The Most Boring Contest Brought Forth The Most Interesting Equipment - Stab Mag
That ain't your typical thruster. Photo: Pat Nolan/WSL

The Most Boring Contest Brought Forth The Most Interesting Equipment

What were surfers riding at the Ranch?

Words by Schuyler Allen

[See how Filipe’s winning board won Stab In The Dark With Taj Burrow here, and watch an everyman test and review it here.]

Surf Ranch: The most monotonous surf contest known to man.

Or as …Lost Surfboard’s Matt Biolas puts it, “A test track for nerds like me to obsess over.” And isn’t that exactly what this wave is, a test track?

After years of being hands off and letting his stepdad handle his boards, Gabriel Medina has been getting more curious about his equipment this year. He was seen testing Futures fins at this event. Photo: Pat Nolan/WSL

Aside from the occasional crumble, the only flaws at the Surf Ranch Pro came from the surfers and/or their equipment. Wax seemed to be a point of obsession in the 115 degree heat. Seeking to create a spark in the desert heat, surfers experimented with fin and board design more than they would at any other event. 

Most notably, Filipe Toledo took the win riding his Sharp Eye Inferno 72 model coated in the Dark Arts construction with the FCS H4 quad set-up. Let that sink in. When’s the last time you saw Filipe run an unorthodox quad in a contest? 

And Filipe wasn’t the only one putting the Dark Arts construction to the test. His Sharp Eye teammate Kanoa Igarashi rode his magic Dark Arts board to a 3rd place finish. And if Jack Robinson would have actually rode the SITD board he was spotted warming up on, well, maybe he would have made some heats. 

We can also assume that JJF would have been on the Dark Arts brigade if he wasn’t injured. 

Well, that’s something. Photo: Quobba

Ciao Ibelli tried for his point of difference by riding Quobba fins, which have a small foil on both sides of the base and claim to minimize turbulent drag found around all standard fins. Slater was caught switching his fins from a thruster on the rights to a quad on the lefts in search for more speed on his backhand. His Dan Mann design looked fast and loose and fit into the pool’s unique transition perfectly—that is, until he caught his inside rail and watched as the end section rifle off without him on his last left.

The most entertaining surfer to watch, however, was Yago Dora. He dropped the two highest scores on the left, a 9.5 and a 9.73, and was the only surfer to do 3 reverses on one wave. Flexing all 5 feet and 10 inches of his …Lost polyurethane Sub Driver 2.0. 

So, it wasn’t all weird equipment at the Ranch.

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