Surf Ranch is a pressure cooker. The wave may be perfect, but the heat of all those eyes and all that anticipation adds another element of difficulty. Add to the equation the high stakes of a Championship Tour event with World Title implications and things get pretty intense.
With everyone hanging on every turn, analyzing every movement, it is quite literally like surfing under a microscope -- which is why Lakey Peterson's barrel and air reverse to win the 2019 Freshwater Pro is so special.
To bust such a progressive maneuver out in the Final of what is already perhaps the most difficult and intense setting on the Championship Tour calendar is a testament to what a steely athlete Peterson really is.
One of the best airs launched in a women's CT heat, it may not have the amplitude of the air reverse thrown by Carissa Moore at the recent Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona, but it most definitely helped open the door for more airs and progressive maneuvers in heats by inspiring the other surfers on Tour.
Moments like this are what Surf Ranch was made for: the best surfers in the world given a perfect canvass to find a whole new level. That cauldron of a setting can bring out the very best in a surfer -- if it doesn't break them.
The bar has been raised again and again and we're now about so see yet another CT event at the Ranch this week with the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro presented by Adobe. How high is the bar going to be pushed up this time around?