Wave Hello to Oahu’s Newest Surf Park

Offering a world-class watersports and recreation experience, along with the world’s widest deep-water standing wave, Wai Kai will have it all. Hawaiian for “where freshwater meets ocean water,” Wai Kai will synthesize a day-use resort experience with a watersports heaven.

As a travel destination and a community recreation space tailored for the local residents of Oahu, Wai Kai will bring a thrilling array of water adventure and leisure opportunities.

Now over a year into Phase One of construction, Wai Kai is set to open in 2023. Skip Taylor, founder and partner of Surf Park Management, tells us more about the vision and inspiration behind Wai Kai. 

Barrels of Fun For Everyone

Wai Kai will include a 100 foot-wide, deep-water, standing wave (called The LineUp) as its signature feature. The biggest in the world of its class, it will include adaptable wave heights and adjustable dividers. Anyone from novice to expert can ride. And, more people can access the wave at a single time, without the possibility of running into other riders.

“It neutralizes the line-up hierarchy,” Skip says, referring to typical crowded lineups at popular ocean breaks. The consistency of the wave “accelerates the learning curve” for beginners. It also enables pros to juice-up their skills in an environment similar to a “sprint training facility,” Skip says.

Wai Kai is strategically located adjacent to a 52-acre recreational lagoon. The Wai Kai Lagoon is “Hawaii’s largest inland water body and ideal for paddling and water play — especially with its inland location that offers an experience sheltered from ocean currents, rip tides, waves” and more. The Dock at The LineUp will deliver “the ultimate water sports outfitter setup with all the latest gear to rent stand-up paddle boards (SUPs), kayaks, guided 6-person outrigger canoe, and other recreational offerings.”

It will also contribute to the Aloha spirit as a central gathering place for Hawaii’s locals and visitors alike. “With over half a million people living west of Pearl Harbor,” Wai Kai will “provide recreation and amenities especially for the surrounding community,” Skip shares. Wai Kai will also feature a surf academy, directed by Wai Kai visionary and pro-surfer Shane Beschen.

From Pipe Dream to Reality

The Wai Kai concept comes from an esteemed circle of surfing greats. Created by Citywave®, it collaborates with “Oahu’s-own Shane Beschen, X Games Gold Medalist and a former world #2 ranked surfer, and his young gun surfing son, Noah.”

“Shane Beschen currently coaches for the Red Bull team and his sons Noah and Koda are two big upcoming pros,” Skip elaborates. “They’ve worked with Citiwave for several years helping them refine their technology,” bringing fresh energy and innovation to the Wai Kai project.

Inspired by river surfers of the famous Eisbach river, in Munich, Germany, Wai Kai also pays homage to heʻe puʻe wai, the original “river” surfers of old Hawaii.

“Typically, where the rivermouth empties into the ocean at Waimea Bay, sometimes for just two hours,” surfers can be found braving treacherous conditions to get to this ultimate wave.

”The Wai Kai wave will be be that same type of standing or river wave, but on steroids,” Skip divulges. For any aspiring or experienced surfer, this is pure gold.

With wave parks around the world becoming more mainstream (so to speak), Wai Kai brings a unique combination of luxury and accessibility to wider demographics.

Hangout and Hang Loose at Wai Kai

As a former pro skier and coach, Skip brings his extreme sports background and experience in resort / event / lifestyle marketing into Surf Park Management’s consulting for Wai Kai.

“We’ll create a really cool clubhouse called the Nalo Kai Club, and a great beach experience around the lagoon as well as a huge lawn area for hosting events, farmers markets, and shows,” Skip explains. “It will be like a playground for the communities and the guests of West Oahu.”

Visitors will be able to relax at the eateries, bar and sunbathing spots, etc. across the Wai Kai property with its resort-inspired amenities. Like a golf or country club for watersports, Wai Kai will take rest and relaxation to the next level. It will supply countless recreation opportunities, and of course, a little bit of “retail therapy” too.

You’ll Never Get Board

With most standing waves around the world ranging from 25-50 feet wide, The LineUp will offer a satiating ride for expert surfers with its legendary 100-foot-wide wave. Typically, a wider wave enables a “bigger canvas for surfers to generate speed, more turns and aggressive rail-to-rail surf,” Skip affirms.

Adjustable dividers provide more versatility. They allow the LineUp to run “as a 65 and 30-foot wide wave, with a divider in the middle, or three 30+ foot sections with two dividers for more condensed practice sessions,” Skip shares. “The wave is easy to adapt to surfers of all abilities at anytime as we can customize the wave anywhere from chest high to head high.” 

With other surfing superstars frequenting high-end surf parks like Kelly Slater’s central California Surf Ranch, what makes a man-made wave so desirable to accomplished ocean aficionados?

“The dependability, reliability of waves are a key thing,” he continues. “Ocean waves aren’t always good everyday. And then the third factor is when the waves are good. It’s incredibly crowded.” In the world of surfing, “the better people get both more waves and better waves.” 

Essentially, this leaves beginners and intermediates with the scrappy waves, struggling to advance. Cultivating a more neutralizing environment, “what surf parks have done is create a setting where whether you’re good or bad at the sport, you still get the same number of waves,” Skip explains.

A Great Number For a Swell Time

For Wai Kai, keeping the watersport hub accessible to visitors and the community is essential. Wai Kai’s vanity number, 808-515-SURF “was easy to remember and fit our business needs,” Skip says. “We were easily able to port it over to our preferred carrier, thanks to NumberBarn.” 

If you’re planning-out your vacation to Oahu next year, make sure to include a day at Wai Kai!

In the meantime, save money and wave goodbye to complicated phone services and carrier fees. Quickly port your same number to a new carrier with NumberBarn’s fantastic porting options. Or check out custom, memorable phone numbers like 808-515-SURF to advertise your business today!

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Melana Preston