Introducing Surf Theater.
The biggest investment co-Waterperson of the Year and billionaire Dirk Ziff made, when he purchased professional surfing for free back in 2013, was the acquisition of Kelly Slater’s eponymous Wave Company.
Surf Ranch, unveiled hours after Adriano de Souza claimed Brazil’s first world title in 2015 with the express intent of crushing his joy, was a marvel. An engineering wonder and certainly the future of surfing altogether.
Things have not quite gone according to plan.
New, more interesting, cost-efficient, scaleable technologies popped up in Surf Ranch’s wake, the facility has hosted the two most boring contests in surfing history and also the most boring specialty events, the only being built outside Lemoore, California is killing koalas by the truckload, or whichever cuddly Australian marsupials lives in wetlands, the U.S. Olympic team is shunning Surf Ranch for Waco and U.S.A. Today has no idea where it is.
Surfer Carissa Moore, ranked No. 1 in the world, is no stranger to wave pools, training in Waco and competing at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in La Cienega, California, over the past three years.
“The biggest difference is Kelly Slater’s pool, or the surf range, is about 45 seconds long, and the Waco pool is probably top five seconds,” Moore said. “Kelly’s wave is pretty much kind of the same every time, and Waco has a lot of different settings, different waves that they can produce.”
Coach Brett Simpson went on to add:
“We’re not really expecting big waves. I mean, there is a chance for that, but we are expecting more high-performance, shorter rides, and that’s what Waco really allows us to do; really kind of fine-tune equipment and maneuver in the Japanese-style waves.”
Surf Ranch sure wishes it was in La Cienega, California, which isn’t actually a town but rather a boulevard that runs north/south through the west side of Los Angeles from very near Los Angeles International Airport to Sunset Boulevard hugging the Hollywood Hills.
Ideally, where could it be placed?
I’d say West Hollywood and could be themed very flamboyantly. Pulsing neon lights, staged productions, house music pumping at full volume, surprise appearances by Cher etc. and not called Surf Ranch at all but rather Surf Theater.
Very progressive. Very now and oh what might have been.