Surfing Without a Beach?

Emma Streich, Reporter

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For the first time, a surf competition was held on a man made wave. The event took place this past weekend at 11-time world champion Kelly Slater’s mysterious Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California – about 30 miles from Fresno and around two hours from the nearest beach.

This event was the first time spectators were allowed to view the “mythical facility that has been somewhat of a mystery until recently” according to SFGATE news.

Slater decided to build this surf ranch in an effort to have the perfect wave everytime one surfed.

The five person teams, three men and two women, went head to head in the Founders’ Cup of Surfing. There were teams from Brazil, Argentina, USA, Europe, and World (a team made up of people from unrepresented areas).

Each surfer gets to ride two waves per round, one coming from the left and one from the right, the judges score on a 10 point scale.

Round 1 and 2 were on Saturday and the 3 teams with the highest points moved onto round 3 on Sunday.

Moving on was team Australia, team World, and team USA.

The World team, made up of Michael Bourez, Bianca Buitendag, Jordy Smith, Kanoa Igarashi and Paige Hareb, won the competition in round 3.  

According to the Fresno Bee the wave that the surfers rode was 6.5 feet tall. The wave was shot across a 2,000 foot long and 500 foot wide man made lake that was originally built for water skiing.

For those who want to ride the wave, the World Surfing League (WSL) was selling $9,500 VIP tickets for entrance, a one hour session on the wave, and a professional videographer.

While these types of surf parks are uncommon and expensive for now, one could see them becoming popular in the future. Especially in cities like Fresno who are several hours from the beach but are filled with people who enjoy surfing.



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Surfing Without a Beach?