Stab Magazine | WSL Opens KS Wavepool To Public For 2018 Founders Cup Event

'Vacation Presented By Monster Energy' Is Live Now


WSL Opens KS Wavepool To Public For 2018 Founders Cup Event

Get yo tickets!

news // Feb 27, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Like a civilian pawn of the Reich, I’ve become conditioned to anticipate and mindlessly praise the WSL’s bi-weekly press releases. Last time it was something about Hawaii, and I was like “Yeah!”. The time before that it was something about Keramas and I was like “Hell yeah!”. This time it’s about wave pools, and specifically the first-ever public event at Kelly Slater’s Wavepool (running between May 5-6), and I’m like “Oh, yeah that’s nice.”

From the WSL:

The WSL Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold is the world’s first opportunity to experience the magic of Kelly Slater’s creation in person.

Get ready for unbelievable surfing, amazing vantage points, live music, delicious food, and a historic sports experience like no other.

Come See the Best in the World

Twenty-five of the world’s best surfers will compete on nation-based teams for the first time in WSL history. Check out the lineup of team captains.

Team format

Each team will feature five surfers, two women and three men. Come experience history and support your favorite surfers in Lemoore.

The contest will adopt a team format and feature five powerhouse squads: USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and World (which conceivably will be comprised of the “scraps” from the rest of the surfing nations…like the hot dog of surf teams). Thus far only team captains have been chosen. 

 Screen Shot 2018 02 26 at 8.58.08 AM

Screen Shot 2018 02 26 at 8.58.25 AM

This idea of nation-based teams is interesting on a few levels. Is the WSL trying to create an innovative competitive model to help drive in cash? Are they heeding the advice of Mr. Sean Doherty, who recently posited that geo-based team events are the most entertaining of all surf events? Or could it be that the WSL is using this event as pre-Olympic propaganda, so they can show Fernando Aguierre and the IOC how a wavepool-based competition is the ultimate option for the 2020 Olympic Games?

Yeah, I think thats most likely. 

“As someone who has competed in probably every competition format there is, the Founders’ Cup region-versus-region, co-ed format is really intriguing to me. I think May is going to be a great showcase for the world’s best surfers at the facility,” said Slater in the WSL’s press statement.

Then there’s the spectacle of the show itself. 

“This technology has captured the imagination of the global surfing community and created a number of new opportunities for the WSL,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, in a prepared WSL statement.

It’s these “new opportunities” that are important to stay mindful of. The WSL is billing the Founders Cup as a “festival” that will not only feature surfing acrobats, but also art shows, rock bands, beverages, and even food! After all, Michelob Ultra (the event sponsor) goes so well with food. 

This move somewhat verifies rumors that we’ve been hearing for some months that the WSL is looking to build their schedule into more of a festival atmosphere around their contests. Our guess is that as the Surf Ranch tech proliferates around the world, expect to see more of the same.

And here’s where the WSL is hoping and praying you’ll break out your credit card or checkbook. Tickets for the contest officially go on sale on March 12… but you can always pre-order if you give the WSL your email address. No word yet on how much they’ll cost.

For the average surf consumer, this event will be nothing short of a must-see spectacle. And depending on ticket prices, Stab might just offer surfing’s middle-to-lower class the option to watch this event from a cheaper and more historically-salient viewpoint, that being from a scissor-lift just outside the gates. 

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See you in Lemoore!


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