Surf’s Up Near Fresno. Yes, Fresno.
A manmade wave draws international surf stars this spring.
- CategoryLife Outside
In May, the best surfers from around the world will converge on California and compete on the finest waves in the state. No, not Mavericks. Not Huntington Beach. South of Fresno. Yes, that Fresno.
According to the New York Times, “Kelly Slater, the 11-time world champion considered the best of all time, spent 10 years working with a USC aerospace engineer to design a perfect wave, peeling 700 yards along a recontoured water ski lake. Videos of the wave, with hollow barrel sections and open faces to do aerials and cutbacks, have captivated the surfing world since the first one appeared in December 2015. But only a select few have been invited to see it, much less ride it.
“A wave of that shape sits in the subconsciousness of every surfer in the world,” longtime Surfer magazine editor Steve Hawk told The Times in 2016. “That wave is exactly the fantasy wave I drew on the margins of my notebooks when I was in high school.”
Slater’s manmade waves live at The Surf Ranch, an artificial pool that will host a contest for the World Surf League in May. During that event, the facility will be open to the public, “honoring the culture of surfing—food, music, beverage, art and special guests will all be on site for enjoyment.”
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