The World Surf League released its 2023 Championship Tour schedule but days ago unleashing a torrent of vitriol so full-throated, so purely grouchy from fans of professional surfing to make even the grumpiest of surf journalists blush. The issues twofold. Holding Final’s Day at Lower Trestles yet again thereby gifting the world’s greatest little wave surfer Filipe Toledo his second crown, yes, but mostly the reintroduction of Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch Pro.
The tank hosted two contests before, much to the chagrin of… everyone. While very fun to surf, it is absolutely painful to watch, pure torture, and fans of professional surfing rejoiced when it was disappeared last year.
But it is back and rage.
RAGE against that machine.
Being serious about my craft, though, the aforementioned grumpy surf journalism, I purposed to find but one positive perspective about the Surf Ranch Pro, digging through hundreds upon hundreds of comments, thousands even, on the World Surf League’s usually tepid platform, on CEO Erik Logan’s, on Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer’s but nothing.
Not one ray of light.
So you can imagine my utter shock when visiting BeachGrit’s lightly-trafficked Instagram page, earlier today, I stumbled upon the one, the only, happy take.
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Joao Luna, who writes under the name jpluna05, penned, “I don’t get all the buzz about the surf ranch. Such a great place for the fans, sponsors and much more. It’s just one stop there FFS! The pool can be such an important part of social inclusion, especially in places that are miles far from the ocean, but it needs to be much publicized to make an impact for thousands in the future. Now, I believe the format can be changed to add a bit more action to it. Some behaviours like a local trying to keep their beach point untouchable. Losers.”
Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch Pro a beacon of ethical responsibility!
I cannot wait for the World Surf League’s Logan and Miley-Dyer to stumble upon this message and broadcast it right.
Planting justice in the desert.