Despite reporting on social justice issues from around the world for The New Yorker, journalist William Finnegan has always kept his finger on the pulse of surfing. Finnegan grew up riding waves and spent a large portion of his life hunting perfect surf in remote locales, as you may have read in his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life”.

Finnegan has an exhaustive piece about Slater’s wave and his Surf Ranch Pro experience in the latest issue of “The New Yorker” where he also explains the science and his first impressions of the machine.

“It’s like it’s built to reduce you to this needy, turned-on, desperate character,” Finnegan said about his first vision of Slater’s pool. Having surfed Cloudbreak in the 70s, it comes as no surprise that Finnegan would sum up his pool surf as, “Not the sort of religious experience one hoped for.”

Hit play above to watch The New Yorker’s video that accompanies Finnegan’s article, “Shock Wave.” To read “Shock Wave” in full, click here.

And if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” here.