Surf Ranch becomes The Slide Ranch for skimboard world champ

One thing we’re learning about wave pools is that a controlled surf environment opens up waves to all manner of craft. Skimboarding, once limited to side-wedges and shore break or any type of wave that offers easy entry from the sand, is buzzing with this influx of artificial waves. Blair Conklin famously paddled his skimboard into the BSR wedge last year and Austin Keen took his next-level slide game to Kelly’s. Recently we found Brazilian world champion Lucas Fink stepping off the ski into a reeling right at Kelly’s. In the clip he mixes it up between turns, tubes, and kick-flips. And while the Surf Ranch was designed for performance surfing, you can see the potential it offers to the finless set.

How did the trip come about?
So I clinched the Skimboarding World Title like a week or two ago In Florida after winning the 5th stop of the United Skim Tour 2019. It has always been a dream of mine to be Skimboarding World Champion and Red Bull (my sponsor) always motivated me to get this title as soon as possible. Red Bull had the full day at the Surf Ranch so their WCT riders could train before the Fresh Water Pro and as a gift, after winning the world title they brought me on this trip so I could snag a few waves with my skimboard. It’s been an unbelievable week, accomplishing two huge dreams.

How did you decide to go with the step-off-the-ski technique rather than running like Austin Keen did?
I had to step off because that was actually the only way I could do it. Austin caught it running but that was just a one-time thing and people from the Surf Ranch wouldn’t allow him to do it again due to safety issues. Stepping off was fun as hell anyways, easy to position myself and work on some tricks and turns during one of the best rides of my life.

What do wave pools hold for the future of skimming – will we see a totally new sport?
Wavepools are definitely as good for skimboarding as they are for surfing. Kelly’s wave pool is a perfect skim wave, totally reachable if you run to it but also totally skurfable and totally rip-able as well. I would love to try Wavegarden, Waco and the new ones that are coming up. It would also be a dream to run a skimboarding contest in one of those! Wish all the skimboarders had the same chance to ride those man-made waves with their finless boards. This session at Kelly’s wave definitely opened my mind for new opportunities with my skim.

If you designed a wave pool just for skimming, what would it look like?
As I said, honestly if we could run and regular skim the Kelly wave pool it would be literally the most perfect skim wave ever haha. Totally reachable and easy to ride with the skim. You can do tricks, turns, get barreled, the possibilities seem to be infinite. Anyway, I would like to see more types of waves like you can pick at Waco for example. If we could do a wave pool that creates a perfect skimboarding wedge, that would be epic to see. Can’t wait to see what the future will bring.

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