Steph Gilmore Shares her Wave Lake Stoke

With just a handful of the world’s best scoring a golden ticket invitation to Kelly Slater’s wave lake, and with a strict no cameras policy in place we were itching to hear all about how perfect an artificial wave can be (especially when it’s designed in part by one of the World’s greatest surfers).

Steph gave us the lowdown and in the process shared some wave lake stoke we never knew we were craving.

Only a handful of surfers have been invited to surf the wave lake, what was that like?

One of the coolest experiences of my life. I had to go back a second day to see if it wasn't just a dream.

You had the pleasure of sharing the pool with Josh Kerr and Kelly Slater, was there a paper/scissors/rock battle to who got the first surf of the session?

Kelly was incredibly kind and seemed just as stoked to watch his friends ride these waves that they've been working on for so long. So both Josh and I were often given first waves of each session, which is something a lot of the crew suggested Kelly didn't often do.

What was it like surfing perfect conditions, rather than being at the mercy of mother nature?

It was one of the greatest feelings of joy I've had as a surfer. Knowing that I get another chance at perfection just moments later gave me all the nerves and excitement of surfing in the ocean. Kelly has created a wave with different sections and so each wave I rode felt more like a natural surf experience than I expected.

Does it remind you of any other wave on the tour?

Both Josh and I agreed that we felt right at home, like a perfect summer day on the Superbank at Snapper Rocks, with offshore winds and no one out!

The ocean is getting more and more crowded, do you think wave pools like Kelly’s will empty out or create busier line ups?

I'm not sure what kind of effect this will have yet but as Kelly said this is only a supplement for surfing in the ocean. Maybe people will feel more safe in a wave lake and therefore the oceans will be less crowded, I'm not sure, time will tell.

Did you miss the post surf salty feeling or is a barrel a barrel?

Surfing in fresh water is interesting but I didn't feel a major difference at all. Any type of water suits me just fine!

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Tagged in Surf