Incoming Kelly Slater wave park to include boardwalk over surf lagoon

Sept 06, 2018
Kelly Slater (Photo by Daniel Smorigo/WSL via Getty Images)

In the latest update to surfing icon Kelly Slater’s wave park, project representatives have unveiled a few changes to the plan that Palm Beach County commissioners approved last year.

The modifications include adding a boardwalk over the Surf Lagoon for “pedestrian circulation and viewing” and increasing building square footage by about 39,000 square feet, according to county documents.

The preliminary site plan shows a 13.9-acre surf lagoon area and a total of 71,306 square feet of buildings such as the Surf House Clubhouse, a learning center, board room and training center.

Planning and architecture agency Urban Design Kilday Studios represented Kelly Slater Wave Co. at Thursday’s zoning commission meeting where the board voted to approve the changes. The vote serves as a recommendation to the county commissioners.

Slater’s man-made surfing lagoon is to be built at the Palm Beach Park of Commerce on Pratt Whitney Road north of the Beeline Highway in northwestern Palm Beach County. The developers bought an 80-acre site at the park for $6.5 million about two weeks after the Palm Beach County Commission approved the project in October.

Documents submitted to the county say the lagoon — to be called Surf Ranch Florida — will “provide consistent waves and a safe environment for public recreational and competition purposes.”

The site will be a major training facility for professional surfers, said Joni Brinkman, a principal with Urban Design Kilday Studios. She didn’t know to what extent it would be open to the public, but she did say the site would have informational kiosks for visitors to learn about the surrounding natural areas. They plan to partner with the county’s Environmental Resources Management department in doing so.

Slater, an 11-time world surfing champion, said in October that construction should begin this year.

Slater holds the distinction of being both the youngest and the oldest surfer to win a pro title. The Kelly Slater Wave Co. is owned by the same group that runs the World Surf League tours.