Surf Ranch is for nose walkers.
Surf Ranch, nestled in the abjectly terrible California Central Valley, was to be Kelly Slater’s crowning achievement. The apex of fevered dreams. A reflection of his ego that would dominate surfing long after his body has been cryogenically frozen.
A perfect wave. A perfect wave gurgling up from beyond the plow then growing, racing, reeling into a barrel, opening back up, barreling again and ending with a high-performance air-reverse section.
The World Surf League, rabid, purchased this chimera instantly knowing that it would profoundly change the future of professional surfing. Believing it would push progression to the limit of human capacity.
Except a funny thing happened on the way to radical. Six-odd years since the Lemoore facility was first revealed, it has become clear that Slater did, in fact, create a perfect wave but a perfect wave for longboarding, an ideal canvas for nose walking etc.
Tell me it is not the gorgeous Stepford Wife to South Africa’s handsome Cape St. Francis.
To that end, the WSL will host the Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic at the world’s best longboard wave beginning today, airing live tomorrow.
I asked Devon Howard, professional longboarding’s commissioner, what made it so fine and he responded, “I think the way that wave works makes so much sense for the longboard. It favors a horizontal surfing as opposed to up and down, or top to bottom.”
Don’t agree? Think otherwise? We will be airing live tomorrow and can discuss in the comments.
More as the story develops.