Kelly Slater Wins Quik Pro France
By Carlos Rock
Kelly Slater (USA) beats Dane Reynolds (USA) in the Quiksilver Pro Final at La Graviere, France, in dreamy beach break tubes.
Kelly also collects his 51st tour event win, his first win in France in 20 years.
The final days of the Quiksilver Pro France were nothing short of amazing. Everything that the dream tour is supposed to be was embodied by this event. Pumping swell, amazing surfing, and huge scores were the main theme of the entire event.
The quarterfinals and semis were held in heavy 6 to 8-foot beach break tubes as the pros pushed themselves over the ledges and prayed for an opening as most waves would close out — making the pros choose wisely for a good one.
The quarterfinals saw very one-sided heats as competitors either won in style, or simply lost fair and square.
Everyone from Parkinson, Dane Reynolds, and Kelly Slater were dropping 9s and 10s in every heat leading up to the semis and finals.
As the quarters came to a close, event wildcard and “best free surfer on the planet” Dane Reynolds was the story of the event, and not Kelly Slater winning it all.
Surfing his way to the semis, Reynolds saw himself matched up against wonder kid from Hawaii John John Florence.
The morning dawned with perfect 6-foot tubes for the surfers.
This highly anticipated matchup did not disappoint either. The first heat of the morning was before the sun even came up over the hills at La Graviere, and Dane and John John were trading deep tubes all heat long as Dane won the heat with a controversial score given to John John.
Basically John John lost and Dane won by .01 of a point. Anyway, Dane was in the final to surf against either Kelly Slater or Joel Parkinson.
Dane Reynolds has the talent to compete and beat all of the best surfers in the world and could be sitting on a world title or two, but he chooses not to compete full time. However, commentators of the event were saying that a win here could maybe spark that competitive fire inside him and bring him back to the tour.
He is the most influential free surfer out there now putting out mind-blowing video segments from free surfs at home in California, to influencing surfboard design with shapes like the Dumpster Diver, Fred Rubble, and Neck Beard*, to surfing his way to the finals in France only to lose to Kelly Slater riding a board Reynolds had shaped himself.
But, Kelly won again. And he did it with style and dominance, again. Congratulations, again.
This result puts him at #2 in the world rankings, and Joel Parkinson at #1. The title race will be very exciting, as the final three events will produce drama.
Look for John John to make a statement in Portugal.
For highlights of the event, check the event website: http://quiksilverlive.com/profrance/2012/blog.en.html
There is some really inspirational surfing going on and will undoubtedly get you stoked to go out and pull into some tubes.
Another big advisory level NW swell is forecasted to hit Hawaii early next week as the pros get ready for the Ripcurl Pro at Peniche, Portugal.
*Kelly actually surfed this model during his win at Lower Trestles.