Put ’em in the Pool

Five surfers we want to see take apart Lemoore’s artificial playground

At this point, it's almost like clockwork. We wake up, open Instagram, and there it is: a fresh clip of another lucky ripper tube-shooting and carving Slater's man-made beauties to pieces. Everyone from Gerry Lopez to Jackson Dorian has gotten a crack at the pool, and each surfer brings their own flair to the freshwater runners. But among the icons, the World Tour standouts and the freesurfing wunderkinds who have turned their golden tickets into viral videos, there are still a few notable names who haven't gotten the nod, and we'd love to seem them in the shallow end.

ALBEE LAYER

If you need any evidence for why Layer and Lemoore are a good pairing, watch the above video clip of him launching, tweaking, and McTwisting all over the joint. Still not convinced? Consider this: the one legitimate professional surf contest held in a modern wave pool (which took place in Snowdonia, using Wavegarden tech) was handily won by Layer, and in certain circles, Layer is thought to be the second coming of Rick Kane. Don't let his exploits in oversized surf fool you—Layer is an ace in the pool.

DANE REYNOLDS

In the pantheon of modern surf gods, Reynolds stands front and center. He's spent the last decade melting brains with his freight-train-going-off-the-rails mix of blinding speed and overwhelming power. Kelly's Wave looks to pack plenty of punch, so why not match power with power and call Reynolds into the next set wave in Lemoore? That's an internet-breaking web clip if there ever was one.

ALEX KNOST

Left field, I know, but hear me out: whether you like his Lou Reed-hits-the-beach vibe or not, Knost is undeniably one of the best longboarders on Earth. Wouldn't you be at least curious to see how his wild plank swinging and noseriding would look in an artificial setting? And if logs and man-made tubes aren't good bedfellows, Knost could surely do some damage with a mid-length. Check out the clip above (surfing starts around the 4:30 mark) and you'll see what I'm talking about.

MASON HO

Does this one actually require any explanation? You've seen Mason Ho surf, right? OK, I think we're good here.

RYAN BURCH

If there's one thing the pool sessions have been lacking, it's super-weird high-performance surfboards, and no one knows how to build and rip far-out surfcraft like Burch. Ideally, he'd rock up to Lemoore with an armful of those freakishly narrow, pickle-fork nosed asymmetrical boards, and then one of his side-cut twinnies for good measure. I have no doubt that the Psychic Migrations-esque surfing that followed would be just the hit of cosmic flavor the Surf Ranch needs.