Kelly’s Pool Board

Tracks - - Tracks Ride Guide 2018 -

There were some heroic ocean swells rid­den in 2018 but it will also be re­mem­bered for the WSL’s much hyped de­but in man­made waves. While the Surf Ranch event had its fair share of pas­sion­ate de­trac­tors it was still an in­trigu­ing glimpse into the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture.

There are a bunch of wave pools un­der con­struc­tion cur­rently and they all claim to be bet­ter than Kelly’s tub. What this brave new world will mean for surf­boards is not yet clear but if you’re look­ing for clues – Kelly Slater seems a good place to start. No elite surfer has put in more time surf­ing me­chan­i­cal waves than the Surf Ranch pro­pri­etor.

Ac­cord­ing to Firewire’s Global Mar­ket­ing Man­ager Travis Lee, Slats has tried loads of dif­fer­ent boards at the Ranch and thus far hasn’t de­vi­ated greatly with his equip­ment. “Right now, he doesn’t have a sep­a­rate board for the pool. Be­fore his in­jury he had been rid­ing 5’10” round pins in com­pe­ti­tion, but for the Surf Ranch event he dropped down an inch.

He just re­ally no­ticed how much more re­ac­tive the board felt in the pocket with an inch less length.” Want specifics? “The board he rode to a third­place fin­ish at the Surf Ranch was a 5’9 x 18 13/8 x 2 5/16 25.9 litre shaped by Dan Mann. We call it the FRK1.

The EPS blank is Firewire tech, (an LFT build), glassed with epoxy resin, car­bon layups top and bot­tom to con­trol the flex, and the board is Eco­cer­ti­fied. Not to men­tion it’s about three years old. It took him al­most two years to ride it, as he had it stuffed in the back of his shed be­hind some other boards, but now he can’t get off it. It’s be­come his ‘old faith­ful’.”

Pho­tos: Ryan Miller

Vin­tage Kelly Slater mak­ing his board look like an ex­ten­sion of his body at his WCT pool party. In­set: Kelly us­ing the ‘Mad Wax’ for the Dan Mann shape, which de­liv­ered him a third place in the Surf Ranch Pro.

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