Stab Magazine | How Mason Ho And Blair Conklin Put Four Never-Before-Seen Waves On The Waco Menu

How Mason Ho And Blair Conklin Put Four Never-Before-Seen Waves On The Waco Menu

Mason and Blair create synthetic dreams in “A Wedge Affair” 

Words by Stab

Thirty-minutes.

That’s how long Willy McFarland—the maestro behind American Wave Machines’ (AMW) Perfect Swell Technology—said they could take the concept of a wave and produce a ridable version. AMW and Perfect Swell, for those unfamiliar, is the overarching company and technology that successfully put a recreational surf pond on the map, and in one fell swoop, erased Nland and Wavegarden from surfing’s collective mind. Suddenly surfers were packing their bags and heading to Waco, Texas. The pool in Melbourne re-wrote that script earlier this week, however, we’re not here to talk about that. 

We’re here to introduce our new film, A Wedge Affair, starring Mason Ho and Blair Conklin. The concept is to take the brain of Mason Ho, have him sketch out his “dream wedges,” and along with skim/soft/boog aficionado Mr. Conklin, bring them to life in Waco. However, our dates clashed with a near-half-off day rate discount offered by BSR Surf Resort. We were late to the booking party. Because of this, instead of spending one or two full days in the pool, we spent eight total hours (two nights, two mornings) attempting to create never-before-seen waves. 

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“We ain’t coming out… of this barrel… or this house!”

Photography

Tom Carey

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Blair clicks his cute little foamie with control and aplomb!

Photography

Tom Carey

From the time the Waco pool—and specifically its air ramp—unveiled their technology during the first Surf Ranch Pro, we’ve been giddy fanboys. After their reveal sucked the methane out of Kings County, we sent our resident pool enthusiast, Michael “Mikey” Ciaramella, straight from the cow-dung pit of Lemoore to test the Waco waters. When we saw the potential of the ramp, our surf contest held mostly in the air (Stab High) was born. And while Kelly’s pool’s perfection and intangibility for the average punter reigned high, the Waco pond solidified its space as the most fun, approachable and sustainable pool on the market. The tub has been open to the public for two years and business is booming. 

But as the wavepool arms race rages on and, with the introduction of the Wavegarden’s URBNSURF in Melbourne, is reaching its boiling point, the folks at Perfect Swell wanted to display just how malleable and functional their system is. This is where we—being Mason Ho, Blair Conklin, Reef and Stab—come in. 

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Electric slides are served best in Central Texas in the dark of night.

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Blair claims it’s all in the backfoot, we claim it’s all in the top mop.

Photography

Tom Carey

This brings us back to the “thirty-minute” claim Willy whispered in my ear a few weeks before we met him and Miquel Lazaro (the second half to the Perfect Swell masterpiece) in Central Texas. To be frank, I didn’t believe him. The claim seemed outlandish, and I was worried that this project wouldn’t come to fruition. But Willy spoke of the dirty thirty with such conviction that we organized Mason Ho and requested that he drew up three waves he’d like to see in the pool. Then we rang Blair, who, in addition to being the best skimboarder in the world, is also one helluva surfer. He got the public-voted wildcard into Stab High back in 2018 and surfed the event on a sub-five-foot foamie. The 24-year-old graduated from Berkeley a few years ago and has found himself on a path of semi-alternative surfing. And, goodness did he impress in Waco during the filming of this feature. Watch above for a few alley-oops that’ll make your knees jiggle. 

In the eight hours Mason, Blair, Willy, and Miquel designed, tuned, tested, and cooked up four waves that you can now order on the Waco Menu. One of which may just turn into the air section at Stab High 2020. 

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No GoPro signage was hurt in the making of this short.

Photography

Tom Carey

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“People are gonna fold themselves on that thing!”

Photography

Tom Carey

The waves are: 

Wave #1. The Whacko Whacko Wedge

The Whacko Whacko is a wonky two-for-one that, instead of hugging the wall as every wave currently served up by American Wave Machines, breaks towards the shore. There’s a left and a right. Both barrel on the takeoff and wedge into a slight hip or spine. The spine is novel and to 97-percent of surfers, would be the end of the wave. However, Mase and Blair occupy surfing’s upper echelon and utilized the spine as a ramp, attempting to air into the residual wave behind it which occasionally turned into a little tube. 

Wave #2. The W.A.C.O Wedge (We. Ain’t. Coming. Out) 

This is the most familiar of the waves as it’s essentially just a bigger version of the original wedge. This version you can get deeper on and take off behind the peak for a fun backdoor vision. Mason wanted to name it the We Ain’t Coming Out, which if you’re familiar with the Branch Davidians, who were based out of Waco, actually has a bit more sinister backstory than the cute “we don’t want to come out of this tube” sentiment for which it stands. 

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Photography

Tom Carey

Wave #3. The Butchered Barrel 

The Butchered Barrel was a bit of a flop. Initially, we were trying to take the Freak Peak and tweak the massive ramp into a massive tube. Instead it turned into a bit of a skateparky spine. The boys had fun on it, but we used it the least and that’s because it just didn’t work all that well. If you’re at BSR and have the pool booked out, we recommend sending one of these to an unsuspecting friend. Or enemy. 

Wave #4. The Sissy Sauce 

“You can get high as fuck on that thing,” is how Mason describes this wave. After eight hours of testing, the Sissy Sauce was our pride and joy. The ramp itself sent Blair and Mase to meteoric heights. After tweaking the landing a bit, the two were blasting huge airs and landing straight into playful little tubes. “It’s like when you call the small guy biggy,” explains Mason. “That’s how the Sissy Sauce is, but that section’s going to fold people!” The Sissy Sauce was inspired by Rudy’s Sissy Sause, which after plenty of thought and tasting we’d decided was some of the best goddamn barbecue sauce in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t believe us? Feel free to order some at that hyperlink above. 

Just to reiterate, you can now order all four of these waves when you visit BSR Surf Resort. If you’re there for a surf, try one out. 

Hit play above. 

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An adorable moment starring on our stars.

Photography

Tom Carey

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