Austin Keen: one of the first skimboarders to hit the Surf Ranch

Austin Keen put on an epic display of skimboarding at the Surf Ranch, in Lemoore, California.

The intrepid rider from Savannah, Georgia, visited the artificial wave pool designed by Kelly Slater and showed the world why his skimming is such a versatile sport.

Keen, who is also an accomplished wakesurfer, was able to slide out to the wave on his first try, as he often does in other scenarios like rivers, lakes, and beaches.

"I was super nervous about timing it correctly and sliding out to the wave with enough speed and far enough, and just not blowing it. if you look closely you can see me shaking like a leaf," explained Austin Keen.

But, in order to ride the man-made wave, the professional skimboarder had to change his equipment. According to the wave pool rules, all surfers must wear a leash so that the boards don't get washed over the side of the pool and damage the lining and the structure.

"So I asked the maintenance guy to drill a half-inch hole into my skimboard so I could attach a leash and continue to skim the pool starting from the jet ski," adds Keen.

As a result, the finless wave rider wasn't able to land his signature shove-its. Not that it matters. Keen continues to push the sport forward, and that's what counts.

Austin also revealed that he analyzed videos to see how the wave develops, and that, unlike in other situations, he had to take off before he saw the wave.

In the end, and after getting barreled in a green left-hander, Austin Keen couldn't contain his joy for having experienced the private wave pool owned by the World Surf League.

"I would be stoked to help consult with Kelly Slater and retrofit the pool to better fit skimboarding in the future!" concludes Keen.

 

Dimitri Maramenides, the founder and owner of Epic Kites, rode his kite a few hours before Hurricane Florence hit the East Coast of the United States.

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