Strange but true — the next big wave in Hawaii resorts might be those featuring artificial surf lagoons. Pacific Business News Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more.
Hawai‘i is the birthplace of the sport of surfing, and home to some of the world’s most famous surf breaks. But for visitors seeking to hang 10, surfing out in the wild poses two challenges. It can be unpredictable, and it can be dangerous.
So perhaps it’s not so surprising that not one, but two new resorts are being planned for West O‘ahu that prominently feature artificial wave pools.
Big wave surfer Brian Kealuana and business partner Keno Knieriem have had discussions recently with the HCDA about their Honokea surf park, proposed for kalaloa in West O‘ahu. Knieriem has expirence with such developments, having led the conceptual planning, site acquisition and design of a surf park in Austin, Texas in 2014. Honokea is the first company to secure U.S. rights to the Spanish engineered Wavegarden technology which offers challenging waves for pros and gentle ones for amateurs.
The other project is being developed by Surf City Hui LLC, made up of the same investors currently redeveloping the iconic Coco Palms resort on Kaua‘i. They forsee a West O‘ahu resort featuring 400 rooms around a 4 acre surfing wave pool, themed after the classic surf movie “The Endless Summer”. They are currently in negotiations for a site.
No construction dates have been set, but both teams say they hope to take their concepts to cities around the world if the world if their Hawai‘i projects prove successful.