NVS: How'd you end up getting invited to the pool?
Luke Sampiere: The WSL put together a fantasy league for colleges with surf teams, with the prize for winning was getting to go to the Surf ranch
NVS: How many teams were competing?
LS: I think 15 or so
NVS: How close was the competition for first?
LS: It was very close, Berkeley got into an early lead and we slowly came back and only took the the lead in during the quarterfinals of the pipe masters (the last event)
NVS: How many people were on the UCSC team?
LS: There were over 20 people on our fantasy league team, the top 6 of which got to go to the ranch
NVS: I imagine the person in 7th was pissed.
LS: Hahah yea, there was a bit of confusion a lot of people thought the whole team got to go and they were bummed when they found out they weren't able to go
NVS: What place were you and did anyone offer to buy your spot?
LS: I was first place and a couple people did ask if they could tag along but no one made any serious offers. I think they knew I wasn't going to give it up for any affordable sum of money.
NVS: Let's talk about day of, tell us how the day started
LS: Well the van was set to pick us up at 8:45, but emotions were running so high that the first person showed up at 7:15. After some re waxing (the water at the pool is about 75 degrees F) we all piled into the van the WSL sent for us and headed south east.
The whole way down we were talking about how surreal it was, all the videos we had seen, debated whether or not this was the future of surfing, and how our grandkids wouldn't even bat an eye when we told them because kswaveco pools would be all over the country by then.
NVS: How long did you have the pool?
LS: We had about 1.5 hours of time in the water, in which we got 5 priority waves and had 18 chances to take waves after people fell.
NVS: Describe the wave and how it compares to natural waves
LS: The wave was obviously perfect, but a little funky. It didn't push back at you quite as much and you couldn't read it the same way you could read a normal wave. It was fast, but felt sort of like running on a treadmill
NVS: How many of you ate shit?
LS: We all fell on a few waves. The takeoff was super easy, but it was a little unnerving paddling next to the fence and a big train car
NVS: Did you prefer the left or right?
LS: The right is definitely a better wave, but being a goofy foot who's backhand tube riding needs some work I had much better rides on the lefts. One guy busted his fin box.
NVS: How would you score your best wave?
LS: Oh man hahaha score? Depends on what the context is, I was safety surfing to avoid falling (seeing that wave run off without you was truly heartbreaking).
NVS: I guess if you were scoring it in a NSSA contest at the pool.
LS: Oh man idk, a 6 maybe?
NVS: We expected better from the captain.😉
LS: Hahaha you can check the video and score it yourself.
NVS: Who had the best wave and worst wipeout?
LS: The best tube was my buddy Nathan, he got even deeper than the pros that were there on the inside section of the right, and the best overall wave was probably Trey, he got barreled on both sections on the right and laid into some good turns. Worst wipeout was probably Jake, he got tossed by the barrel section on the right
NVS: Would you prefer natural or artificial waves from here on out
LS: For the rest of my life natural waves for sure, part of what makes surfing what it is lies in its uncertainty, you never know exactly what a wave will do and that makes it an art form of sorts, the wavepool was amazing, but surfing loses a bit of its mysticism when you know for a fact a perfect wave is coming.
NVS: Did anyone get a chance to try swapping fins to see how it changed the feel of the boards? Or was everyone too stoked and afraid to miss a wave?
LS:I swapped between the AM-Comps and the JL smalls and both worked amazingly well
NVS: Which did you prefer of Kelly's wave?
LS: I preferred the AM-Comps, the wave didn't really encourage drawn out turns which is where the JL's excel, it was better suited for projection snaps which the AM comps like.
NVS: That's what we expected to hear.
LS: What score do you give to that first wave?
NVS: At least a 6.5 😘
NVS: Was Kelly there?
LS: Kelly wasn't, but he DM'd us on instagram haha.
NVS: Thanks again
LS: Of course! Thank you guys for everything!