If you took our advice to follow some of the world’s best female surfers on Instagram then you’ll have seen photos of them charging fake swell in the Wave Garden on Thursday. A little like this one below of Sally Fitzgibbons and the other ones scattered around this piece (all photos by: Bernard Testemale/Roxy).
Faced with endless days of flat waves, which led to the contest being cancelled on Sunday, the girls headed to an artificial wave set up just south of the border in northern Spain. The waves might not have been big but as you can see from the shots they were clean and eminently rippable, though more algae than azure in hue for obvious reasons.
It’s often pretty pancake-like in France in July and August, but the ASP wants BIG sponsors who want BIG crowds so it’s unlikely any remote spots with better and bigger wave possibilities are going to be added to the party anytime soon. And even then you can never guarantee waves at any spot so maybe the ASP should set up a stop at a wave pool?
We asked Steph Gilmore the same question back in 2011 when she graced our cover with some cool tie-dye vibes and she said:
“I just think that’s part of progression. Perhaps that’s just me being envious of the tennis players and the other sports stars who have set schedules for their events. They just show up and have all these people in the stadium watching them. There are many places on the tour that have natural amphitheatres but it’s not the same as you’re not going to show up at 11am on the Sunday and have pumping 6 foot waves. You’ll never be able to recreate what the ocean can deliver but why not try it out?”
Predictable waves at predictable times so you can fill a stadium with frothers and let surfers earn the kind of dinero other sports stars get to. It sounds so right but seems so wrong. At the risk of going all Bodhi from Point Break on you where would surfing fake waves for an ASP contest leave the soul of the sport? Trampled into the faux-boardwalk carpet at the plastic shoreline maybe but then at least we’d see some contest surfing, which is more than we’re doing this week.
Let us know what you think and in the meantime here are some highlights from the Wave Garden session: