Aug 27, 2018

Slater Surf Ranch Update

Nolan Hall -- who is obviously well-connected in the surfing world -- got a chance to surf the artificial wave in Lemoore, CA over the weekend. Nolan's a mat rider, so naturally I was curious how a mat would go in that kind of wave. (Frankly, I'm skeptical due to the odd energy disbursement of the wave. This video shows the odd currents going up the face...)

As it turns out, he got skunked!  Details here...

The lifeguard dudes that work it said someone rode a mat there once and slid into a big pipe on the side of the wave. So they haven’t let people ride em since that. 

There was also 4 people in my group, and we only got to surf it for an hour. So it was tough to get in to swap out gear without losing waves. I think we might get to go out for a whole day towards the end of the year. I wanna try it on a mat, tho. 

The wave is super tricky, it’s pretty flat, and then when it barrels, it goes mega fast. But hopefully by the time we get to go for the whole day, I can kick into one!

I don’t know who the other mat rider was, but it seems like they weren’t smart enough to bail their mat. It’s hard to explain the set up of the wave pool. But they must have gotten caught behind the whitewash, and then blasted up on the the side bank, and just kept holding on, and slide into the poll. I don’t know why they wouldn’t have just let go of the mat. It’s strange



I passed along this report to a number of our good friends, and this is what they said...

-------------------------- the person who hit the pipe ruined it for everyone who rides a mat? If the waiver is signed, and money is exchanged, what’s the big deal? I feel it comes down to knowledge of the craft your riding, and your ability, no different than riding a board. Fins must be used on a wave like that! UDT’s would be my choice for getting in early and sticking my stalls and turns. There are lots of standup surfers who ride mats as a second craft, and I feel mats take at least as much (I feel more) wave knowledge and dedication to ride competently in big surf. It does look like a really technical wave, and it’s hard to tell how long the sections are when watching it on TV.

Rob Pollard 


I would love to "slide into a big pipe on the side of the wave".  Remember the other Ranch had pipes.  It had walls. Now it has lawyers and Producers.  Maybe they can buy Kelly's Surf Ranch, and leave us the old waves.

Aloha, Guerdon Smith


Sliding into a big pipe doesn’t sound so bad… ;)

Glenn Sakamoto


Howzit? Could that report be another symptom of the whole world going mad? I want to teleport back to 1972 when a $40 board, a $5 bike and bare feet was more than enough to be fully satisfied. (At least I'm still taking the bus or hitch hiking.) 
Have A Happy Day, Pahl Dixon


I saw some bodysurf footage that was good too. 
I think on "soft" mode it would be doable on mat.


I’m sure the mats would keep up once the gears were shifted.  Sometimes you get hammered when it barrels right off the bat.  If you got your initial turn in, I think you’d make it.  I’d love to give it a try.  

Kenneth Hughes


What stops you from just telling lifeguards to fuck off? 

Doesn't motivate me too want to do it though. But, if they keep wannabe Slaters out of my way then I'm happy 😂

Graeme Webster


SURF MATTS: super fast.  "slid into a big pipe on the side of the wave." rad

Jeremy Grosvenor


 It makes me feel better if we don't call the pools "surfing," rather a ''surfing-like product.''



Big imagination here. ‘Haunted by the “vision” of "someone rode a mat there once and slid into a big pipe on the side of the wave.

Nolan’s description of the wave is very interesting. Possibly more accurate than many have written.
We love and dream of natural waves. While this concept is certainly fascinating, I’d rather paddle out into the wild, free ocean to surf than ride in a wave pool.

Cher Pendarvis


To Cher's point, about the various descriptions of this "wave," here's a good perspective from Nick Carroll...


Anonymous said...

dont let go of your mat. protect the mad. dive deep with the mat. the mat is all you have. dont let the mat venture into unknown perils alone.

Anonymous said...

Just watched the WSL-Event for a few minutes.

Was intrigued by all the media available, but the noise of the "freight-train that generates the wave is already a total turn-off for me.

(further rant deleted.)