Stab Magazine | On Getting One's Money's Worth Out Of A $3.5k Public Day In Lemoore

On Getting One’s Money’s Worth Out Of A $3.5k Public Day In Lemoore

Pilot program opens KSWC to the public. 

style // Jul 20, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As I’ve already written, I recently dropped about $5k to fly the wife and myself to Waco for Stab High.

It was a very fun time, a fair trade of cash and lifespan for a couple days of debauchery in the Lone Star state. Shortly after returning home I proceeded to whimsically book a month at a hotel on Bangkok’s Khao San Road in celebration of my 39th birthday. I have a tendency to drunkenly ship random artifacts to the Stab office in Venice- packages which have included axes, machetes, frighteningly realistic air pistols, cock rings, and assorted sundries my brain cannot currently recollect. 

It didn’t used to be this way. I was, in fact, a fairly parsimonious soul for the majority of my adult life. It was a situation, more or less, born of penury. One against which my wife has waged, and won, a slow and steady war since we first met.

An early battle took place nearly two decades ago, when I returned from the first grocery shop run after we’d moved in together. 

“What’s this bucket of shit?” she’d asked, holding up a tub of Country Crock.

“It’s butter.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“Well, I mean, it’s margarine. But they’re the same thing.”

“What the fuck is margarine?”

“It’s the same as butter. It’s just, like, half the price.”

“What’s it made of?”

“I don’t know. Whipped oil or something like that.”

“It smells weird. I’m not eating this garbage. Buy real butter next time.”

Some variation of that conversation took place repeatedly over the ensuing years, my miserly resolve slowly degraded until I found myself staying at boutique hotels, supping on multi-course tasting menus, and refusing to jam my oafish carcass into economy class seats.

I still dress like a teenage hobo. My wardrobe almost solely consists of items purchased at Ross, Costco, or provided to me free of charge. Anything more would be a silk hat on a pig.

In any case, I’d truly be heaving stones from my glass home if I were to make too much fun of the upcoming Surf Ranch Early Access Program, the KSWC’s pilot program aimed at testing public access to the Lemoore site. Priced at $3500 a person (one non-surfing guest is included), it gets each person 3 hours of access to the pool, as well as food, filming, and your choice of bicycle or carver upon which to putter around when you’re not in the water. You’ll even get a chance to soak in the same hot tub used by your favorite professional surfers!

Lodging is not included.


John John will not be in attendance. Kelly will be, at least in spirit.

From the brochure:

The waves at Surf Ranch provide a unique setting to improve surfing fundamentals, techniques, and advanced abilities.

To take advantage of this ideal training platform, we’re piloting 2 days of Progression Sessions – a new experience designed to help surfers accelerate their surfing abilities in a highly effective but relaxing environment.

In addition to perfect waves for a range of abilities, Progression Sessions at Surf Ranch include experienced Surf Coaches providing in-water feedback and post-session video review, access to Paddling Coaches for stroke analysis, plus all the hospitality that Surf Ranch has to offer.

While “stroke analysis” does sound titillating, especially when delivered at the hands of a “Paddling Coach,” something tells me that I’d be sorely disappointed, given the context. What I have in mind is far more likely to be found during my upcoming trip to SE Asia. Probably at one of the short time hotels in Nana Plaza.

The Surf Ranch’s onsite lodging situation doesn’t hold much appeal. $550-$650 for a single night in an Airstream trailer might sound fun, but if you’ve ever actually stayed in a trailer you’ll know that it isn’t. It’s cramped and awful and one shudders to consider the temperature they’ll achieve during a summer day in Lemoore, when the average temp is 97 degrees. Maybe they have a/c, but considering that item is missing from the list of amenities, one guesses they don’t.

Of course, you can always just book a spot at the nearby Tachi Palace. Their site shows a two story Loft Suite (their most expensive accommodation) runs a mere $249 for the same date. You won’t get to roast s’mores at the Surf Ranch’s communal fire pit, but you will be able to gamble the night away. And you won’t be forced to deal with the Surf Ranch’s 8am checkout time.

Which is, let’s be honest, a kick in the ass. “Wake the fuck up and get the fuck out” isn’t what you want to hear on the tail end of a “luxury” experience. Which is what KSWC is aiming to be, judging by the repeated use of that particular adjective in their promotional material. Add in the fact that they’ll be providing free alcoholic libations (and a wine tasting for the intermediate/beginner crowd) and you’ve got a recipe for an early morning grumpy hangover departure.

Because at those rates I’d be getting absolutely shit-can blasted after my final session. Like, nude-in-the-hot-tub-screaming-at-security-don’t-you-know-who-I-am drunk. Tuck my penis between my legs and run around shouting, “Look at me, I’m Kelly Slater.” 

I’m sure it would all make sense in the moment, I’d regret it deeply once the sun had risen, but any shame would be tempered by the knowledge I’d truly gotten my money’s worth


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