The Surfer’s Guide to Lemoore, California

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Heading to the Surf Ranch? Here’s your complete guide to the area surrounding Kelly Slater’s wave pool.

This post is brought to you by The Lemoore Surfing Club.

History of Lemoore

Lemoore was first inhabited by the Tachi tribe thousands of years ago on the shore of the now dried up Tulare Lake. The lake was the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Tulare Lake and the surrounding wetlands was filled with birds, turtles, deer, elk and antelope.

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Late 19th century settlers started using the lake water for agriculture and the government dammed up the tributary rivers for irrigation and municipal uses. By the early 20th century, Tulare Lake was almost dry.

In modern day, the dried up lake bed’s fertile soil now makes the Central Valley the most productive agricultural region in the United States. As for the Tachi Tribe, which at one point numbered 70,000 people living off the lake, were given a reservation in 1934 and today is the site of The Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino (more on this later) that was opened in 1983.

How to Get To Lemoore 

Lemoore is within striking distance of both San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s about a 3.5 hour from either city. You take the 5 most of the way and take either the 41 east (from the south) or the 198 east (from the north) for about 45 minutes.

Fresno airport is 37 miles away and there are some flights that go there. There are a couple smaller airports nearby, so if you have a private jet you can land there. Email us if you do, we’ll join the ride.

The Surf Ranch and Surroundings

The first time we drove from San Francisco, Google Maps actually took us past the Surf Ranch, which is located on 18556 Jackson Ave, Lemoore, CA 93245. The first time we laid eyes on it, we were struck by how big the facility is. Also, there is a huge parcel of land to the west that the pool could be the site for future expansion. To the east, is an abandoned golf course that was named The Pheonix Sunrise located on 14868 18th Ave. Kelly Slater bought the adjacent golf course in 2016 and transferred it to the WSL in 2017.

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When we went to the Wave Pool, for the Founder’s Cup, it reminded of us of the early days of the Coachella Music Festival. Hot, dusty, a little disorganized, but once we got dropped off at the entrance, and walked about half a mile through a dirt parking lot (I’m sure that will be paved soon) we entered on the north-east side.

The pool is far larger than it looks from pictures and videos. You can barely see who is sitting in the water from the far end of the pool. The jumbo trons are helpful. As a viewing experience, there are definitely kinks to be worked out. The beer lines were outrageously long. No cash accepted. The wifi kicked out while we were getting beers and the whole system went down.

There are definitely kinks to work out but this is just version 1.0. There’s actually another pool on the premises and plans for much more.

The Tachi Palace Casino and Hotel

The Tachi Palace is ground zero for fun in Lemoore (besides the pool). If you can get a room, it’s definitely the best place to stay in Lemoore. Beers are cheap by casino standards at $4 for a Budweiser and you can rub shoulders with the surfing greats playing blackjack. We saw Fanning, Parko, Taylor Steele, Steph Gilmore and Medina all within an hour playing on the tables.

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Lemoore Surfing Club

We’ve actually never set foot in a room but judging by the casino, we’d expect clean rooms. Rates for a single room start at $149 for a one night weekday stay and $249 for a weekend. Food options are fairly limited at the Tachi. There is a Pizza Hut, a seafood buffet and The Coyote Grill all within the casino.

As said before, there are shuttles running to The Surf Ranch during large events, otherwise you can Uber from the Tachi. It’s technically within walking distance (2.5 miles) and we did after drinking a couple beers one day. It wasn’t too bad. Just don’t turn east after exiting the Casino grounds. The bartender said there are big, territorial dogs ready to attack.

More to come.

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How Much Energy Does 1 Wave at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch Cost?

For now, only a select few have been able to ride the wave pool. Sure, the wave is perfect. But how much would the common person expect to pay to ride it?

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One factor to the overall price of the Surf Ranch is going to be electricity. I sought out to find exactly how much energy it takes to make one wave, and then turn that into a dollar amount. I got help from my physics-wiz friend and we did a rough calculation. If anybody see’s anything wrong with the math, feel free to chime in.

Before we get into the physics. If you want a Lemoore Surfing Club hat. Click Here.

The energy of the wave machine all comes from pushing the hydrofoil through the water. That’s it. The waves themselves are an after effect of the moving hydrofoil paired with a carefully shaped pool bottom.

How much energy does it take to push the hydrofoil the length of the pool? We can think of that energy as the work done to push the hydrofoil the length of the pool.

Work (W) is equal to a constant force (F) multiplied by the distance (D) overwhich the force is applied.

W = F x D

The engine must deliver a force that exactly counters the force of the drag from the water on the hydrofoil. The magnitude of the F-engine must be equal to the F-drag. Thus the work we’re interested in is: W=Fdrag x D

Fluid dynamics are complicated. Simplifying we can assume the draf were dealing with is summed up in this equations.

Fdrag – 1/2pv^2CA. Where P is the density of water. V is the velocity of the foil, C is the drag co-efficient (a number that depends on the shape of the foil) and A is the cross sectional area of the foil.

This is where things get murky. While we know the density of water and the speed of the hydrofoil we don’t know it’s shape and size. I assume its cross sectional area is around one meter squared. I’d assume our value for C is something between .5 and 1. We’ll go with .7.

From this we can get the work i.e the energy in joules. [Note: 18 mph = 8 m/s and 200 ft = 600m]

 

W = Fdrag xD = 1/2pv2CAd

W = 1/2 (1000kg/m^2)(8m/s)^2(.7)(1m^2)(600m)

W = 13,440,000 Joules.

W = 3.7 kWh —-> Energy to push hydrofoil the length of the pool.

The motor won’t be perfectly efficient at turning the electrical energy it’s given into the mechanical energy of the moving hydrofoil. If we assume an efficiency of 50%, we need to supply the motor with 7.4 kWh of energy to make one wave.

Interestingly, 18556 Jackson Ave in Lemoore California was permitted as a single family home and not on an industrial rate plan. This may have changed. Let’s assume the electricity costs are 15cents/kWh.

Thus the cost of one wave is 15 cents / kWh x 7.4 kWH = 111 cents = $1.11.

After all the approximating we’ve done I feel like it could be anywhere from $1.11 to $20.

This seems very low. Let us know if you see anything wrong with our math!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wavestorm 101: Buying, Prepping, Care, Returns, Etc.

Listen up kids, here’s everything you need to know about buying a Wavestorm, prepping, installation, care, return policy, etc. Just don’t ask me how to surf the thing, kook.
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Jamie O, Backdoor. Photo: Baesman

Buying the Board.

How do you buy a Wavestorm? You have three options.
1. Go to Costco.
Get a Costco membership card ($60/year) Ravage the samples. Get a chicken bake. Check out the flat screen TVs. Proceed to the “water sports section” and pick out your $99 Wavestorm. Don’t even think about the SUP or little fish thingy. Put it in a shopping cart, or under your arm and proceed to throw shakas all the way to the line. Don’t have a Costco card? You can either “Hey Mister” a unsuspecting shopper in the parking lot, or try option 2.
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You Like Try Sample?
2. Buy one on Craigslist/Ebay/The Darkweb
I once found a mint condition early model Wavestorm that was a package deal with a box of tackle for $40. Deals are out there. Lots of people will put up brand new Wavestorms on Craigslist for around $150, preying on the unfortunate who do not have a Costco Membership. I’ve gone this route before. The downside to buying a board on the internet is that you can not take advantage of the epic return policy.  There’s also the chance of getting murdered by a craigslist rando in an Arby’s parking lot.
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RIP SILK ROAD
#3 Buy One from Amazon or Wavestorm.com
This is not a recommended option. Expensive and not sure if you can exchange if it breaks. But if you want it, you can go the Amazon route or the Wavestorm official route. Looks like Amazon is cheaper.

Prepping The Wavestorm

 
Once you get that sucker home, unwrap the laminate and breathe deep. That’s the smell of questionable Chinese labor practices and environmental destruction. Cherish it. Use a knife to cut through where they keep the fins and the leash. Throw away the leash (they are for dogs). I’m not kidding, take the lid off the can and dump the ankle choker.
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Leashes on a soft top? Who needs them?
Install the fins. This should be simple enough. Want to try something different? Try a twin fin setup from Fang Surf Fins. or single fin from The Perfect Storm. Hell, leave them out and go for a finless spin!
To wax or not to wax, young grasshopper? I do a couple diagonal strokes of wax just to rough it up and then rub some sand on it. I don’t wax the Wavestorm regularly, it doesn’t really need it after the slippery coat of Chinese slime and factory workers tears whisk away into the ocean. Cherish that too.
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Chinese Factory

Return Policy at Costco

 
I recently took a 14 month old snapped-in-half Wavestorm to Costco, waited in the return line, fully expecting that they would not take this sunbeaten, waterlogged board. I waited for about 10 minutes, got to the front of the line and the Costco employee said “What happened? Shark bite?” I said yes, what is your return policy? She said they accepted returns within “a reasonable  amount of time.”
I thought I was screwed, I asked if over a year is a reasonable amount and she agreed it was, And asked if I wanted debit or cash. I took the cash and went right back to the aisle and grabbed myself a new stick. So, the return policy is very lenient. Don’t abuse it though or you will ruin it for the rest of us.
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Photo: Chris Nomad

Conclusion

At this point if you haven’t packed your purse, buckled up in the drivers side of your 4 seater, and punched Costco into Google maps already, it’s not likely you have a pulse (in which case, get yourself seen by some medical attention). Happy surfboarding kiddos!

Let It Ride: Betting on The Quiksilver Gold Coast

I’ve got the itch. You know the itch you get on 4 pm on a Friday to grab a cold beer? That’s the one. I’m not itching to drink but it feels the same. I’m looking to throw down some bets on surfing.

NCAA Tourney Draws Fans To Las Vegas Gambling House

The first stop of the tour, The Quiksilver and Roxy Gold Coast, is days away and you can see the Ubet favorites here. Below are a couple of our favorite underdog bets for the Snapper Contest.

Here’s how it works. Ubet assigns each surfer a number that correlates to their odds of winning. For example, John John Florence is the favorite for the 2018 WSL Championship and his number is 3.25. If you put $10 down and he wins, you would get a $32.25 payout. Alternatively, an underdog like Zeke Lau has a number of 151. A $10 bet on the Hawaiian would pay $1,510. Get it? Good.

Bet 1: Silvana Lima 

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I know this one is risky. I’d put $10 on Silvana Lima making the finals of the Roxy Gold Coast. The Brazilian veteran is coming off a great 2017 campaign with a win at Trestles, taking out Lakey Peterson and Steph Gilmore in the process.

Ubet currently has Silvana Lima at 17 points, meaning a $10 bet would win $170. I’d hedge this bet with a couple safer $5 bets on Tyler Wright (2.75) and Steph Gilmore (2.75) and possibly throw in Sage Erickson (13) in there as well.

Bet 2: Gabriel Medina

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We at Surfheater HQ have a feeling Medina (7.5) is going to come out of the gates firing in 2018. Gabe took home the trophy in 2014 and had a great second half of 2017. He’s definitely due for another big win. The only two surfers with better odds are JJF and Felipe both at 6. That’s not a bad bet, but we think Medina is the one to target.

Bet 3: Connor Coffin

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Snapper is a wave well suited for the California kid and this year Connor (17) has something to prove. We’re putting $10 that he will make the finals. I’m not as confident in this bet as the others (and Vegas isn’t either) but I think there’s a solid chance of a hit. If you are feeling lucky, you might want to take a look at Kanoa Igarashi (17),  Wade Carmichael (30) or Adrian Buchan (30).

It’s interesting that they are not offering odds on the Brazilian Rookie Michael Rodrigues. We’ve seen some recent clips of him ripping in Australia and feel he may be a surprise underdog.

We’d love to hear your bets. Leave them in the comments. If you know of a quasi-legal way to bet on the WSL in the USA email us at surfheater@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram.