Six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore gets cheeky with a cheater five inside the wave pool barrel at Kelly Slaters Surf Ranch at Lemoore, California.
Six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore gets cheeky with a cheater five inside the wave pool barrel at Kelly Slaters Surf Ranch at Lemoore, California. Kenneth Morris

'Superior surf experience': Surf ranch won't use US model

THE pricing model used for the Kelly Slater Wave Pool in the United States won't work in Australia and there is no plan to copy it, according to the World Surf League.

WSL's Australian general manager Andrew Stark said the pricing issue was still being worked through and would depend on approval of the other elements of the development which commercially would support the wave basin.

Those elements included a 1500-lot residential subdivision and resort and hotel accommodation on flood-prone tidal land outside the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme and the SEQ Urban Footprint.

The WSL US pricing model hires the Lemoore, California facility for $75,000 a day during which the technology produces 120 waves, or offers VIP experiences for $10,000.

"The Surf Ranch will be world-class technology to create a superior surf experience that facilitates greater learning and new techniques," Mr Stark said.

"That's different to other propositions that focus on mass markets and low price points but also limited variety or duration of wave experience.

"However, we do plan to create a multi-user experience with a mix of professional events televised to a global audience, local board rider club and specialty events, and community days, with a focus on short-term and day access for recreational surfers."

His response did not answer a question about how many waves the technology could produce an hour.

Mr Stark said community consultation on the proposal, the future of which appeared likely to be determined by the State Government, was ongoing.

He said 100 people had been met during 50 one-on-one meetings; a community forum with more than 25 representatives from the local surfing community had been conducted; discussions had been held with Sunshine Coast Environmental Council and other interested community organisations and the proposal had been presented at the Future Tourism event attended by more than 300 business and industry representatives.

The environment council, Development Watch, Friends of Yaroomba, OSCAR and Coolum and North Shore Coast Care subsequently issued a joint press release saying the proposed location of the development was "within a particularly low-lying area of the Maroochy River floodplain where it already experiences tidal inundation as well as being extremely flood-prone regularly flooding to average depths across the site of 2m and 3-4m in large sections".

Mr Stark said an online survey had been sent to a random sample of 500 people chosen to be statistically representative of the Sunshine Coast community.

As well an online feedback tool that requested people to identify their name and organisation and express their support or opposition and the reasons why, was distributed to local groups and through social media.

It had received 173 responses by 57 organisations and individuals.