I've seen Kelly's Surf Ranch up close and personal, I've watched 100's of videos of BSR Park till my eyeballs went dry, I've had friends surf NLand in Austin, but there's one question I'm always left with....What board would I ride? Of course I'd want to bring my favorite daily driver but there are important elements to consider before booking our first or next trip to a wave pool.
Saltwater vs. Freshwater
Wave pools are made with freshwater. As you probably already know, freshwater and saltwater do not have the same buoyancy characteristics. Saltwater has 1.6 lb's more buoyancy than freshwater meaning that you will need more foam and buoyancy in your board in a freshwater wave pool. By decreasing foam density, we recommend 1.7 or 2.0lb density for wave pools, you will achieve proper wave pool buoyancy.
Light and Lively
When given a perfect wave, our common dream is.....tear the thing to pieces and get barreled. In order to achieve these dreams, you need a board thats light, lively and can generate speed. EPS boards are lighter, more buoyant, more forgiving, and geared toward generating speed. There's a reason why you see Adriano de Souza, Jordy Smith, John John Florence, Griffin Colapinto, Kelly Slater, Lakey Peterson and many more pro surfers choosing EPS over PU for their wave pool sessions. Remember, these guys bring their own boards, they're not grabbing boards from Kelly's stocked fridge of Firewire Surfboards.
Here's a behind the scenes recap of our trip with Shaper Studios to Leemore, CA for The 1st Annual Surf Ranch Founder's Cup.
Shot and edited by Max Beyer