Even if you're a VIP!
It is September already and it’s hard to imagine where the time has gone. There we were, back on the Gold Coast, so young, innocent, and hopeful. Since then, we have seen many waves, both great and not so great, and we’ve even had our very own helmet debate. Who knew that we could enjoy such a wonderful journey together. Now, there is Lemoore. We are not so innocent any longer.
Last year here at the ‘Grit we helpfully provided you with a training program to prepare for your arduous days as a spectator at the wave poo— basin. Have you started training yet? If not, I’m not sure we can help you now. I’m pretty sure you’re fucked, actually. It’s entirely too late.
Prepared or not, if you’re going to Lemoore, we can help you survive the experience. As hardened veterans, we know what it takes to get through at least an hour at the basin. Oh yes, the sizzling sun, the 700-meter saunters from end to end, the desperate search for water, preferably cold — we know all about these things. And a few more. Here we are, ready to share all our secrets.
Here is the official BeachGrit Guide: How to survive Lemoore.
From SoCal, get on The Five. Drive north. When the Grapevine looms up before you, panic. You are not stupid. You know where the Grapevine leads. To snow, yes, but not in September. There is no snow in September. In September, the Grapevine leads to the bad place.
Look! Over there! Another road. It leads west. Get on the road that leads west until you see the ocean. Drive until you see waves. Park your car. Pull your board out of the back — you do have a board in the car, right? If not, borrow one from the car parked next to you. I’m sure they won’t mind. Go surfing. Lemoore, what? You have surfing to do. Get on top of your priorities.
From NorCal, head to the coast. Pet some sharks. I hear they’re friendly. Sharks are way better than Lemoore. After you pet the sharks, go surfing.
If you insist on continuing your journey to Lemoore without petting the sharks and without surfing, you will experience heat like nothing you’ve experienced before. It has mass, this heat, like a big furry animal that lays down on top of you with all its animal stench, and just stays right there. You can’t get rid of it. The heat will crush your will to live. That’s a promise, not a threat.
Your best hope of survival is the VIP area which is equipped with mist-making machines. Yes, your humble Beachgrit investigated the VIP area, just for you! And we are here to tell you, that you’ll need a VIP pass to survive. It’s essential. Security is tight and I had to beg to keep my peanut butter sandwich, so you can give up on sneaking past them into the VIP zone without actually having a VIP credential. No chance.
Sorry, we don’t have any money to help you buy your way into the misty coolness of the VIP zone. But your best friend totally does. Borrow your best friend’s credit card. Buy a VIP pass to the wave pool party. If you’re feeling generous, buy a ticket for him, too. It is his credit card, so you might as well. It’ll be like a surprise present! For both of you! A weekend of fabulous bro bonding under the mist in the VIP zone at the wave pool. You can feel so good about this plan.
If you do not have a best friend with a credit card, or you have moral qualms about borrowing credit cards, which is admirable! Moral qualms are totally good! Skip the basin and head directly to the Tachi Palace. Go to the bar — it’s conveniently located on the first floor, just off the lobby — and order a drink or several. Get them to go. Head to the pool. The Tachi Palace pool, that is, not the dumb, hot wave-making thing.
Jump in and feel that refreshing cool water. Sip your drinks. You are in the pool, drinking a cold cocktail, and your life is good. This is much better than standing in the sun next to the basin trying to distinguish one turn from another. You can watch the contest replay later. Or not! You can just hang out in the pool and drink and forget all about the contest. There’s always next year.
Going the distance
Though we have warned you, you remain determined. You are going to the basin, dammit! You are going to watch the surfing live and in person and nothing we say will change your mind.
Running shoes. They’re not cute and they’re not sexy. You can’t show off your fabulous pedicure or your ungroomed toe hairs in running shoes. But they are your only hope now. The wave pool runs 700 meters from end to end and you’re going to walk that multiple times in an effort to see your favorite surfers go left and right and left again.
You used to make fun of the jocks in high school with their training plans and their hours in the weight room and their after-school practices, while you fucked off and went surfing. Now you’re going to dress just like them. You’re going to slip into those Nike Pegasus Airs or a sleek pair of New Balance 860v9’s — I always trust a running shoe more if it has numbers in the name — and you’re going to like it. Also, don’t forget socks. Nobody likes running shoe foot stench.
Now you’re ready. You’ve laced up your new running shoes that you bought with your best friend’s credit card and you haven’t forgotten your socks. Stance, of course. You shake an electrolyte tablet out of its tube and pop it directly into your mouth. You are far too badass to dissolve your electrolyte tablets in water. Off you go to prance up and down the length of the wave pool like the track star you were meant to be. Suck it, jocks.
You need a nap
Your feet are tired. Despite your shiny new Asics Gel-Kayano 25’s that you bought with your best friend’s credit card, your feet hurt. You’ve seen your favorite surfers go left and right and left again. You’re down to your last electrolyte tablet and you’re wondering if it might taste better if you just gave up and dissolved it in water like the instructions suggest.
The heat must be getting to you, because you’re pretty sure you just saw two Chas Smith’s walking toward you, as though one were not enough. When you looked again, they were both gone. It must be the heat.
You remain determined. You are at the wave pool and you are watching surfing and you aren’t ready to give up yet. What you really need is a nap. And here, Beachgrit can help. We thoroughly investigated the napping possibilities of the basin during our sojourn there last year, because we did not want to let you down in your time of need.
If you succeeded in achieving VIP status, your nap option is super easy. Pull off your new Adidas Ultraboost 19’s, and stretch out under the mist. There is always the possibility that someone may step on you lying on the ground like that, but you are brave and bold and you give zero fucks.
If your morals prevented you from stealing your best friend’s credit card and buying a VIP pass, head for the control tower at the middle of the basin. There is a large patch of beautiful shade. If you’re lucky, no one else will have discovered this perfect nap spot. Stretch out, close your eyes, dream of petting sharks.
If the shade of the control tower is already crowded with nappers, just find the nearest tree and stretch out under it. It’s fine. No one will judge. They will be jealous of your ability to nap right there under a random tree like it’s no big thing. Dream of perfect blue barrels on a tropical island and ice-cold drinks with paper umbrellas perched on top. Wonder what the fuck you are doing in Lemoore instead.
You can go home again
Wave a fond farewell to the basin and drive out of Lemoore like twenty or thirty boars are chasing you. When you get to Kettleman City, the boars will have run out of steam, presumably. Or at least lost interest in your skinny surfer ass.
Stop for ice cream in Kettleman City. Ice cream understands. Ice cream will fix your tired feet and your overheated brain that swears it saw two Chas Smith’s and remind you that you’re headed back to the coast. There’s waves there! You are going home to the coast where you belong.