Slater's Greatest Hits
Kelly Slater's Greatest Hits
Kelly Slater has always had a flair for the dramatic. Quiet and mellow on land, the 11-time world champ is the consummate showman when the horn blows. As for the 2013 title race, he says he's all in. Here are 11 reasons we believe he'll do it.
Trestles, 1990, The Tailslide
Kelly Slater single-handedly ushered in a new decade and set the standard for a new generation of surfing when he showed up at the Surf Bout at Trestles in 1990. That day felt like the start of my career," Slater would say.
Pipeline, 1995, The High Five
It was a feel-good lovefest as Slater won his third title and Rob Machado began his run as the most stylish Pipe surfer since Gerry Lopez. "I look at it now and I think, he could have just have just kicked out instead and got priority," said Slater.
Pipeline, 1998, Backdoor Mastery
In 1998, Slater was in a similar position to 1995, finding himself behind Mick Campbell and Danny Wills in the tour ratings going into the Pipeline Masters. When big, perfect Backdoor dawned on the final day, Slater was relaxed and ready.
Tahiti, 2005, Letting Go
In 2005, a 33-year-old Slater, grieving over the death of his father, seemed lost and burned out, and had surrendered the title to Andy Irons for the past three years. He was looking like a man at the end of his competitive career ... until Tahiti.
Tahiti, 2005, The Beer Wave
Damien Hobgood went down early in the final of the 2005 Billabong Pro Tahiti with a shoulder separation, leaving Slater alone in the lineup to collect two perfect 10s and win the event with ease.
Bali, 2008, The Switch Stance
2008 was one of the most dominant competitive years of Slater's career. He won six events on tour that year and came into the Rip Curl Search event in Bali with a huge lead in the ratings. What better time to put his other foot forward?
Portugal, 2010, The Alley Oop
While gunning for his 10th world title, Slater was locked in a tough semifinal in Portugal against Chris Davidson. Needing a huge score, he went for a giant no-grab alley oop, one of the biggest ever attempted in competition, and stuck it.
New York, 2011, The Slob
The skateboard-inspired, aerial-based surfing of Dane Reynolds, Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina gave new inspiration to Slater as he neared 40. Surfing a world tour event on his native East Coast for the first time in his career, he didn't disappoint.
Bells, 2012, The Hail Mary
Bells has never been Slater's favorite tour stop. In the 2012 final of the 2012 he was pitted against Mick Fanning, who's carve-based approach fits the wave to a tee. Slater responded by launching into the flats. He got the score but lost the final.
Fiji, 2012, The Backside Snap
Tavarua, Fiji, has always been one of Slater's favorite places in the world and the return of it to the ASP schedule in 2012 had him licking his chops. Threading long tubes and throwing huge, under-the-hook hacks, he was untouchable.
Kirra, 2013, The Final
Slater surfed Kirra religiously in the early 1990s -- back when Mick and Parko were still groms fighting for scraps. The night before the Quik Pro final he spent hours studying the lineup and rediscovering the magical "butterbox" section.