For the modern surfer, complex swell forecasting and beach cameras are invaluable utilities often taken for granted. They’re incredibly convenient – to be able to plan out surfs according to times when it’s supposed to be good and being able to check the cams on such days to determine the optimal place to paddle out is huge. And everyone except the least technologically inclined among us uses them. But, being that cameras are tools to assess wave quality from afar, it’s especially curious that Surfline recently rolled out not one, not two, but three separate camera angles aimed straight at Barefoot Ski Ranch’s wave pool in Waco, Texas.
This isn’t the first time Surfline has incorporated “forecasts” for manmade waves. Back in May, we noticed a little Easter egg in the form of a report for the WSL Surf Ranch. “Pretty similar to the past several months this morning with the inconsistent one wave sets,” wrote forecaster Kurt Korte. But for now, the Surf Ranch doesn’t have a webcam, much less three – likely because of the place’s well-documented exclusivity.
BSR, on the other hand, has blown up since it launched back in May. Ads for Dakine, Rip Curl, and Sun Bum are now permanent fixtures on the cement wall behind the wave. And edits from the tub are dropping left and right, including some that are cut and spliced from Surfline’s cam rewind footage.
And maybe that’s the point, sad as it may be. For any other surf spot, the cam rewind feature is of use 1) to spot yourself after a session and 2) to check how waves were in previous days. For BSR, though, cameras appeal strictly to our vanity. There’s no other reason to rewind except to see your own waves. And where previously sharing a photo or edit of you surfing required coercing a friend to sit out a session to shoot, now there’s always a camera recording your waves at the perfect angle.
What a time to be alive.