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Reality television barrels its way into surfing with ABC’s ‘The Ultimate Surfer’

  • COURTESY ABC
                                Zeke Lau of ­Honolulu, one of 14 contestants in the reality TV show “The Ultimate Surfer,” slashes a wave at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif. Hawaii surfers Brianna Cope, Kai Barger and Koa Smith also competed in the show.

    COURTESY ABC

    Zeke Lau of ­Honolulu, one of 14 contestants in the reality TV show “The Ultimate Surfer,” slashes a wave at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif. Hawaii surfers Brianna Cope, Kai Barger and Koa Smith also competed in the show.

  • COURTESY ABC
                                Contestants head out to manufactured waves at the Surf Ranch, which Kelly Slater designed.

    COURTESY ABC

    Contestants head out to manufactured waves at the Surf Ranch, which Kelly Slater designed.

  • COURTESY ABC
                                Surfers get some exciting news about the day’s activities during an episode of “The Ultimate Surfer,” which offered a top prize of $100,000 and a spot on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour.

    COURTESY ABC

    Surfers get some exciting news about the day’s activities during an episode of “The Ultimate Surfer,” which offered a top prize of $100,000 and a spot on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour.

  • COURTESY ABC
                                “The Ultimate Surfer” is a surfing-based reality TV show that has a two-night premiere this week on ABC. It features Kelly Slater, shown making a video call with contestants, as a special correspondent.

    COURTESY ABC

    “The Ultimate Surfer” is a surfing-based reality TV show that has a two-night premiere this week on ABC. It features Kelly Slater, shown making a video call with contestants, as a special correspondent.

  • COURTESY ABC
                                North Carolina surfer Mason Barnes, left, teamed with Hawaii’s Brianna Cope for part of the competition.

    COURTESY ABC

    North Carolina surfer Mason Barnes, left, teamed with Hawaii’s Brianna Cope for part of the competition.

  • COURTESY ABC
                                Kai Barger of Maui is one of several Hawaii surfers on the show.

    COURTESY ABC

    Kai Barger of Maui is one of several Hawaii surfers on the show.

In the classic 1966 surf documentary “The Endless Summer,” two California surfers went on a quest for the “perfect wave,” which was then believed to be in South Africa. Since the cost of the ticket was almost the same as a round-the-world plane ticket, they decided to chase the summer around the world instead. Read more

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