While most of us in Oz were either tucked up enjoying our last hour or two of sleep on a winter’s morning, or out in the lineup getting our fill before work, over in surfing’s cow-pat capital Lemoore, California, Professional surfing made it’s return after 234 days in the wilderness.

The Rumble at the Ranch featured eight teams of two surfers, each team comprised of one male and one female surfer, battling it out head-to-head, last team standing wins. It’s a delicious format, and one we’d love to see hosted as a specialty event at an ocean-based wave in the future.

However, this one was held at Kelly’s Surf-Ranch, and it’s probably a good thing too because, as the commentary team reminded us ad nauseam, California currently might-as-well be a pool itself, with not a contestable wave to be found anywhere on its coastline. A soul-crushing summer flat spell in full effect.

But, it is still the Surf Ranch. We all know the wave inside out now, and it was just as predictable as ever. Almost as predictable as surf publications harping on about it being predictable. There’s just something about it that my surfing soul can’t latch onto. Remove the random nature of the ocean and what you’re left with just feels … dulled.

The surfing was great to watch though, and love it or hate it, there was a strange comfort in seeing the WSL band back together.

In the end it was Filipe Toledo and Coco Ho who took the win, edging out Tati Weston-Webb and Kanoa Igarashi in the final. Filipe looking as sharp as ever, stomping two full-rotation oops on his final right to seal the win, before pop-shuviting his way into a switch foot tube on his final left to sign-off.

Did you watch? Did you enjoy? We’d love to know.