Rompers, Split Chins & Freak Peaks.
By Trevor Solberg.
It was a trip that COVID tried to ruin, but failed.
My friends and I had started planning a bachelor party trip to BSR in Waco, TX, in December of 2019. We had booked our flights, accommodations, and, most importantly, our private session for early May 2020. After months of anticipation, we were finally a few weeks away from our trip when Texas imposed a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine on California visitors.
The majority of our group currently lives in California, and none of us could take two weeks from our lives to quarantine in Texas. Regrettably, we had to reschedule our trip. We rebooked our flights, accommodations, and private session for early August 2020.
After what felt like years of waiting and many additional hiccups to our plans, our trip date finally arrived. The bachelor party was finally beginning. Our group boarded our planes from California, Tennessee, and Washington, all converging in Austin, TX. Our friends that live in Texas met us at the airport, and the shenanigans began.
We spent the first night in Austin, and the next morning we loaded up the trucks and headed to Waco. We scheduled a few public sessions that Thursday to give those who hadn’t been to BSR an introduction to the wave ahead of our private session the next day. The two-hour drive flew by with how excited everyone was to surf in the middle of Texas.
For anyone that hasn’t been to BSR – it is an amazing place. You turn off the highway and drive down a small road to what feels like the middle of nowhere. After driving just long enough to start wondering if you might actually be lost, you turn into the gate and see the BSR sign which gives you an instant sense of relief. You drive through the dirt parking lot and pass the wakeboarding cables. After you park and unload your gear, you cross the bridge over the lazy river and enter the lobby where you check-in and get your first glimpse of the pool and the waves you are there to ride.
It is an unexplainable sight to see perfect peeling waves in a pool in the middle of Texas.
After checking in, you take your gear and head down the beach steps and set up shop in a cabana overlooking the waves. The setup is perfect for feeding your stoke while you get ready to head out for your session.
The nine of us were losing our minds while preparing for our first public session.
The boys paddled out and enjoyed the peeling “Lowers” style waves for the next hour. Everyone got out and shared memories of the session we just had, while rehydrating and preparing for our next session the following hour. After repeating this process for two more sessions that day and probably scoring 50-60 waves each, and we were exhausted. We packed up our gear, loaded up the trucks, and grabbed dinner on the way back to our Airbnb.
When we got to the house, we unloaded our gear and divided up into the rooms. The last member of our group, Devan, arrived at the house after driving 20-hours to get there. He was in the middle of moving from California to Louisiana and made a stop in Waco to surf with us along the way. We all settled in, ate dinner, and went to sleep to prepare for our private session the next morning.
I don’t know how much sleep everyone got that night with the level of excitement for what was to come the next day.
Early the next morning, my friends and I woke up before sunrise. We packed a cooler, ate breakfast, and hit the road to BSR. When we arrived at BSR, we met our photographer by the BSR sign in order to get a group picture. We wanted to make the picture memorable and have some fun with it… after all it was a bachelor party. We all dressed up in rompers and posed next to the sign. After the group picture, we made our way into BSR. We unloaded our gear, checked in for our private session, and set up in a couple of cabanas. We got our gear ready, hydrated, caffeinated, and headed out for our six-hour private session.
We started our private session off with fifteen minutes of “Lowers” rights and then fifteen minutes of “Lowers” lefts to give everyone a quick warm-up.
After we were warmed up, we requested “Wedge” rights and sent the bachelor, Rob, into the first wave. The “Wedge” at BSR sends a wave from the left or right and then sends a second wave from the middle of the wall to wedge the first wave and create a fun chest high barrel.
Everyone caught their first “Wedge,” and we started going through the order again. Devan decided for his second “Wedge,” he was going to try an invert. He paddled into his wave, headed for the peak, went for the invert, and got slammed into the concrete bottom of the pool. He popped up in knee-deep water, holding his chin. He had split his chin open and went straight to the safety personnel at BSR. A few of the guys got out to check on him, and it was decided he needed to head to urgent care for stitches. He borrowed one of the trucks and drove off while the rest of the guys continued to surf the “Wedge.”
We did about thirty minutes on the “Wedge” right and then switched over to “Wedge” left. Our group took turns getting shacked on the left for another thirty minutes.
After getting barreled for over an hour, we switched over to “Freak Peak” right. The “Freak Peak” setting at BSR sends a wave from the left or right, depending on which way you want it to go. Then, it sends a smaller wave from the opposite side of the pool. As those two waves make their way towards one another in a “V” shape, a third wave is sent from the middle, and all three waves meet at once, causing the wave to explode upwards.
This wave is all about timing, but also offers a lot of variety on where you want to launch. You can launch off the oncoming section, past the peak, at the peak, or just before. Everyone took a turn, trying to launch airs off the “Freak Peak.” Most of the guys got swallowed by the peak or thrown out in some tweaked fashion that made it hard to land. Some airs were landed, including some big rolls and backflips.
After thirty to forty minutes on the right, we switch to “Freak Peak” left and continued the beatings.
After launching off the “Freak Peak” for over an hour, the group switched to the “Whacko Whacko” setting.
“Whacko Whacko” sends a wave similar to the “Wedge” from the left or right, depending on what you choose. One rider gets barreled on the “Wedge,” and then a second, steeper “Wedge” is sent from the opposite direction immediately after the first, but the second “Wedge” has a ramp in the middle that you need to navigate over into a second barrel section. None of the guys made it out of the second barrel section.
The group swapped left and right barrels for about an hour, including Devan, who made it back all stitched up, and jumped back in the water. Some of the guys even put the rompers back on for some special barrel shots.
Next, the group decided to give the “Freak Peak” another crack. Now having a better understanding of that wave, the guys started to push harder.
The airs got bigger, the tricks got more technical, and we started having a lot more fun. Guys were landing big rolls, backflips, and the occasional ARS.
Some of the dropknee guys, myself included, started trying some DK airs. The DK airs were tricky. The first few attempts sent me into a flat spin, unable to get the board back underneath me. After figuring out the best section to hit, the airs started to straighten out and get bigger.
The DK air in the picture was towards the end of our private session, after I had figured out the timing. I had taken off on the “Freak Peak” left and launched just past the peak on the oncoming wave. I grabbed my outer rail and hung on as I looked down at our photographer. Carson was taking pictures in the water, while Rob was shooting from the tower. Carson posted up right in the impact zone and never flinched even when he was looking up at the Vektor fins on my board, headed straight for him. This picture is solely credited to him consistently staying in position to get the shot. A couple of these airs were landed, but there was definitely more carnage on the “Freak Peak” than victories. Either way, everyone had a blast.
We finished off the private session with a few more “Wedge” waves and then the final thirty minutes on the “Lowers” setting.
After the six-hour private session ended, everyone was exhausted. We originally planned to float the lazy river after, but none of us had the energy even to do that. We packed up our gear, loaded the trucks, and headed back to the house. After unloading the trucks and relaxing for a bit, we loaded back into the trucks and went into town for dinner. We filled up on tacos and beer and then headed back to the house.
That night, we sat around a bonfire and reminisced about the insane day we had. We called it a night and prepared for our last day in Waco.
The next day, the group slept in a bit. We packed up all our gear and headed back to BSR for one last session. We made the same drive, went through the same check-in and preparation process, and headed out for our final public session.
We surfed for an hour but were definitely still feeling the session from the day before as we were all pretty beat after one hour. We packed up our gear, grabbed our beers, and jumped into the lazy river for our last couple hours in Waco.
After floating for a while, we loaded up the trucks and headed back to Austin. We stuffed ourselves with some bomb Texas BBQ and passed out.
The next day we packed up. We loaded up the trucks and headed to the airport. We had a few more drinks at the airport, and everyone went their separate ways. We all flew home exhausted, but full of memories that we will never forget.
Despite all of the headaches and difficulties we encountered with traveling during this crazy time, this was one of the best surf trips we might ever have the chance to go on.
Surfing the kinds of waves we got to surf in the middle of nowhere in Texas is something every wave rider should try to experience, especially if it is with a great group of friends.