By Crystal Harrell

Photos By Dakota Mullins

The Palm Springs Surf Club prepares to officially open its doors to the public on January 1, 2024, ushering in a new class of entertainment and hospitality. The groundbreaking development is set to introduce world-class surfing to Southern California’s most frequented and unexpected destination: the desert. Guests will experience the perfect engineered wave ranging from two to seven feet in a state-of-the-art wave pool. In addition to surfing, guests will enjoy world-class dining venues, waterslides, lounge pools, a lazy river, indoor/outdoor event venues, and a social club with bottle service and a complete viewing deck.

The origins of the Surf Club started in 2018, when Cheyne Magnusson, the original wave curator in Waco, Texas, and Kalani Robb, a surf icon, got together and partnered with James Dunlop to build a next-generation wave prototype in the original Wet ‘N’ Wild waterpark in Palm Springs. In 2019, the test pool was successfully brought to life, prompting an invitation to investor and tech executive Vinny Smith to experience the wave.

Photo by Ridge BenBen

“The original reiterations of this location had an amazing 36-year run and unfortunately it wasn’t kept up well over the past several years. We were able to take a pretty rustic product and turn it into what you see today. So we actually kept a good amount of the existing infrastructure we could with water slides, a lazy river and then some other amenities around the park for people to be able to enjoy from a community perspective,” stated Palm Springs Surf Club developer Colin O’Byrne.

The Palm Springs Surf Club spans 21 acres and combines the finest features of resort and leisure attractions, creating a vibrant community-based destination centered around surfing and the beach lifestyle. While the motto emphasizes that surfing can be for everyone, non-surfers are also catered to with a range of additional attractions and offerings. Enhancing the visitor experience, large LED displays are strategically placed throughout the club, capturing and projecting the dynamic surf action, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the excitement.

The Surf Club is redefining the surf pool landscape with its advanced pneumatic wave technology, pioneered by industry veteran Tom Lochtefeld, the founder of Surfloch Wave Systems. This innovative technology offers on-demand, customizable waves designed by expert surfers to cater to varying skill levels, ensuring a memorable surfing experience for all. Accommodating up to 25 surfers simultaneously, the park’s waves are not only pre-programmed for individual preferences but are also a testament to sustainable practices. The Surf Club stands out for using just 1% of the water volume required by a typical golf course while generating over 70% of its energy resources in-house.

Though crowds will come out to surf and watch the waves, guests visiting the facility will also have access to a lazy river, waterslide attractions (opening later in 2024), cabana rentals, and more. Amala restaurant will provide sustainable eating options that will fuel a day of surfing and play. The open indoor/outdoor design is the perfect place to relax and take in the club’s desert surroundings. Three full bars with custom cocktails and beers on draft will round out the beverage offerings on-site. Guests are welcome to visit Amala for the restaurant experience and forgo the park entrance fee. Those hitting the waves or lounging poolside can also grab a quick bite at Drifter’s, the club’s second restaurant on-site. The retail store will have a curated selection of wetsuits, clothing, and accessories.

“It’s all been a labor of love, but if I had to pick a favorite feature, the lazy river is a pretty special amenity. It’s heated and it’s one of the few heated lazy rivers in the nation. But the 17 cabanas with the hot tubs in the front that can view the circuit? Probably my favorite area in the park too. We’re excited to see what kind of clientele this brings, but it’s going to be pretty amazing to see a beginner surfer all the way through the expert surfers having a great time out there,” expressed O’Byrne.

A wide selection of rental boards will be available for surf session reservations with a variety of boards available for purchase as well. Riding the wave starts at $100 for beginners (group of 12), $150 for intermediates (group of 12), and $200 for the advanced (group of 9). Winter club entry starts at just $20 and reservations can be booked at