WSL Surf Ranch
September 6th- 9th
The WSL has introduced another surf location on the pro tour for the 2018 season. Kelly Slater’s artificial Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California is the eighth event on the Championship Tour. The Surf Ranch Pro kicks off this week starting on the 7th of September and finishing on the 9th AEST.
The Surf Ranch will provide perfect conditions with three foot waves breaking left or right throughout the first two days of competition. The Ranch can make artificial waves reaching at a maximum height of 6.5 feet, highly unlikely that you see the waves reach that height especially for the first event ever held at this location.
The Surf Ranch Pro is a dream come true for the competitors, the perfect wave conditions provide less stress on direction of swell, wind speed, board decisions, wave priorities and if it's a right or left break. As the surfers have been practising at the Ranch for over a week now they are now getting familiar on how to tackle this wave. It will be interesting to see how they time are barrel rides and turns and when they will take to the air.
After taking out another Teahupoo title Gabriel Medina is now favourite to win this upcoming event at the Ranch. Medina defeated Aussie Owen Wright in the final to claim his first Tahiti win since 2014. He now sits in second position behind fellow countrymen Filipe Toledo in the tour rankings. Medina has now made it through the heats in the past three consecutive events and has only missed two final appearances for the year.
Julian Wilson is still third in the current standings but a round two loss to wildcard Tikanui Smith came to a surprise to the surfing community and now needs a solid appearance at the Surf Ranch to keep his third position in the rankings.
One of the biggest movers in the standings is the runner up from the Teahupoo event. Owen Wright finally started his 2018 campaign and is now ranked sixth as he was outside the top ten prior to that event. The big lefty shows plenty of power in his turns but the question is can he match the rest of the field who will take to the air at the Surf Ranch?
Once again injured world champ John John Florence will miss the Surf Ranch event and is to be replaced by Brazilian Wiggolly Dantas who will appear in his third event for the year with his best finish at Teahupoo and J-Bay making it to the third round. Miguel Pupo is also called up and will replace the injured Caio Ibelli.
The wildcards have also been decided for the Ranch Pro with Australian Mikey Wright getting another chance as he is currently ranked 11th in the rankings. Quite unbelievable since he is only granted to compete through the wildcard system.
Japanese Hirotoshi Ohara is the second wildcard to be granted his chance to compete at The Surf Ranch.
Make sure you tune into all the action from Lemoore, California for the first ever event held at Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch.
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