September 05, 2019 2 min read

Artificial wave pools have been all the hype the past few years, with Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch topping out the interest list.

A host stop on the WSL Championship Tour, the wave reaches speeds of 20 mph and heights of 8 feet. Fasten your seatbelt and watch all the action going down during the Fresh Water Pro, taking place Sept 19-21st 2019 in Lemoore California.

When the wave's aren't firing for the pro-surfers of the world, customers can pay $10,000++ to surf for an hour.  Others like Ryan Hargave are the lucky ones.  Since he does water safety for the WSL, he gets his occasional free runs, and last month he took a Slyde Handboard along for the adventure.

We couldn't wait to share with you more about him, The Surf Ranch, & his epic handboarding experience.

Tell us a brief bio on you

I'm a 20 year lifeguard from North County SD that now do water safety for the WSL and other big wave strike missions.  I've always been drawn to the simple joys of your body gliding in the water. 

How did you come about handboarding at Surf Ranch?

I began body surfing at the surf ranch because some days that's the only opportunity we get for water time.  The pool only cranks out a certain number of waves per day and they are usually all accounted for by the guests.  If you can't surf, body surfing is the next best thing.

Slyde Handboards Surf RanchSurf Ranch Bodysurf Handboards Session

How does the wave compare when handboarding at Surf Ranch vs surfing?

The interesting part of bodysurfing at the ranch is the ability to have the same wave every time.  Something you rarely get in the ocean.  This allows you to figure out technique, speed and distance covered.   You can start off from a certain pole number and begin to play with body movements to achieve greater speed or distance covered.  The wave is incredibly fast so using a hand board is the right tool to make the tube section at the end. 

What 3 things are you most looking forward to at the 2019 Freshwater Pro?

The Fresh Water Pro is a fun event.  It's awesome to open the doors to allow the public to come see the resort for the day, the entire operation is overwhelming.  The competitive structure allows surfers to preform a run on the same wave as others, treating a wave more like a half pipe run where maneuvers are compared evenly to others.  It allows the surfers to push the envelope for tricks and makes comparing the surfers run to others evenly.  It's awesome to share the facility with others and the crazy science that went into building it.

Surf Ranch Body SurfBodysurf with Slyde Handboards at Surf Ranch
All photos in blog thanks to @patstacyphoto

Cheers to Ryan and The Surf Ranch crew for taking bodysurfing/handboarding to the next level.


michelle michalak
michelle michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.

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