Rumours of a secret competition at Kelly Slater's Wave Co in California have been circulating for a while.... and guys, the wait is finally over as yesterday #TheTest went ahead, with surfing's elite all present. From John John to Carissa Moore, Medina to Stephanie Gilmore... and of course the man himself, Kelly Slater, all taking part. Kelly proved he is half man/ half machine, surfing with a broken foot, stating "I don't care if it takes and extra month to heal, it was worth it"
So - what does this mean for the future of competititve surfing? On the one hand, you've got guaranteed waves, perfect barrels and no hanging around inbetween sets. From a technical point of view, surfers can assess, improve and progress their abilities quicker than in a natural setting. On the other hand... are these artificial waves just too predictable and, dare we say it, boring? There are no unexpected folding sections, double-ups, and thumping closeouts from Mother Nature to keep things interesting. It looks hella fun for those who get to surf the waves, but will perfect barrel after perfect barrel keep spectators gripped after the novelty wears off?
One thing's for sure, this is very exciting, and we can't wait to see what comes next.
#TheTest was a closed off event, however some surfing press stretched to extreme measures to get a sneak peek...
Scroll down to see Kelly, John John, Carissa, Gabriel and more testing the future!