Kelly Slater is a freak. Maybe it took the tragic death of his fiercest rival Andy Irons to surf like it was his last time, without reservation and with fist-pumping joy. Maybe it was just one of those moments of synergy when the universe and the body work together in perfect unity… You are not supposed to win surf titles at 38 years of age. You are not expected to pull out a combo of great barrels, bullshit turns and aerials on a finals day with conditions that are less than perfect. With the average shelf-life of professional surfing, to land five World Titles – let alone 10 – in a lifetime is pure fantasy. But there are a few freaks in the world and Kelly Slater is one of them.
Here’s how he clinched his tenth world title while simultaneously taking out the Rip Curl Pro in Puerto Rico.
Quarter final: Kelly Slater Vs. Adriano de Souza
Semi-final: Kelly Slater Vs. Taj Burrow
Final: Kelly Slater Vs. Bede Durbidge
Australian phenomenon Stephanie Gilmore took out her fourth consecutive World Title and at just 22 she has put herself in position to potentially beat Layne Beachley’s seven-times world champ record. Over the weekend in Puerto Rico, however, the attention was on Slater and his unprecedented victory and how he pulled it off.
“I don’t know, it just happened,” Slater said. “If you look at the heat, Adriano (De Souza) passed one up and let me have it and that was a good wave and that was pretty much it a few minutes into the heat. I just want to send my condolences to Irons family. It’s been a week of extremes for me. If it wasn’t for Andy (Irons) there is no way I’d be here in this position right now. I don’t really know what else to say, I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I want to dedicate this to Andy and to my family.”