World’s Best Surfers Warmup at Kelly Slater’s Wavepool (Watch)

This weekend, the universal surf world gaze will shift from the ocean to Cow Country (Lemoore), CA, some 100 miles from the coast, for the Surf Ranch Pro.

Kelly Slater’s wavepool, aka the Surf Ranch, will host the sixth stop on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour – the one-and-only freshwater, manmade wave location on the elite surfing circuit. And so, who’s looking good ahead of the event?

In the days leading up to the contest, the world’s best surfers had the chance to warmup on the wave, some of them surfing it for the very first time.

Here’s some tidbits from the warmup sessions:

Joao Chianca (current CT rankings leader; first-timer in the pool):

“I’m just really happy to be here, actually. My legs were kinda shaky on the first wave on the ramp. I got the best reference right there [Filipe Toledo].”

Jack Robinson (back from injury!):

“I’m good, super happy to be back. Just step by step right now. Ready to build back into the year. It feels like a fresh season, having a little time off. I’m energized. My legs are good. I’m probably better than I’ve ever been, so it’s good that it happened right before this.”

Gabriel Medina (former event winner):

“It’s so amazing to be back in Lemoore. It’s such a good wave. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. The legs are whirly. It feels good to get a few waves and warmup for the contest.”

Matthew McGillivray (South African workhorse):

“My legs are burning. They’re not holding up. I don’t think you can train for this other than surfing the pools. I’m super stoked to be in the pool.”

Cole Houshmand (event wildcard):

“Pretty speechless still to be honest. I slept maybe like five hours in the last two days. I think I got from my doorstep in Oz to the pool in less than 24 hours. First CT. Just gonna enjoy it, and go for it. There’s no holding back really.”

Of course, there’s a handful of competitors not featured in the quick edit; but just because they didn’t make the clip, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking spicy this year.


The Surf Ranch Pro runs May 27th-28th.


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