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Close READER POLL 2017
We promise this won't (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

The Many Faces Of Waco, Texas

Cheyne Magnussen calls Waco’s newest attraction “The People’s Wavepool” and for good reason.

Located at Waco’s Barefoot Ski Ranch, the American Wave Machines pool costs $60 to ride for an hour, in which time you'll catch around 15 waves. Even more noteworthy, BSR’s season pass (which includes unlimited pool access) costs only $1,000.

Well, it did anyways.

After BSR released its first official clips of the pool last Saturday, season passes started selling like crazy, to the point that BSR owner Stuart Parsons had to cut them off.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to continue the season passes moving forward,” he told Stab, “but for the people who got them this year, well, I guess they’re gonna enjoy it!”

He’s not kidding.

According to Cheyne, season pass members have been calling up BSR and booking sessions for every single hour of the day.

It’s already paid for, so why not?


BSR can pump out three of these in a row, every 60 seconds, eight hours per day. Assuming you took a one hour break and that 15 people are sharing the lineup at any given time, you'd be able to catch 84 waves in a day. But if you're crafty and pick up the scraps that people fall on or miss, that number will likely triple.

Photography Sam Moody

Yesterday BSR opened its doors to the season pass holders, who came out in force to test their new surfing playground.

Stab was on site to document the moment, which featured far too many missed waves, mostly Slater Designs, Channel Islands, and Firewire crafts, countless snakings and drop-ins, and one near-fight in the lineup.

This single-day study has proven that, even with the promise of perfectly formed waves arriving at a consistent rate, surfers will still paddle over top of one another to fuel selfish desires.

Like troglodytes we are!

Below are a few of the faces you might find camped out at the pool all day, everyday, when visiting Waco.


DJ Tantrum, 38 (but feels 23), lives in Houston, works as a lab technician and DJ

Photography Sam Moody

DJ Tantrum: “I live in Houston and surf maybe once every two months, which is why I got frustrated enough to get a season pass at BSR.

I try to surf near home when there’s waves, and go to NLand every once in a while, but it’s just hard to get in the water with work and everything else.

I might only be able to get here a few times a year, but to me it’s totally worth it.”


Juliana Bisson, 20, lives in Waco, works as a BSR lifeguard and studies at a local community college

Photography Sam Moody

Juliana: “This is actually my first time lifeguarding!

I saw the listing and BSR is like my favorite place, so I just sent in my app and got approved.

I’d also never surfed before, but Cheyne taught us basics so that we could help out visitors.

I wanna use the opportunity of working here to get really good at surfing, so eventually I’m able to surf the big waves like the pros.”


Michael Klein, 38, lives in Austin, works in PR and runs the Austin Surf Club

Photography Sam Moody

Michael: “I joined the Austin Surf Club about three years ago, when I moved here moved from Newport Beach.

A lot of Californians moved over during that time, because of the tech bubble, so we actually have 2,000 regular members who love to surf, wakesurf, and our newest thing is Jetsurfing.

I think Austin is the Landlocked Surfing Capital of the World, and this pool will just help to strengthen that claim. We’re gonna find a whole new breed of surfer coming out of these pools.”


Thomas Ellwood, 28, lives in Houston, works at a wakeboard cable park (and was by far the best surfer in the pool today)

Photography Sam Moody

Thomas: "I don’t get to surf much around home, but I’m fortunate enough to travel to Central America a few times a year.

This pool is gonna change everything though – I had more fun surfing here for an hour than I would all year in Texas.

I’ll be up here every week, so long as the pool doesn’t destroy all of my surfboards!*”


Chelsea Boone, 25, lives in Houston, works in marketing for Power Crunch protein bars

Photography Sam Moody

Chelsea: “This reminds me of real wave, whereas NLand is more like boat wake. I’ll be coming back here as much as I can, which is probably twice a month when I'm driving from Houston to Dallas for work.

$1,000 is cheaper than a surf trip, and I can come here whenever I want, so buying the season pass was a no-brainer.”


Doug Coors, ageless, lives in Colorado, runs a small (but burgeoning) craft beer company**.

Photography Sam Moody

Doug: “I really like the wave! It’s definitely very different from NLand, but it’s fun. I enjoy the power here, it feels like I’m surfing an ocean wave. I just wish it was a little longer.”


*Thomas crushed his rail and blew out a fin box on the shallow concrete bottom, which we’re starting to recognize as a very real trend at BSR. If you plan on visiting, make sure to bring at least one backup stick.

**Wanting to get a portrait of Doug for this feature, we found him after the session hanging with the other pool guys, drinking – you guessed it – a Coors Light. He refused our photo request but seemed like an all-around chilled fella, even when I almost killed him with my surfboard. 

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