Mr. Surf Does It Again

Gary Kewley
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Friday - April 28, 2006
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Seven-time reigning ASP world champ Kelly Slater won the Rip Curl Pro in Australia on April 20
Seven-time reigning ASP world
champ Kelly Slater won the Rip
Curl Pro in Australia on April 20

Aloha, surfers!

Can you believe we’re at the end of April? It seems like we were just complaining about March weather, etc. In this case, I don’t mind time moving fast - the farther we get from that period the better. It looks like we should be seeing the trades drop and then rebuild this weekend. Our long-range weather prospects are good. Plus, we’ve got surf! Indeed, all shores have something to ride. Stoked! There’s fun-kine surf on South shores, and there’s funkine surf in the country. It’s all below advisory levels ... which is good enough for most. On the horizon there’s nothing BIG for the North Shore except a possible 4-foot WNW next week. Surfers must now accept the fact that these swells are the country’s last gasps before summer flatness.

Big news on the Pro Tour ... Mr. Surf Kelly Slater won the Rip Curl Pro at Australia’s Bells Beach in 6-10 foot “freight-trains” last Thursday (April 20). It’s been called one of the best finishes to a pro surfing event ever. Mother Nature delivered with perfect timing the best Bells Beach surf ever ... she even had the tide just right.

Now add in two surfers who are as good as one gets on their “forehand” or “face to the wave” - Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater. Joel is Australia’s most promising talent for a world title and is said to have thee meanest cut-back. He’s so fast and seamless. In fact, he’s the smoothest of all the top 44. He’s been runner-up for the World Title twice since 2001!

It’s strange, however, when you get these rare wonder boys like Joel P. who are just amazingly gifted ... meant to do what they do. They train hard for years and do all the right moves to fulfill their dreams and then?

Well, then comes along Kelly Slater and the results just aren’t fair.

I mean, Joel would have a title and far more contest victories if it weren’t for his timing; he met up against one of the plan-et’s best athletes of all time.

Yes, you read that right. I’ll put Slater’s records up against the likes of Michael Jordon, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Wayne Gretzky ... you name the athlete or sport. Slater is in his own rarified atmosphere. He doesn’t seem human at certain moments. The thing is, I’m not exaggerating. Even veteran pros would agree.

When Kelly won his seventh title last year, many people thought it was likely his last. But he figured he’d just see how each event went at the start of this 2006 season before deciding if he was staying or going ... off into the sunset of retirement. He’s won the first two events, hands down. At 34 he’s the oldest ever to hold the title, and he was the youngest (20) also. He’s got almost every record nailed down including his latest: 450 heat wins in his 14 year career. Anyway, I won’t elaborate any further, ‘cause the season’s just starting and anything is possible. I’m just so pumped. Now the boys are heading to Tahiti (early May) for that fat left-hander known as “Chopo” or Teahupoo. That wave is an article in itself.

The girls are going off in Fiji as I write this, big Tavarua for the Roxy Pro. They get to hang around that paradise ‘til they finish. They’ve had 6-foot, perfection and I’m jealous. Can I be the boatman? Rochelle Ballard, Hawaii’s tube specialist, won her second round heat and is hoping to win in this barrel driving reef break. Be here or at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM as I update you on our boys and girls on tour ...

OK it’s time to rally round the champs! I’m talking about the Hawaii Amateur Surfing Association’s World Team of young wave riders! They’re heading off to Brazil (May 6-14) to defend their world championship. It’s against a record 29 other countries. Gov. Linda Lingle has officially proclaimed April 30 as World Team Hawaii Day. The event will be huge and covered on the World Wide Web ... You know where to go ... I’ll be on it for you. The special fundraiser is this Sunday, 4 to 11 p.m. at Local Motion/Brew Moon Waikiki. Go Jimmy Go, Kapena, Kai Roots, KaniMakou, Ells Simeona and Dwight Kanae will be playing. Admission is only 15 bucks for a great cause. Thousands worth of your favorite things have been donated and will be auctioned and sold ... including a Hawaiian Airlines round trip to Sydney if you listen to KPOI 105.9 with Ed Kanoi. It’s a “don’t miss,” for sure. Great energy will be radiating 10 miles out from the center.

I’ll see you there ... with a few of our future world champs! And as always, I’ll see you in the lineup and back here next week!

I’m GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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