Surfing is in a dramatically different place today than it was even five years ago. In just three short years, the sport will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games. Artificial wave technology has seen a major boom – it seems every week there’s a new proposed wave park somewhere in the world complete with tantalizing mock-ups. And for now at least, the bar against which all other waves are measured in quality is Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. The tech has been so instrumental in changing the face of surfing that mainstream media has taken notice.
It makes for a good story to be sure. A Shangri-La more than a hundred miles from the nearest ocean – in California’s Central Valley. The not-so-secret Future Classic event garnered the attention of the New York Times back in September. And now, a titan in sports journalism, Bryant Gumbel has decided to make the place the focus of the first episode in his award-winning series Real Sports on HBO.
The episode is set to air on HBO Tuesday, November 21 at 10 pm ET, and is also available to stream on HBO GO and HBO NOW.