Who Were The Most Recent Kelly Slater Wave Pool Guests?
Plus: Who’s the only person in the world to have turned down an invite?
Now that the initial euphoria has worn off around the KS wavepool, some interesting rumours have surfaced about that pretty piece of water in Lemoore. When it first landed, an invite was the most exclusive and desirable in the world of surf – something very few would have the privilege of enjoying. But as you know, Kelly recently offered up golden tickets for two very lucky recipients through dream-maker, Omaze. Spend A Weekend At Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch! really is the Willy Wonka ticket of surf in this decade (sweet baby Yeezus, rest Gene Wilder’s soul!). Which marks the first official time that a non-pro (or non-pro affiliate) will be granted access to the pool.
And because we only ever care about who was first, like Taj Burrow, who turned down a spot on the world tour way back in the day: Trav Logie becomes a world-first with regards to Kelly’s wave. The WSL’s WQS commissioner is the first surfer in the world who has turned down an invitation to surf the wave. Trav was invited on one of the opening days when Josh Kerr and Steph Gilmore danced across the robotic right. In his defence, it turns out Trav was between OS trips and had less than 24 hours downtime between events in LA, not wanting to drive the eight-hour round trip. And, anecdotal evidence would suggest that he’d be the last in line to ride a wave. So, he stayed put. Regardless, the title is still his: He said no to the most prestigious invitation in surfing (let’s be honest, none of us really want an invitation to The Eddie). Says Kelly: “Two days after I put it online, when it had soaked in a little bit, I got hundreds – if not more – of requests, from friends and people I didn’t know, to surf the thing.” Guess who wasn’t one of ‘em? Dear Trav! Maybe if it were a left, then Trav would’ve done the eight-hour round trip.
Speaking of the pool, notice how some waves are bumpy while others are super clean? And, waves Kelly are riding are pure sheet glass as if crafted by the hand of god? There’s a reason for that. If you’ve ever surfed in a wave pool, whether it’s the Canaries or Kuala Lumpur, you’ll know that it’s always about that first wave of the day. That kind of stillness takes a very long time to reform. Much like a backyard swimming pool, it takes a long time to lose any bump after first diving in. Not a few minutes, not even an hour, an entire evening of stillness. Imagine then, the amount of power it takes to create a wave. The bumpy waves you might have seen in the pool videos (think: Josh Kerr, Nat Young or Gabs Medina) are when you wait only eight minutes from the previous wave. To get a cleaner wave you need to wait 14 minutes. Even then, it’s not sheet glass. So, what about the waves that Kelly rides? Apparently, the first wave of every day has to be ridden by Kelly Slater. Which is, y’know, really quite fair since he spent 10 years and millions of dollars building the thing.
So, who are some of the pool’s most recent guests? If you follow Mick Fanning, photographer Corey Wilson, Paul Fisher, Ace Buchan or Yadin Nicol on Instagram, you’ll probably have seen via the magic of IG stories that they formed a small group who went to enjoy the Lemoore pool today, accompanied by a customary trip to In N’ Out. Considering Mick was just knocked from Lowers, which he said will officially be his last event for the year, this was a very, very good way to spend the first day of his five-ish month holiday. Nothing less than Mr Fanning deserves.
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