WSL officially announces Surf Ranch as 2018 Championship Tour stop

The World Surf League (WSL) has announced today that the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California (aka Kelly Slater’s wave pool) will be an official stop on the 2018 Championship Tour (CT).

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said in the press release, “Based on the results of our test event this year and the feedback from surfers training at the facility throughout the season, next September’s event has the potential to be something special for both surfers and fans. We’re only scratching the surface of how this technology can be applied and it is completely game-changing for the sport.”

GrindTV reported back in September the WSL’s confirmation of this planned 2018 Surf Ranch event, but this announcement marks the official adding to the WCT schedule for next year.

Courtney Conlogue enjoyed the WSL Surf Ranch the first time around. Photo: Courtesy of Kenneth Morris/WSL

WCT veteran surfer Ace Buchan also said in the press released, “The experience of competing at Surf Ranch is pretty extraordinary. What the team has created is hard to fathom at first — a perfect, 400-yard-long, bi-directional wave in the middle of rural California. I have no doubt that both the quality of the wave and the experience is befitting of hosting a world-class ‘CT event.”

While details like the number of surfers that will partake, number of rounds, how heats will be set up and more have not been offered, it is a fact now that the highest competitive surfing platform will hold an event in a wave pool next fall. This marks a major milestone in competitive surfing that will shape the sport for decades to come.

There have been online rumblings of a total shake-up of the 2018 ‘CT schedule and playing field, but those rumors have not been confirmed as of yet. The WSL said a full 2018 WCT schedule will be released next week and we should have more answers in regards to the look of the Championship Tour for next year then.

More about wave pools from GrindTV

The science behind how Kelly Slater's wave pool churns out perfect waves

A rundown of all the places you can (and soon could) surf a wave pool

Snowboard legend Travis Rice surfs Kelly Slater's wave pool