Do you know what happens when science and a surfer join hands? The results are jaw-dropping. It’s not your run-of-the-mill cattle ranch scene, no siree! Kelly Slater Surf Ranch is a one-of-a-kind surf destination where you can surf the PERFECT waves!
Kelly Slater is the guy who snagged the world champ title 11 times, starting back when he was quite young. As the surfing world was waiting to hear his comeback for the 12th time for the World Championships, a video went viral that completely shocked everyone in the surfing community.
It was not about his insane surf move, but it was about Slater’s own masterpiece. Teaming up with the brainiac Adam Finchman, Slater brought every surfer's dreams to life—a place where you can ride awesome long barrels.
Call it science or magic, Slater was the man who threw away the rule book and opted for innovation. He was able to turn a 20-acre land into a 2000-foot-long lake where he created these man-made waves that revolutionized the surfing world.
Keep reading the post to know all about Kelly Slater's amazing Surf Ranch.
Where is Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch?
Kelly Slater’s awesome wave pool is located 100 miles away from the Pacific Ocean in Lemoore, Central California. It’s not your usual surfing spot that lies in the open oceans, but rather, it’s a surfing paradise surrounded by horse ranches, barns, and fields, giving you a nice country vibe.
It's a place where you can enjoy surfing the longest barrels that will make your legs dead tired, but in a good way, of course. It's definitely a thrilling ride till the end. The best part is you can be sure to ride a good-quality wave that doesn't close unexpectedly.
How Did It All Begin?
Slater’s Wave pool is 2100 ft long and 350 ft wide. Big enough to give you the ride of your life. It’s a 3-hour drive from San Francisco or Los Angeles. Kelly Slater &Co bought this 20-acre area in 2014. Designing, engineering, and constructing Surf Ranch took a hefty $30 Million investment and a decade-long effort.
When the prototype was ready, Slater invited a few champions like Shaun White, Drew Brees, and Tony Hank, from his surfing community to give it a test drive. The first surf competition at Surf Ranch was held in September 2018.
The Science Behind The Waves
Surfers travel far and wide in search of good-quality waves. They have to check the prime conditions for surfing every time they plan to paddle out. Otherwise, it can get a bit disappointing. But at Surf Ranch, the waves are always pumping.
With Slater’s surfing knowledge, scientists were able to create a wave that played both sides. Sometimes it gives surfers a spacious “face” for turn, and other times it rolls out a sweet “barrel” for those inside rides. It’s a minute-long ride.
A carefully designed metal piece, aka a hydrofoil, is attached to this contraption that’s as big as a few train cars. When this train-like thing moves, it produces a wave that rises high in this rectangular pool. The wave hits a speed of 20 mph and a height of 2 meters or 8 ft.
Using high-tech supercomputers, the contours of the lake were crafted and fine-tuned to perfection. As the wave rolls over the shaped reefs beneath the pool, its form switches up.
The huge gutters work as shock absorbers, calming down the waves and preventing too much from bouncing off the pool walls. The pool is packed with 15 M gallons of fresh water, all treated with a mix of UV and chlorine to keep things nice and clean.
At first, the place was built only for the big shots, but later, they dialed it down the notch, making sure everyone could have a blast and get a fair chance to level up. The pool is designed for surfers of all levels. It has 4 wave profiles:
WSL Certified aka CT waves – These Championship Tour waves are designed for pro surfers looking for a more challenging ride, including 2 barrelling sections and 2 performance maneuver sections.
Hero – This one’s a little slower than the CT wave, providing ease for advanced and intermediates to practice and showcase their talent.
Waikiki Wave – Great for beginners looking to catch some mellow waves (knee to waist high).
Shore Roller – It is designed for surfers who are just starting out and learning all the basics, like paddling, standing, and balancing.
What it’s like to surf Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool
Imagine walking into this wave paradise that’s as good as it gets. The surf pool sprawls out, huge and inviting. No worries about missing out on the wave; trainers are right there, ready to help you catch the perfect ride.
You’ve got choices – CT1, CT2, CT3 or CT4. Just tell them your ideal wave profile, and they’ll create one for ya. The jet ski guy also keeps you in check, tells you when the barrel is coming, and makes sure you’re on the right track.
You can experience the powerful waves, long barrels, and quick turns that’ll make your day. It’s kinda like diving into the ocean where, at first, you can’t predict the pace. But after a few goes, you’re not watching it; you’re feeling it. You can easily compare this wave to one of the finest waves in the world.
How Much Does It Cost to Ride This Amazing Wave?
The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch isn’t your typical artificial pool area. While it might be the most expensive surf session you’ll ever have, the incredible waves and unique experience make it worth the price. The cost can vary based on factors like the number of waves and whether it’s a private or public session.
Private events at the Ranch have daily rental prices ranging from $50K to $70K. Regular one-hour sessions for up to 8 surfers, with 5-6 waves each, cost around $6000-$8500. VIP sessions, accommodating up to 4 surfers riding 8-10 wavers per surfer, come with a cost of $10K-$15K.
What Else You Can Do on the Surf Ranch
Even just watching other surfers riding these beautiful waves is a great experience. Surfers can bring their own boards and surf gear or rent it from the Ranch. Aside from the waves, they have Airstreams and Lakeside cabins where you can enjoy the lodging service and mouth-watering cuisines tailored as per your given details.
Enjoy the beautiful sunset with a nice outdoor seating arrangement, or dive in a hot tub after a chilling session. Other activities you can try out are skateboarding or taking a ride on a Super 73 E-bike.
From creating killer waves to high-tech gadgets, they’ve nailed it. Who knew Kelly's input and a team of the coolest fluid mechanics geniuses could come up with such a brilliant masterpiece? Sure, the place is a bit expensive, but riding those long barrels is incredible.
These man-made waves are tailored as per the skill level of the surfer. A team of experts is there to guide you on every step and to help you enhance your surfing experience. Safety and delivering top-notch hospitality is of prime concern at the Surf Ranch.
Whether you’re riding waves or just chilling, Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch gives you a mix of thrills and chill vibes. It’s a spot every surf fan should check out for an unforgettable experience.