Yesterday in a sleepy little Californian town called Lemoore a surf competition was etched into the history books.
The reason it was so big is because Lemoore is no where near the ocean. 40km's from the nearest beach is where you'll find it, the water there has a distinct lack of salt.
Specifically, it was Kelly Slater's 'surf ranch' that held the inaugural competition, "The Future Classic,' it was an absolute revolution for the surf industry and everyone wanted a piece of it!
The Future Classic was an invitational contest, utilising the who's who of the surfing world to market Kelly's masterpiece, the World Surf League (WSL) labeled it a "research and development exercise that allows all the stakeholders involved in any future event to understand the wide array of opportunities available.
"Everyone from competitors, organisers, judges, broadcasters, sponsors and even a delegation of the sport's founders are on hand to witness the technology that will have a dramatic effect on the future of surfing's evolution.
Essentially saying, their current business model isn't working, professional surfing really needs a new cash-cow or at the very least, more people to sell it to. Are wave pools the answer? On that the jury's still out, regardless, it looked like one hell of a party.
What we can say is, a freshwater competition of this magnitude has never been done before, it was an unknown, an unmarketable entity, but not anymore. Highlights from the competition are yet to be released, however, the hoots and hollas' coming from what we have seen, cannot be denied. The best surfers in the world were in a state of ecstasy, social media lit up, for many of them, today was the stuff of their childhood dreams. There isn't a surfer in the world that hasn't romanticised the idea of perfect waves on tap.
As sets of perfect waves, full of endless potential, made their way down the lagoon, surfing reached a whole new level of accessibility. Whether you're a pro or you've never even touched a surfboard, whether you live in the Auckland CBD or on the points at Raglan, there's something in this for everyone.