A Guide To The WSL Surf Ranch Pro 2018 at Kelly Slater’s In Kinda Fresno [Lemoore]

Surf Ranch Pro

Yo! I have some details you need for the Kelly Slater, World Surf League, Surf Ranch Pro. I really want to say it’s in Fresno. I can’t because, technically, it is in Lemore. But hey, it’s the Fresno region. So with all due respect to Lemoore, I might say the Surf Ranch Pro is in Fresno, once or twice in this post.

How is a pro surfing even being held outside of Fresno (errr, Lemoore)?

This is the second event held at the Surf Ranch. The first was the Founder’s Cup in May. Kelly Slater built the Ranch in secret as he fine-tuned the wave machine so that it could produce the perfect wave (or pretty close to it) for surfing. It’s now ready for regular competition.

This is a little of what it looked like when they tested out doing a surf event at the Ranch:

The inaugural Surf Ranch Pro is what’s next. Let’s figure out together what days we want to go.

When is the Ranch Surf Pro and what is the schedule?

It is a three-day event, which is pretty rad. Begins Friday, September 6th and goes through to Sunday, September 8th. Located at 18556 Jackson Ave, Lemoore, CA 93245. Or you could say it is just outside of Fresno, off Highway 41.

View a map here.

  • Friday Schedule:
    The competition begins!
    Gates open at 8:30 AM.
    Surfing begins with the women’s comp at 9:00 AM, men begin at 12:30. There are a couple of hour-long breaks but it’s pretty much surfing all day. A day that ends at 8 PM.

The complete agenda can be found here.

  • Saturday Schedule:
    Gates open: 7:30 AM.
    Ranch Pro competition continues. Surfing begins at 8:00 AM with the men’s. Women go from 3:00 – 5:30.
    Concert at 7:30.

This is the night that Blink 182 Social Distortion will be playing. To you, this may mean the day to avoid because you don’t want to be just the girl at The Rock Show. Or this may be the day to make sure you are there to enjoy All The Small Things. The concert is included in your Saturday ticket.

Again, here is the breakdown of the schedule, if you need it.

  • Sunday Schedule:
    Gates open: 8:30 AM
    Men’s and women’s quarter/semifinals begin at 9 AM.
    Men’s and women’s semi/finals begin at 1:30 PM.
    2018 Ranch Pro Men’s and Women’s Champion is crowned at 4 PM!

What kind of Ranch Pro ticket situation is there?

Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch
Surf Ranch photo by LAtimes.com

Ticket price. This is where people have been freaking out.

A single day General Admission Ticket is $100. That is the cheapest you can go. You can get your kid in (10 & under) for only $10 bucks. Or you can choose the full 3-day and only pay $199, $25 for a full pass for the kid.

This may sound shocking at first.

Especially if you are new to WSL events. But it is a legit pro event in a unique setting in your backyard, Fresno. It will be ok.

I am willing to bet that you will drop $100 going out that weekend, why not just go to the Surf Ranch Pro instead?

To ease some price pain, you can get 50% off GA tickets for Friday and Sunday if you use the promo code “local” at checkout.

If you want to do it up, take advantage of a rare inland surfing event in Fresno (whoops I did it again) and watch a pro surf event like a rockstar, the full VIP 3-day experience is $499.

All your ticket buying options can be found here.

Are we parking in some dude’s almond orchard?

Probably. Parking is shuttled from a nearish lot and is included in your ticket. Or you can pay $50 to VIP park. You also might convince a Lyft or Uber driver to take you there from Fresno and back but I dunno.

Answers to more of your event questions can be found here. Including camping and other frequently asked questions.

Surfers to watch making critical carves at the Surf Ranch.

The World Surf League is the premier league for surfing. It is legit, which makes it that much more awesome that is coming here. The next stop for the Tour after this is in France, for freaks sake!

The men’s leaderboard looks like this coming into the Ranch Pro. The Top Ten is dominated by Brazilians with Filipe Toledo leading the pack.

Leading the women is Austrailian, Stephanie Gilmore. Check out Steph going up against Tyler Wright in a competition from 2017:

DOES KELLY SLATER STILL SURF IN THE WSL?

Yes. But he has had to drop out of WSL events this year due to a foot issue that has been slow to heal. He has not been able to surf in the WSL events this year because of it. Unsure if he will be able to surf for the Ranch Pro. He is a surfing legend and I hope we get to see him out there somehow.

Sorta unrelated but check out pro skimboarder, Austin Keen, spending some time at the Surf Ranch and doing things at Millerton Lake I wish I did:

Things to do in Fresno or Lemoore.

If you have wandered into this blog via Google, have never been to the Central Valley and are wondering what to do in the area around the Surf Ranch, I can help.

Let’s keep this SUPER simple.

I have no recos’ for you in Lemoore. Sorry, Lemoore, but I want you to stay in Fresno. I am going to keep you close to Highway 41 because that is what is close to the Surf Ranch and it will be easy to come into town using it.

Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden
Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden picture by twpatterson.com.

Downtown Fresno is the closest thing to the Ranch. I would check out Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden for your beer drinking and hanging out. Food is just one street away from there with Hop PK.

Tower District in Fresno is another area to check out. Lots of options for eating and nightlife and beer.

River Park in Fresno, if you like to play it safe, do some chain shopping or chain eating. There are a few local places worth checking out though, namely Pismo’s and Westwood’s BBQ & Spice.

The food Fresno is famous for?

Tacos and tri-tip. You can start your tri-tip journey at Doghouse Grill (if you find parking) and start your taco journey just about everywhere, or ask Fresno Tacos.

Any more Fresno questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter or leave your question about the Ranch Pro or Fresno, in the comment section of this post.

Hope to see you out there and thank you Kelly Slater and the WSL for coming to Fresno! *Lemoore.

Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Is Coming To Fresno

The Northern California brewpub chain, Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, is coming to Fresno at The Marketplace.

That’s the drunk whispers I am hearing. Fresno is adding another brewpub style place to eat and drink and it’s called Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.

I thought Pete’s was going to be on the empty pad along Herndon (near 99), next to the Target and the Panera. Thankfully, Fresnan reader, Redd, pointed out that it will be next to the new movie theater being built during phase two of construction:

It was rumored that Southgate Brewing in Oakhurst was going to open up a second location there but they are planning on building at Avenue 12 & Highway 41.

When Does Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Open?

Summer. Summer of 2019. That’s all I got for now. Things change I suppose. Fall through. Get drunk, stumble around, knock over a few street signs, wake up in the morning and forget it signed a three-year lease. But it seems it will happen.

What Is This Pete’s Brewhouse All About?

I had never heard of this place before but they have 13 freaking locations. They all seem to center around Sacramento but they don’t actually have a Sacramento location.

What Kind Of Food?

It’s brewpub food, people. We all know what that is about. I have not looked at the menu yet but I feel like there will be sliders. Lots of versions of sliders. Okay now, let’s look at the menu and see.

I’m shocked. I didn’t see any sliders. Lots of food. A bit more extensive than the standard restaurant brewery. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes too many dishes is a bad thing. At least there will be choices.

What Kind Of Beer?

For a beer geek like me, usually, the most exciting thing to look for is not the beer that the place makes but the guest taps. These are the beers they serve that are not the ones they make.

Usually, the beer that a brewpub makes is very generic. Just kinda OK. So the beer they offer other than theirs becomes the interesting part. Pete’s other locations seem to lean towards craft beer, which is a good sign.

They serve a lot of Norcal area beers so I assume the Fresno location will have locals like Tioga, Full Circle, House of Pendragon, Dust Bowl and maybe by that point Zack’s.

Fresno Is The New Brewpub Capitol.

Even though Fresno is still underserved for actual breweries, we seem to be doing just fine for brewpubs. We already have chains and homegrown.

We have Mad Duck at Campus Pointe. They are even opening a second location at Herndon & Marks that is being built as we read:

Mad Duck Brewery second location

We also have Sequoias (wish we could still call it Butterfield’s) with a Tower District location and an NE Fresno location. There is also the chain, BJ Brewhouse at Fashion Fair.

Brewpub or Brewery? What Is The Difference?

If you’re kind of fuzzy from drinking the night before and were wondering what the difference between a brewpub and a brewery is, I think of it this way:

BREWERY:

  • Focused on making their own beer.
  • Distributes their beer to other places.
  • Packages their beer for stores.
  • Food is not offered or comes second to the beer.

BREWPUB:

  • Food is the main focus.
  • Beer is an afterthought or feels almost like a gimmick to get you in the door.
  • The beer that they brew is safe and generic, does not push the limits of brewing.
  • Very little to no packaging of the beer, little to no distribution.

We have roughly the same amount of brewpubs as we do breweries in Fresno. That is odd and I hope the brewery side passes up the brewpub side soon.

Until then I will still be sampling both because beer research is essential to local blogging. Says me.

Summer Sweat 2018: The Fresno Thing To Do This Weekend

It’s time for Summer Sweat again!

My favorite music-related event of the year (well, since FUSE Fest is tucked away hiding in a Downtown basement somewhere).

I love Fresno events that fucking own that they are a Fresno event! That’s right, an outdoor event, during the hottest time of the year. Call it Summer Sweat. Bring the damn sweat!

SUMMER SWEAT DETAILS

TIOGA SEQUOIA STAGE

TEZZY RADIO STAGE

I will check in on this in between sets on the Tioga Stage and getting Fulton Street IPAs. But I would be lying if I told you I knew what the hell was going on there.

DJ Burns will be there. I sure hope it’s my friend Doug from 3rd Grade whom we all still call “Burns” and he has secretly been DJ-ing for years. Probably not.

OTHER THINGS TOO

There will be food and vendors of various sorts, check the flyer above for the list. All I need to know is there will be food and I’m cool. I am here for the music and beer.

I’ll try to update this post when I know the set times and if there are any special beer releases Tioga has up its sleeve.

Oh wait, here are the set times:

I am definitely centering things around Pinkeye’s set with an eye on Macondo’s.

The thing I like about Summer Sweat above all the other music related events and festivals in Fresno is that it doesn’t get uncomfortably packed with Fresbros or anybody else, it’s about the music, it’s approachable, there is the good beer. Enough said.

See ya out there, sweating and breathing heavy.

 

What Is Tesla Doing In Fresno?

Tesla Motors has leased space in Fresno. Why?

This is coming from a reliable source; Tesla Motors is currently leasing space in Fresno.

It’s not a big enough space (at this time) to be assembling cars or anything, but they do have space. A single suite in an office building, to be exact.

So. What In The Hell Is Tesla Setting Up In Fresno?

There is one job in Fresno listed on the Tesla website. Field Manager. I found the same job listing on LinkedIn as well:

That feels like it could be someone that manages the maintenance and repairs of their charging stations.

Locally I know there is one at Herndon & Riverview and one up at Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp (that is the picture at the top of the post). There is probably another one or two in the region somewhere, I assume.

I guess that is enough possible work for one human that works for Tesla, to have at least an office space in town. But that doesn’t feel like it’s it.

The job opening has “energy” in the title. That is a clue.

Let’s dig deeper.

Where Is This Fresno Tesla office?

The address is the 600 block of N. Armstrong in Fresno. This is roughly the same industrial area that Amazon & Ulta are located if I am not mistaken.

That is an area of Fresno designed for large buildings with capabilities for anything, really. Interesting….

But this office is just that. An office. Not enough space for manufacturing or distribution. There is room around there though for future things.

Best Guess To What Tesla Is Up To

I’m thinking Tesla will be putting up solar panels in Fresno. We are becoming the nation’s leading solar city. It makes sense.

Another possibility is their new Powerwall thingy. All signs point to yes on either of these, if not both.

Well, Now I’m Let Down

Damn. I was getting all pumped up on the thought that Tesla was scouting Fresno for a car manufacturing plant or solar manufacturing plant or Elon Musk was setting up an office here to work on our High Speed Rail issue.

It seems this mystery office is related to the solar side of the company. Which is cool and all, just not as exciting as a car plant.

I guess we all should learn what it would be like to have Tesla Energy come install some junk at your house:

I’ll update the post if I find anything else out. Leave a comment on what ya think.

Chicken Shack Fresno – Things To Know Before You Go

Chicken Shack Fresno

I have not been to the new Chicken Shack in Fresno, on Fulton Street. Just letting you know right now. This is not a personal review. It’s compiled. Hell dude, I didn’t even take the above picture, the Fresno Bee’s Bryant-Jon Anteola did.

That’s fine. We can figure out if this place is worth checking out all the same.

Location

1108 Fulton Street (formally Fulton Mall). Corner of Fulton & Mariposa. Located close to the Fresno Courthouse, Chuchanski Park and Club One Casino.

So it’s a good place to eat if you have jury duty in Downtown Fresno.

Heck, it could even serve as a place to eat if you’re seeing a show at Selland Arena or Warnors Theatre.

Hours: 10 AM – 9 PM every day.

The first Chicken Shack started in Hanford. They also have a food truck too that was very popular at this year’s Grizzly Fest. But the location we are talking about is the Fresno one.

Menu

They have beer! Oh wait, we should talk about the chicken first.

Of course, there is chicken. Next level fast-food style chicken, whatever that means. Lots of burgers too. And salads. And wings. Here is their full menu.

Some things that people have Yelped:

“They have a great set up inside and a patio to eat on as well as some good chicken fingers! I ordered the #2, it’s big enough to share if you’re just wanting to watch some Tv, drink some soda, and have a bite to eat.”
-Eric Larsen

“Got the buffalo fries, they were great. Chicken tenders cut up on top of shoe string fries. Big enough to share. Husband ordered the double shack burger combo which is HUGE and delicious. The bun was fancy haha.”
-Brianna Wilson

“I have had better chicken at a Rallys…”
-Daniel Marshall

Okay, well, not everybody enjoyed it. But overall I hear many good things.

ABC 30 did a video about the place when it first opened that might be of some help:

Beer, yes, I almost forgot. They have craft beer!

There are not a ton of food places like this, that have any kind of craft beer selection. As a beer geek that gets super annoying. A Chicken Shack, there most certainly is some Tioga Sequoia on draft, so we can drink local at the very least:

Are there things for vegetarians?

Not really. I guess you should not expect much since the place is called “The CHICKEN Shack” but you might deserve to expect something, ya know. I guess you can at least get one of their salads, without meat. Veg eaters are used to improvising when eating out.

Best Time To Go To CHICKEN SHACK FRESNO

Obviously, the best times to go to restaurants, new, old or popular, are the off times. Between 2-5 or 11:00-11:30 AM. I have heard tell that they can even be busy during the week after 2.

Pro tip: You can call-ahead your order. Much less waiting that way. (559)-724-9857.

Here’s Where Things Get Weird

They painted the building blue. Which is cool because it is not ‘Fresno Beige’ and we need less beige around here. And they have a pretty good sign that fits well enough.

Then came the oddness.

(Photo by Daniel A Draper)

They painted panels of art around the building.

You see, the Chicken Shack happens to be located on “Renoir Corner”, which I didn’t know was a thing until now. It’s named that because of the Renoir sculpture located on that corner. So hence, the inspired panels.

But it just looks… off. The combination of the art panels, the blue and the sign that does not blend with this, makes it look a little hokey.  Now mind you, this is WAY better than just plain beige, so I guess I should shut up. Love the effort!

Listen to a review

Early on in this month’s Flowing With Famous podcast, Joshua Tehee gives me/us a review of the place. Definitely worth listening to if I do say so myself:

Eventually I’ll get around to eating some Chicken Shack food. If you have gone or plan NOT to go, feel free to leave me a comment on how it went or why you won’t go.

Fresno Sucks At Parks

UPDATE! Before you get into the meat of this post, know that the Mayor has since pulled his initiative and we now fully support the Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Initiative.

Here is the original post:

Alright, let me sort this out.

There is an item called Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Initiative that is gathering Fresno voter signatures so that it can be put on the November ballot. It is being helped along by Fresno for Parks.

If voters pass it, it would be a local funding source for our parks through a 3/8-cent sales tax in the City of Fresno. It would raise 38 million a year for Fresno park stuff.

This is cool because Fresno is shit when it comes to greenspace. In fact, we rank 94th out of 100 cities and at one time have been ranked THE WORST CITY IN THE DAMN COUNTRY FOR PARKS!

This city needs help

So great. A little bit of sales tax provides a better city to live in. Trees rule. We pay a little bit more for a night out at Pismo’s and one day we’ll have some more parks to go to and the existing parks will be cleaner and safer.

Easy peasy. See you on the coming bike trails along the canal banks.

Wait. Enter, Mayor Lee Brand.

Mr. Brand has announced a SEPARATE major tax initiative. One that would fund more police and fireman, PLUS park facilities and programs.

Please read Fresno Bee writer, Brianna Calix’s, article about it and the details.

The mayor’s initiative needs five of the seven Fresno council members to vote yes to get the measure on the ballot. It appears nobody on the council is supporting it.

You’d expect the conservatives and tea-bagger loons to vote no to anything taxes. But it is surprising the conservatives are voting “no” to helping police and fire. And the city of Fresno definitely needs help there.

Fresno’s Fire Department is working with the same amount of staff as it did in 1985. In case you have not looked around, there is a grip more people here than in 1985 and that is scary when you think about it.

What is going on here?

Even democratic members of the council are saying they will vote no for this. You would think it is because they are supporting the Fresno Clean and Safe Neighborhoods thing, but it’s not. At least they have not said that. It seems they just don’t want new taxes. They think they can find funding somewhere else.

Where the hell is “somewhere else”? You really think there is some department in the city of Fresno that is over budgeted and that will give you some money for parks? Jesus. Even Fresno’s “liberals” are Republicans.

So I don’t know what to do here. In a perfect world, I would vote for a parks initiative AND an initiative to fund more fireman and police programs that help neighborhoods.

The reality is if both measures are on the ballot in November, they will likely cancel each other out.

The Fresno For Parks people are willing to work with the Mayor so that we don’t have competing measures in November. Let’s hope he does or the Parks measure passes on its own.

Either way, we have to pass one of these. Fresno has waited to damn long for park support and letting another year pass with nothing will dig a deeper hole for Fresno to climb out of.

Did I mention we are among THE WORST CITIES IN THE DAMN COUNTRY FOR PARKS!?!!