Earlier today a Japanese news website announced that Chiba, the site of the surf contest in the 2020 Olympics, is set to get a Kelly Slater wave pool, completed just in time for the games.
Many in the surfing world have lamented the previously announced decision to hold the games at the beach rather than in a wave pool, largely because Shiba will likely be two foot and gutless in the middle of August, resulting in a rather boring and lacklustre mainstream showcase of our fine sport.
There have been glimmers of hope since the announcement was first made that various parties may be trying to convince the Olympic committee to move the surfing showcase to a pool.
First, the WSL’s acquisition of the Kelly Slater wave pool, then their willingness to share their athletes with the ISA for the qualifiers. Then the various showcase events they put on at their acquired pool, the second of which ISA President Fernando Aguerre – the man responsible for getting surfing in the games- was reportedly in attendance for.
And most recently, the Australian teams Olympic training trip to the Surf Ranch, which undoubtedly cost a fortune. NoWhy on earth a team of Aussies would fly half way round the world to train for 2-3 foot beach break waves in a perfectly mechanical reeling point is completely beyond us. Unless of course, they know something we don’t.
Of all of these little speculation inspiring morsels though, the announcement that a pool is being built is certainly the most compelling, and while there’s no official word that the decision has changed, based on this news, we’re expecting it pretty soon.
Cover photo WSL / Sean Rowland