Remember back in May when we opened our WSL apps like a bunch of giddy schoolchildren, ready to watch the futuristic surf action of the Founders’ Cup, and then immediately fell asleep phone in hand after the first two heats? Yeah, that may have been a snooze for viewers, but it probably kept Slater and the WSL up at night, as they’ve since enlisted Albee Layer and Josh Kerr to liven up the Surf Ranch before the next public exhibition.
One of the most common complaints about the Founders’ Cup was that the undeniably-impressive wave somehow seemed to offer little in terms of aerial opportunity. When you get some of the best aerial surfers in the world, from Florence to Toledo and beyond, and in an entire day of competition you only get a handful of above-the-lip maneuvers, something’s broken. And it seems like Slater and Co. believed high flyers Layer and Kerr were just the surfers to fix it.
A few weeks ago, Layer posted a few clips from the wave pool to his Instagram stories, which more or less confirmed the rumors that had been floating around about Surf Ranch reaching out to him and Kerr to come to Lemoore to act as aerial consultants. Last night, we got our first view of the new section that they’d apparently devised, with Kerr lofting a frontside air a good 4 feet above the artificial lip line in his Instagram post.
Does this signal a new era for Surf Ranch? Are our Insta feeds about to be inundated with Waco-level aerial performances from Lemoore? Either way, with the World Tour event coming to the pool in September, it will be good to know that the top punters will have something to play with this time around.