Unsurprisingly, Kelly Slater's been the one to watch at the Surf Ranch Pro. That injured foot seems a distant memory and the champ's definitely in fine form.
There's also little doubt that the wave is a technical marvel. Sure, watching it on the webcast may seem a little dry – but that's something Kelly's aware of. After his run wrapped up earlier today, we tracked down the king to ask a few questions about his pool – along with the rest of the surf media. Here's what he had to say.
Do you think there's scope to make the pool a bit...bigger... to fit Jordy Smith in?
He just needs to lose some weight [laughs]. I got trolled by Zeke Lau, he said, 'hey, can you make this bigger?', he was just having fun with it and straight away some of his buddies were like, 'you need to lose some weight, Zeke', or whatever. He's skinny for how tall he is, all muscle, there's not much you can do when you're 6'2”.
Jordy, in my opinion, is one of the best guys at it, if people say it's unfair, well, he's one of the top two guys on the wave, how unfair is it really? The barrel...I can understand. We really want to build in big ramp sections. Maybe multiple ones on the wave so you have to do something big – maybe just for the fun factor, would be good for people to say, yeah, I've done an 8 foot air. It'll take some work.
Does the novelty factor ever wear off?
Not really [laughs] every time that thing moves I get excited. Maybe I'm biased one way or the other. I don't know anyone who gets the chance to come up who doesn't enjoy it or have a good time. Some people come up and get four waves, nothing's gonna wear off after four waves.
Is there anything that you would change about the format, the judging, or the wave?
Yeah, the first thing that comes to mind is something I was trying to pitch, I wanted to have more variety of waves. Meaning we could do some different wave settings, or that we could, before each ride, you say, I want this one, this one, this one.
We're riding two waves, one each direction, the slower one going left with the onshore and the faster one going right is offshore, I was hoping we could make our own decision on that and have that air section too, something different for people to watch and it would allow people to specialise in what they are good at.
The tech's there but I think the commissioners were worried that it hadn't been tested enough. All in the pipeline.