Surfing will get a stoke of reality this summer with “The Ultimate Surfer,” a televised surfing competition premiering in August on ABC, the network announced today.
The show will feature 14 surfers — including four from Hawaii — competing for coveted spots on the World Surfing League’s Championship Tour.
“Alliances and rivalries will be front and center in ‘The Ultimate Surfer’ as men and women compete in individual and team challenges focused on specific surfing disciplines,” a release from ABC said.
The competition will be held at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif. Originally conceived and designed by Kelly Slater, the 11-time world champion and part-time North Shore resident, the facility is known for producing consistent waves perfect for competition. Slater is acting as a consultant and will appear as a correspondent on the show, which launches with a two-night debut on Aug. 23-24.
The Hawaii contestants are Kai Barger of Maui, who has ranked as high as 71 on the WSL standings; Ezekiel “Zeke” Lau of Honolulu, whose best ranking was No. 20 in 2018; Brianna Cope of Kauai, who highest rank was No. 15 in 2014; and the North Shore’s Koa Smith, whose top finishing rank was 62 in 2016 but is currently ranked No. 7 on the WSL standings.