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The Ranch is not your typical wave. Besides the whole obvious manmade perfection thing, it has some absurdly fast and steep sections where most average surfers shouldn’t bother attempting anything that resembles a turn. At least not on your first crack at one of its waves. Bury a rail, miscalculate your speed, stall when you should be racing…any mishap before getting to what really matters — the barrel section — and you’ll kick yourself for eternity knowing you blew something that was literally handed to you on a silver platter. That’s the curse that hides underneath the Surf Ranch’s thin veil of potential bliss.
Of course, it’s really only this big of a deal if your chances at scoring a wave in Lemoore are limited to a couple of waves. If you’re somehow granted the opportunity to give the place a full day’s worth of playtime then your perspective will undoubtedly change. Take some chances. Try something you’ve never attempted before. Besides, if you fall flat on your face, there will literally be another wave in 20 seconds with your name on it.
Tony Hawk got a swing at The Ranch back in 2018 when he and Shaun White traded waves for a day. If the emotional rollercoaster of his first session was anything like the anxiety-riddled one described above, then we’d venture a guess this past weekend’s trip to Lemoore was actual bliss, capped off with a proper frontside barrel for the Birdman himself.capped off with a proper frontside barrel for the Birdman himself.