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Beach Grit

Epic: Surf Writers’ Wave Ranch Tantrums!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

World’s best surfer invents world’s best artificial wave. Why so sad?

There isn’t enough plastic buckets in all of China to contain the flood of tears from surf writers these last couple of days. I’ve wet a few t-shirts myself but only because, even with a drone, a drone pilot and a cherry picker lined up, your pals at BeachGrit couldn’t summon the momentum necessary to record history.

Travis Ferré, of What Youth, he with the honey-hued shoulders and chestnut head of hair, first wept at Kelly’s enclave and its crushing insularity. From an office bedraggled with magazines on every chair, he wrote:

“It feels slimy. Elitist and weird… I get the same queasy feeling I get around private golf courses and churches… I’ll hack my gold ball down any old street before I pay to play that course.”

This morning, Chas Smith, a loveable Lawrence of Arabia figure who likes to stir his Arabs into futile, suicidal attacks, wrote,

“I hate Wave Ranch. I hate it with everything in me and with no pulled punch in vague hopes of getting invited to surf it one day. I hate it with a hatred reserved for drunks who speed through red lights near elementary schools and the Apple Genius Bar. Hate.

“Because it is officially over. The dream has died. Surfing has been successfully and cleanly amputated from ‘surfing.; The simple physical act from one of the most wonderful, most indescribable joys on earth.”

And in an interview with Matt Warshaw on the day of the event he posited,

“If wavepools are the end game, pro surfing is well and truly fucked.”

Now tell me.

Is this surfing? Is this the apex of soul? Surfing weak corners at Seaside or Newport with thirty pals, catching maybe five waves in a two-hour session? Risking literal, and not figurative as is the apparent case with Kelly’s pool, decapitation when longboarders winsomely toss their craft away at a set? Dreary, pointless waves with all the sex appeal of a raw carrot?

The hate toward wavepools, and especially this one, is tedious.

It reveals an inability to pan back and see the breathless garden laid out before you.

I saw magic at Kelly’s (and Adam Fincham’s) pool. The greatest artificial wave ever created. Fruits ripened over ten years of thinking and finessing.

(Come and click here to look at the wavepool patents.)

If I walked down a little track at a remote beach and saw this shorebreak trumpets would blare and I would cry for joy.

Thank you ! @wsl @kswaveco It's not a dream! Obrigado , não é um sonho! By : @penrose73

A post shared by Filipe Toledo (@filipetoledo) on


I’m sick with longing for this wave.

It affects my respiration!