The First Time JJF Visited The GOAT Ranch - Stab Mag
No one disputes how fun wavepools are to surf. Only, how boring they are to watch. The Surf Ranch CT event was axed after fetching the lowest viewership of any event on the 2021 tour schedule. Photo by Todd Glasser

The First Time JJF Visited The GOAT Ranch

When wavepools mesmerized.

cinema // May 18, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Remember those first clips of the Surf Ranch?


KSWC had successfully brought to life the dreamy cartoon waveforms etched into the margin of schoolbooks after a decade of secret R&D. Matt Warshaw, the prolific surf scribe and editor of the encyclopedia of surfing went as far as to say “there are now two eras – before Kelly’s wave and after Kelly’s wave.”

In 2006 Kelly first met up with Adam Fincham, a British amateur surfer and aerospace engineer with a specialization in geophysical fluid dynamics, who later became the head scientist at KSWC. In 2015 they unveiled their first prototype in Lemoore, California, arresting the world’s attention with 45-second barreling waves courtesy of a unique system of hydrofoils, gutters, truck tires and bottom contours.

It is safe to say that since then, the awe they once invoked has faded, even turned hostile for many for a myriad of reasons, including but not limited to, their environmental, social and political consequences for surf culture.

This clip was shot in 2018 (hence the )( stickers) and was John’s first visit to the GOAT pool. Not much about it wave has changed since then.  

Weird that.


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