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Beach Grit

Is Surf Ranch better than Pipeline?

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Help me get on the right side of history!

There are four more days in the waiting period for the Pipeline Masters, many heats left to surf and an extremely poor forecast. Blame global warming, blame Kieren Perrow, blame God, blame Kane, Ku, Lono and Kanaloa, blame whomever you wish but thems the facts and the 2017 World Champ will be crowned in a whimper not a bang.

And it was with this reality looming that Derek Rielly texted me last evening. “Story for tomoz: Is surf Ranch better than Pipe? (Considering how crummy it is going to be for the title thing…)”

Oh how my heart revolted inside me as I pitched my phone aside, thrusting one finger into the air and shouting, “Never!”

Pipeline is our Jerusalem, Mecca and Rome. It is the greatest wave in the entire world and some piddly man-made thing in the middle of California’s stinky guts should not even be breathed in the same breath.

Pipeline is natural, it is glorious. The Surf Ranch some modern new-fangled contraption. Some electric…

But then I put my one finger down and thought, “Am I in the crowd at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965? Is Bob Dylan on stage? Did he just plug in his electric guitar? Am I booing Bob Dylan and progress?”

You are, of course, culturally astute and know the story. Dylan was one of the most popular figures in music, having ridden a gentle sound to the very top of the charts. He released an album that year that featured an electric track which was received with mixed feelings by the folk community. Later, at the Newport Festival, the promotors had denied another band that tried to go electric. Bob Dylan allegedly said, “Well, fuck them if they think they can keep electricity out of here, I’ll do it.” in response and half of the crowd booed him lustily for selling out.

Those boo birds were basically retarded because without electric Dylan we would never have had Mötley Crüe or Blink 182. Can you imagine that world? I can’t either and don’t want to be on the wrong side of history here so tell me.

Is Surf Ranch better than Pipeline?