Stab Magazine | A Grommet's Guide To Surfing In Texas
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A Grommet’s Guide To Surfing In Texas

A precocious 14-year-old’s take on the Stab High experience. 

style // Jul 15, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ed.’s Note: During the madness and mayhem surrounding Stab High, we were briefly introduced to a precocious young goofyfoot named Kaiser Auberlen. The 14-year-old son of one of Vans’ main men in Hawaii, it was Kaiser’s first time at a wave pool, and the kid’s excitement and enthusiasm was palpable—as it would be for any grom, surrounded by his heroes, in the middle of Nowheresville West Texas. So when he told us he was really into writing, we asked him to have a crack at penning a piece about his experience. 

Hi, my name is Kaiser Auberlen, I am a 14-year-old surfer from the North Shore and a VANS team rider. 

Less interested in battling in amateur comps, I would rather travel and search for perfect waves, so when I got the call up from the crew at VANS to see if I wanted to go to Texas, I was super psyched. 

I knew exactly where we were going: It would be my first time going to a wave pool.  

Arriving at the Dallas Airport, you could tell by the looks on peoples’ faces that they were surprised to see surfers in Texas.  After the two hour drive to Waco we arrived at BSR Surf Resort just in time to see the last three-foot peeling left-hander of the day. 

It was perfect, light offshore, green and grinding all the way down the line.  It was amazing to see perfect waves in the middle of nowhere in a pool. 

I was frothing to surf the next day.

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Early birds at BSR: Kaiser and Geoff Auberlen.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

I woke up the next morning bright and early, ready to be the first one out at 7am. The pool itself is not very big, maybe ¾ the size of a football field with a wall on one side and a man-made beach on the other. It’s pretty amazing how you can surf a right and then just go to the other end of the wall and surf a left. This can happen within a matter of minutes, with about 10 different combinations of waves they can create.  

The four main waves are: Lowers, The Wedge, Double Barrel and The Air Wave

Lowers is the main wave most people surf. It comes in sets of three and offers rippable sections for nice turns and some little barrels.

The Wedge is a single wave set were you take off behind the peak and backdoor a sick wedging barrel.

JW19TX1D1431

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

The Double Barrel, also known as The Indo Wave, has a fast barrel on takeoff and then a deeper barrel at the second section. (As I quickly found out, if you go for the barrel on the first section, it’s hard to make the second barrel).

The Air Wave comes in two-wave sets. It has an easy approach into a hefty oncoming section which pops up really fast, takes a bit to get used to, and for me was very different than anything I’d encountered in the ocean.

 

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Photography

Jimmy Wilson

The park also has what they say is the world’s longest lazy river, which is an hour long and seems to attract a lot of large people that drink a lot of alcohol… It has some crazy, gnarly slides. The slides look like an Olympic ski jump and that sends you sky high. 

The first day was awesome! I surfed for hours and caught too many waves to count—all the types of waves, but my favorites were the Wedge Left and the Air Wave left. (Remember to take off close to the wall and use the numbers as a reference.  Don’t worry about missing waves as you will get plenty. That’s the beauty of the wave pool, you can catch so many different types of waves in one session.)

The second day was meant to be a down day. I was informed I had three options: check in every hour to try and get in on a public session; ride in the lazy river with all the big drunk Texans; or launch off the Royal Flush like a human cannonball.

Lucky enough after checking in for five hours and not getting in a session, I was fortunate to get a call from Eli Hanneman right as we were leaving. He had tweaked his knee and gave me his spot in a public session he had reserved. I was so stoked! (Thanks Eli, you are a legend).  After surfing, we topped off our day with some Texas barbecue at Rudy’s. It was sooo good—smoked turkey!

 

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Kaiser boosting, Tosh Tudor psyching.

Photography

Courtesy Kaiser.

It was great to be there in Waco with the VANS team, surfing with Joel and Tosh Tudor, Alex Knost, Harry Bryant, Tanner G, Jett Schilling, Nathan Florence and Nathan Fletcher. I got some good tips from Harry Bryant and Nathan Fletcher on how to approach the Air Wave (wait until you see the splash on the wall, draw out to the bottom and send it towards the beach). 

We also got to surf a night session. I’ve never surfed at night before. It was so sick!!!

 

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Night surfing, deserves a very loud night. Kaiser stalling for the wedge under the stadium lights.

Photography

Courtesy Kaiser Auberlen

I was lucky enough to be there for the Stab High event. It was by far the best contest I have ever seen. Watching everyone push the limits of aerial surfing was crazy. All the surfers were incredible, but the judo straight airs from Eithan, the corrupt flips from Kevin, and the board control of Chippa really stood out.

The guys were all really supportive of each other when they rode out of an air and it seemed like there was no pressure. They were just having fun, as it should be.

After the event was over a massive Texas storm rolled in on Waco. Tents went flying into the pool and people were bailing out of the resort really quick. We decided to chill for a bit before adventuring out into the lightning and thunder of Texas. We drove through the rough rainstorms and luckily made it to our hotel. It was one of the most amazing and scary things I’ve ever seen.

Looking back on the trip I’m super thankful to VANS for inviting me to be there for the event and surf the wave pool. It was one of the most fun surf trips I’ve ever had and I was definitely surfed out. It’s amazing how you can travel around the world for surfing and still have the most surreal experience in the middle of America.

 

 

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Kaiser in the control tower at BSR, during one of the “best weekends of his life.”

Photography

Geoff Auberlen

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