It’s the Emerald City that Dorothy and her ragtag group of friends are traveling to in the Wizard of Oz. Follow the yellow brick road, and the powerful wizard will grant you anything you wish – a heart, a brain, courage, or a trip home to Kansas.
Waco, Texas may officially be surfing’s new Emerald City – not least of which because recent footage shows the pool at Barefoot Ski Ranch has a rich green hue. A key detail from the book that was dropped from the film version of Oz is that Emerald City residents are made to wear green-tinted glasses to convince them their city is made of emeralds. In fact, it isn’t greener than any other city. Like the great and powerful wizard, it’s all a sham.
The Waco wave pool has captured our imaginations since video of its capabilities surfaced the weekend of the Founders’ Cup, Kelly Slater and the WSL’s first public unveiling of the Lemoore Surf Ranch. Waco’s warbles and ability to change on the fly compared to Kelly Slater Wave Co.’s perfectly manicured perfection has been called much less boring to watch. Less monotonous. Everyone wants to surf it, and how quickly we’ve forgotten how years ago the level of fascination surrounding Kelly’s secret wave pool was the same. Greater even.
Candidly, the videos from Waco are captivating. But perhaps more interesting is that the World Surf League has run just one contest at the Surf Ranch and a sizable contingent of surf fans and commentators have called the whole thing underwhelming.
On to greener pastures, as they say. Or is it greener-tinted glasses?