Training Days at the Surf Ranch

by DHD Surf

In a world first Surfing Australia’s National Squad, Mick Fanning, Steph Gilmore, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Ethan Ewing and Bronte Macaulay were able to train at the World Surf League’s (WSL) Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California to support their high-performance training needs heading towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

This was the perfect opportunity for Darren Handley to be apart of the development and testing of the team’s equipment for the wave pool and to provide real-time feedback.

There’s No Better Way Of Testing Surfboards

“I did six months worth of testing in a week. Even growing up and living on the Gold Coast where we get consistent quality waves, it takes time to get surfers on their boards, receive the feedback and then implement it. That week the surfers had 24 waves each day; 12 lefts and 12 rights. I was either on the jetski, watching from the water (and hoping they would fall off the wave so I could catch it) or watching on the big screen. Add the video footage and all the surfers having their coaches on hand for immediate analysis and you could see the progression hour-to-hour.”

View the full article – DHD Team take on the KSWAVECO Surf Ranch


Matt Wilkinson - Surf Ranch

Matt Wilkinson (@mattwilko8) putting his signature model WILKO F13 through its paces at the Surf Ranch. The F13 was specifically designed for the speed and shape of the wave. It gives the perfect balance of performance needed for such a small powerfull wave.

Matt is surfing his F13 5’10 1/2 x 19 3/16 x 2 5/16 at 28L on his forehand and the 5’11 x 19 x 2 5/16 at 28L for his backhand.


Owen Wright on the DX1 - WSL Surf Ranch

Owen Wright (@owright) was ripping in the pool on his DX1 6’3 x 18 3/16 x 2 3/8 at 28L for most waves but end up changing over to 5’11 1/2 and 6’0 1/2 WILKO F13 after surfing Matt Wilkonsons’s 5’11 at 28L. Tho it was shorter he felt that the flat deck had the added sensitivity and responsiveness he was looking for.

On Owen’s forehand he is using the 5’11 1/2 x 19 x 2 5/16 at 28L WILKO F13 and for his backhand the 6’0 1/2 x 18 15/16 x 2 5/16 at 28L WILKO F13.


Ethan Ewing - Wave Pool

Ethan Ewing (@ethan_ewing) on his go to short board the DNA 6’0 x 18 3/4 x 2 3/8 at 28L.


100% pure luv

A post shared by Stephanie Gilmore (@stephaniegilmore) on

Stephanie Gilmore (@stephaniegilmore) too decided that Mick’s J-Bay four-channel swallow tail worked best for her on the right. The wave has a lot of power. I snapped a board and a few others were creased but she loved the drive that the channels provided.

JBAY 5’9 x 18 1/2 x 2 3/16 at 24.5L

She may opt. to ride her DNA 5’10 x 18 3/8 x 2 3/16 at 24.3L for her backhand.


Mick Fanning The Surf Ranch

Power house Mick Fanning on the DNA 5’10 x 19 x 2 5/16 at 26.5L



Darren Handley DNA - Surf Ranch

DH was lucky enough drop into a few waves on his DNA 5’11 x 19 1/4 x 2 1/2 at 31.5L



Glen Hall - Wilko F13 Surf Ranch

Master coach Glen Hall (@microsurfacademy) keeping on point with the WILKO F13 5’8 x 18 3/4 x 2 3/16 at 25L


Bronte Macaulay (@brontemacaulay) was on her DNA 5’8 x 18 3/4 x 2 1/4 at 24L

Footage – Surfing Australia (@surfingaus)