The article explains how Kelly first approached Adam Fincham, a fluid mechanics specialist at the University of Southern Californi, back in 2006, and the duo started working on producing the wave in a laboratory wave thank. Fincham’s team soon transferred the lab findings to the Surf Ranch, the article goes on to explain, “a rectangular pool that was originally an artificial water skiing lake. The hydrofoil—imagine a vertically oriented, curved, stubby airplane wing—sits in water a few meters deep. It’s attached to a contraption that’s the size of a few train cars and, with the help of more than 150 truck tires and cables, runs down a track for the length of the pool at up to 30 kilometers per hour. This creates a soliton that stands more than 2 meters tall. The pool’s bottom, which has the springy feel of a yoga mat, has different slopes in different parts, and the contours determine when and how the soliton breaks. The patents also describe ‘actuators’ in the hydrofoil that make it possible to adjust the size and shape of the wave to suit different skill levels.”

To read the article in full detail, more about the technology behind the magic, click here.