Professional sporting leagues haven’t had it easy with COVID-19, but lucky for us, they’re learning to adapt. Thanks to a little bit of ingenuity, we can watch mountain bike racing with Crankworx’s summer series, NHL playoffs, and the NBA playoffs. The WSL has also learned to make lemonade with a global pandemic with what they’re calling Rumble at the Ranch.
Considering that their last event was in March, everyone has been craving for a glimpse of their favorite surfers back in the water. Interestingly enough, the WSL’s solution was to host a one-day speciality event at Kelly Slater’s surf ranch. If hosting the competition on man-made waves wasn’t already different, the format was pretty unique too. Every surfer was part of a two person team, which was randomly created by the WSL. Each pair of surfers surfed four perfect waves and their top scores were added together for their overall heat score, which hopefully progressed them to the next round. The final surfers to survive the knockout rounds would not only be crowned as champions, but would be given the opportunity to donate their prize winnings to a charity of their choice. If you haven't watched it yet, stop reading this and start playing the event above to get caught up.
After a thrilling match up of surfing’s finest, Coco Ho and Filipe Toledo ultimately edged out Alyssa Spencer and Kolohe Andion in the Quarterfinals, only to continue on and defeat Sage Erickson and Kelly Slater in the semi-finals. Even though Kanoa Igarashi and Tatianna Weston-Webb dominated their first few rounds, they weren’t able to bring the same fire for the final heat against Toledo and Ho. After defeating the Olympic qualifiers, Toledo and Ho celebrated their win by nominating Surfrider LA as the recipient of their $10,000 prize winnings.