Kelly Slater will serve as on-air talent on ABC’s Ultimate Surfer which will begin production in 2020. Photo: Cestari/WSL

The Inertia

The same network that famously brought you The Bachelor a competition show effectively built on polyamory – is reportedly diving headfirst into a surf-related reality show set to literally make waves next year.

On Wednesday, ABC, by way of a World Surf League press release, announced it has picked up a competition-style reality show called Ultimate Surfer that will feature up-and-coming surfers training and living together at the WSL Surf Ranch in Lemoore. And we have so many questions, like: will food and drink be provided or is this a Survivor-style show set in cow country? What happens if two contestants find themselves in a romantic tryst? What types of special guests can we expect? And which top-tier QS surfers are going to bite on this opportunity?

Consistent with the reality/competition genre, each week will feature competitions and eliminations, with promises of alliances and rivalries, and after eight episodes a single man and woman will be left standing and be given the opportunity to compete on the WSL Championship Tour. Kelly Slater will reportedly serve as consultant, on-air talent, and special correspondent for the eight-episode series.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for two surfers (one man, one woman) to win an opportunity to compete against the best surfers in the world on the WSL Tour,” said Slater. “This will put some of the best up-and-comers against each other in a more direct way to see who stands above the rest, and Surf Ranch is obviously a great venue to use for ‘Ultimate Surfer.’ I’m excited to watch how they step up to the challenge.”

Production of the show will reportedly begin in 2020 with a tentative air date announced later this season. Casting is now open, with more info here.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.