Kelly Slater Wins Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles
By Carlos Rock
Kelly Slater (USA) beat Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.50 to 14.00 in classic 4-6 ft Lower Trestles conditions.
This victory places him at 3rd place in the World Tour rankings and even closer to a 12th World Title.
The final day at the Hurley Pro was one for the record books in terms of match-ups and performances. From round 5 and through the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, leading up to the final with the Bud Light Lime Expression Session, it was nothing short of amazing surfing by all the competitors.
The in-form surfer of the event by far was Joel Parkinson from Australia, dropping 9 point rides with stylish carves and powerful-yet-polished surfing. Parkinson (Parko) was getting scores in the excellent range without having to do airs like the almost all of the other surfers.
This is what Parko is known for, having grown up on point breaks at Snapper Rocks in Australia. He absolutely tore apart the long Lowers walls with exceptional long arcing carves all the way to the beach. Really beautiful surfing by the Australian.
This second place finish puts him closer to the World Number One Mick Fanning (AUS) to keep his hopes of a first world title alive.
However, the day really belonged to Kelly Slater. Taking down Jeremy Flores (FRA) in Round 5, Adrian Buchan (AUS) in the quarter-final, current World Number 1 Mick Fanning (AUS) in the semis, and Parko in the final.
The final heat was completely dominated by Kelly. Grabbing waves without priority* and unleashing a series of combinations from turns, floaters, airs, with speed, power and flow. Slater had Parko in the combination situation within the first few minutes and with long lulls in between set waves, Parko was left to scramble for scores.
Parko was able to answer back with an 8.33, but was unable to claim a back-up score as time expired and Kelly was once again victorious.
Slater also claims his 50thWorld Tour event win at what he claims is his most successful event in his 20-year career of dominance.
This day in surfing was really great for the sport because this wave is what many are calling a “blank canvas.” Surfers can really display the repertoire of old school versus new school surfing with combinations of turns and airs. If you don’t really care who wins, these surfers really put on a show and demonstrated why they are deemed the best in the world.
The best in the entire world? Maybe. However there are still surfers out there who choose not to compete and would rather surf close to home and not feel the pressure to perform.
On a side note, John John Florence of Hawaii earns a 5th place bowing out in the quarter-finals to Adriano de Souza from Brazil. This result drops him down to 4th in the world rankings just behind Kelly Slater. Not bad company to be in for the rookie Hawaiian who could be looking at a world title his first year on tour.
Expect great things from Double John, especially heading into his home, Pipeline.
Be sure to check out the replays of all the action online with heats on demand at http://www.hurley.com/hurleypro/index.cfm and on Oceanic Cable channel 250 or HD 1250.
If you got to witness Kelly Slater win once again, savor it while it lasts: this guy is a living legend of the sport of surfing, and as a professional athlete whose legacy will be forever remembered.
Congrats Kelly Slater, you are now $105,000 dollars richer, and you schooled the field once again.
*The surfer that paddles/makes it out to the peak first has priority to choose whichever wave he desires and the other surfer cannot interfere without penalty. But if the surfer with priority rides a wave, he hands over priority to the other surfer.