Tom Curren on Surfing at “The Ranch”

The 3x World Champ gives the pool a whirl. Here’s what he has to say about it.

Not too long ago 3x World Champion Tom Curren travelled in a direction he very rarely moves – inland. Heading east from the coast of California, he drove until he hit a little town called Leemore. There in Leemore, in the middle of the Californian desert, he drew out those classic TC lines on the world’s most famous artificial wave.

“That wave, wow…” Tom says over the phone, a few days after his session. “What’s most impressive to me is the length of the wave. It’s very long, and that’s great.”

Tom is used to surfing the best waves in the world, he’s spent his life chasing perfection in the ocean. But even Tom Curren, the world’s penultimate Searcher, can admit that the Surf Ranch is among the best waves on this planet. “Yeah,” he says. “The crazy thing is that this wave, it’s just like all of those other really good waves around the world. But it’s in a pool. It’s just crazy.

“I’ve been to the Surf Ranch a few times and the biggest benefit I see in the wave pool is that it is very beneficial for researching board design. They’ve made this machine wave and you can surf it and compare boards and tweak designs. The other biggest benefit is that, because it’s such a perfect wave, literally anybody can get in the barrel. People go there and they’ve never been barrelled and then they all of a sudden they’re in it. That’s huge.”

The first time Tom went to the wave pool he was riding an experimental board, which he describes as a cross between a skimboard and a surfboard. However as he touches on above, the perfection and repetition of the Surf Ranch will quickly set a good board apart from the bad ones. “Yeah, the experimental board I was having trouble with. I was trying to make something that had a cross between the really sharp edges of a skimboard and the round edges of a surfboard.

“Sharp edges are all about the release, and the softer rounded edge is all about holding on and holding into the tube. If you’re on a wave and you’re going through the barrel, if it’s a good board it’ll hold into the face of the wave. The good ones hold into the face of the wave and then if they have a concave towards the tail, they can accelerate out of a trouble spot. The best boards, the ones that hold the board into the face that well, you can almost be blindfolded. The board will know where to go. But when I went to the pool with this hybrid I knew right away, I went, okay, right, this board sucks. So instead I rode a Black Beauty, and that seemed to go well. I was happy with that.

“A lot of people go to the Surf Ranch to work on manoeuvres and tricks and to get better at tube riding, but that’s not where I see the value. The usefulness for me is working on board design, and getting barrelled. You can get barrelled in that pool every time, any time. And every time I get the opportunity to go, I’ll go. I love it.”

It’s not every day you see 3x World Champion Tom Curren surfing the world’s most perfect artificial wave. Take it in…

Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang

Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang

Now in its 16th year, the Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang is Indonesia’s longest-running and most prestigious surfing competition.

Surf fans around the world are counting down the days as the WSL and Rip Curl prepares to bring this one-of-a-kind invitational tuberiding event to a global audience for a third straight year. Sixteen of the world’s top tube masters – eight of Indonesia’s finest and eight of the world’s best barrel riders – are ready to take over the show from the CT’s Top 34. And there is no greater show on surf than when the Indian Ocean delivers at Padang Padang.

Status: Completed
Location: Padang Padang Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Main event: July 1st – 31st. 2019

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

The Rip Curl Pro is celebrating 58 years and the world’s best male and female surfers are in town to compete for professional surfing’s most treasured trophy – the Rip Curl Pro Bell.

The Rip Curl Pro is the second event on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) World Tour. The event holds a very special place in surfing folklore, as the longest running world championship level contest on the World Tour.

It’s tradition that the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach waiting period includes the Easter long weekend.

Event: 17th April – 27th April, 2019
Event status: COMPLETED. Congratulations to John John Florence & Courtney Conlogue.

*The event will run in the best swell conditions during this date window. For live updates, follow @ripcurlpro (or @ripcurl) on Twitter

2019 Rip Curl Pro Ticket Details & Prices

Adult – $10
Concession – $5
Festival Pass (all event) – $25
Under 16 – FREE
3228 Residents (with drivers licence) – FREE
Parking – $5 Daily over Easter long Weekend
Parking – $2 Daily before and after Easter long Weekend

*Please note you cannot pre-purchase tickets. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket booth on site at the event only, on the day. Entry is subject to capacity, so be early.Proceeds from the parking fee will go to the Jan Juc Cricket Club.

The Drop Festival
The Drop festival will take place alongside two World Surf League Qualifying Series events in Newcastle and Manly as well as three Championship Tour events at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, Bells Beach in Torquay and Margaret River in Western Australia
Rip Curl Pro Shuttle Bus

A free shuttle bus will run at convenient locations between Torquay, Jan Juc and Bells Beach. The shuttle will depart on the half hour every hour from the Rip Curl retail store Torquay over the Easter weekend from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Friday 19th April – Monday 22nd April, 2019

Shuttle bus stops include:

  • Rip Curl Retail Store – Surf Coast Highway, Torquay
  • Peppers The Sands Resort – 2 Sands Blvd, Torquay
  • Wyndham Resort Torquay
  • Front Beach Café – The Esplanade, Torquay
  • Bells Street Art Gallery – Bell Street Torquay
  • Bird Rock Café – Jan Juc
  • Bells Beach (Event Location)
A Waste Wise Event

The Rip Curl Pro is a Waste Wise event, so we ask you to please keep the place clean this April and support us in out endeavour to reduce impact on the surrounding environment. Bells Beach is part of Point Addis Marine National Park and Surfing Reserve, so deserves all of our respect.

Rip Curl Pro Portugal

Rip Curl Pro Portugal

The town of Peniche is unassuming. Home to one of Portugal’s largest fishing industries, it’s a bustling, working-class economy. At first glance you’d never assume it held any secrets – but if you look just a little bit closer, you’ll see that it plays host to one of the world’s best barrels. Supertubos.

Supertubos is a pumping sandbar that offers both left and right barrels running at the speed of a freight train, perfectly hollow yet never forgiving.

In 2009, Rip Curl’s Search event series took the world’s best surfers to the tiny town of Peniche, and from the second we laid eyes on the green beauty that is Supertubos, we were hooked. We haven’t missed a year since.

During the event waiting period the best men and women in the world compete in barrels ranged from 2 – 12 feet, pounding into the Portuguese sand bank.

But if the winds switch or the swell isn’t right, there are plenty of waves for freesurfing. Peniche is actually a peninsula, so if Supertubos isn’t right, you can bet the other side of the peninsula will be pumping.

Remember Kelly Slater’s 720? That was a lay day in Portugal.

Status: Completed
Location: Peniche, Portugal
Main event: 16 – 27 October, 2018