Written by Gabriel Dillard
A couple of years after competitive professional surfing came to — of all places — Lemoore, a pair of Central Coast towns familiar to Valley travelers will be in the spotlight this year.
Morro Bay is being added to the World Surf League’s 2020 competition schedule for the first time. And Pismo Beach will once again host a competition after successful runs in 2017 and 2018.
The SLO Cal Open at Pismo Beach will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 2 while the inaugural SLO Cal Open at Morro Bay will be held Feb. 27-March 1.
Visit SLO CAL is a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism in San Luis Obispo County.
“We are pretty fired up with a few new changes,” said Event Director and Surfers of Tomorrow President Andy McKay. “First we are welcoming a new title sponsor, Visit SLO CAL. They are really supportive of our cause of adding more California events to the WSL schedule and they view this as an excellent opportunity to expose the greater San Luis Obispo County area to a new tourism audience.”
“Morro Bay was such an easy choice for our next venue. Morro Rock is not only a stunning location but the waves are consistent and has the potential to get really good in late February,” added McKay.
It was at the end of 2017 when the World Surf League first came to the attention of Central Valley sports enthusiasts when it announced its Surf Ranch facility near Lemoore would host a 2018 competition.
Artificial waves are generated in a former Jet Ski lake at the Surf Ranch, which has created waves in the surfing world more than 100 miles inland of the ocean.
The Surf Ranch hosted a second WSL competition in September 2019. It appears to be an ongoing event as another is scheduled for Sept. 15-20 of this year.