting-fast surfing as he’s known to to do.

As for Filipe, and not the general surfing public, he was stoked…commenting:

“You guys are amazing, such a pleasure to get this invitation. thanks for the reception and good vibes.”

Surf Abu Dhabi is slated to complete construction in December of 2023.


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