The San Joaquin Valley finally has the opportunity to share the entertainment spotlight on a grand scale. Or at least that’s hope. ABC’s new reality TV competition series “The Ultimate Surfer” has premiered and is being shot on location at the Surf Ranch located just outside Lemoore.
The premise of the show is simple: a handful of the world’s best junior level surfers are brought to the ranch to compete for $ 100,000. They can show off their skills, riding the pipeline and sculpting the water with unimaginable grace and agility.
The show – hosted by former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer – features well-known surfers like Koa Smith, Tia Blanco, and surfer / model Anastasia Ashley hyphen. Even world famous surfer Kelly Slater – the owner of the Surf Ranch – makes a video appearance in the pilot episode to explain the purpose of the competition to competitors and the public.
It seems like an odd premise to have a surf competition over a hundred miles from the ocean in the middle of a rural country, but it’s actually a neat place. The accompaniment studio does not need to acquire the same license it would need to shoot on location on a public beach, as it uses private property.
The ranch also offers something quite unique that the Indomitable Ocean – in all its endless majesty – cannot: a man-made, evenly uniform wave turn after turn after turn. It’s revolutionary because the location is the first of its kind.
While various theme parks and resorts have wave pools like the ones you see in water parks or simulators, these waves aren’t even close to the same level of consistency. The ranch’s pool is longer than seven football fields, providing a perfect wave every time.
It’s impressive, but what’s not so impressive is the way the writers fill in the length of the 43-minute episodes. Most of the content focuses on the interpersonal interactions of competitors outside of the water. There are team-building activities and cool photos of them surfing on occasion, but a lot of screen time is spent on unnecessary drama-making.
It’s like the producers decided to recreate “Big Brother” and dropped it off at the Surf Ranch because it was a new and different place. This is disappointing given that the sport made its official debut this summer at the Tokyo Olympics; it was in fact one of the sports put forward for the Olympic Games.
It’s a shame that “The Ultimate Surfer” didn’t take a page from this book or other successful sports competition shows. Spending two-thirds of an episode watching the actors vaguely interact in various social settings or trying to do yoga in the morning isn’t as much fun as watching something really athletic like “American Gladiators” or – God forbid. preserves – Michael Jordan’s attempt to embark on a career as a golfer.
It’s a show that has potential if it’s produced well, but it looks like it could go on for a lot longer than its novelty allows and audiences will miss the lack of real competition. This new show ends with a gnarly erasure, my brother!
Garrett K. Jones is a local fantasy author. He currently has four books published in his current series, and he produces a YouTube vlog and the Creator’s Corner podcast (available on Spotify, Google and Apple). www.archivesofthefivekingdoms.com/ IG / Twitter: @gkj_publishing
Do not hesitate to contact him with suggestions of movie titles that you would like him to review.