Slater Rules

Gary Kewley
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Friday - May 28, 2005
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Howzit, surfers and beachgoers?!

First Wave. There are 12 contests on the Fosters ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour and we have a winner of event No. 3 in Tahiti: A man who’s no stranger to winning … Kelly Slater! Now 99.99 percent of everyone who surfs knows this name — he’s the bestknown modern day surfer of all time! Slater is the Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan/Lance Armstrong of our sport! He’s 33 and shows little sign of peaking, even after six world titles. He’s a surfer’s surfer … a freak of surfing freaks … a record breaker. Just to prove it, he did it again on May 17. No one has ever scored two perfect 10 point rides in a single heat … until now. In the finals against Florida’s Damien Hobgood, Slater rode the 4-6-foot waves as perfect as anyone could imagine … in fact, he expanded our imagination! New levels of performance were achieved at “the most respected spot on the tour” — Teahupoo! This contest sponsored by Billabong is being touted as “one of the greatest days of competitive surfing ever witnessed.” In my humble opinion, it’s due to Slater raising the bar for all the best surfers on planet Earth!

Kelly Slater made surfing history scoring perfect
points to clinch the Billabong Pro Tahiti title

Such sports heroes bring out the best in all of us. Thanks, Kelly!

Second Wave. If you’re wondering about Hawaii’s own 3x World Champ Andy Irons and how he’s stacking up against Slater and the rest of the boyz, here’s the current standings as of today: In first place is Australia’s Trent Munro, second is Andy(!!!), third is Damien Hobgood and Slater jumped to fourth. Now there’s another reason why I mention the ratings. Do you recall a few years ago when Slater and Irons ran the greatest neck-to-neck race in surfing history? Andy came out on top on the last wave in the last heat of the last contest of the 2002 tour at Pipeline. He ushered in the new era of new faces beating the “legend” himself, Kelly Slater. It was a seminal moment for professional surfing. Now fast forward to 2005. Did we think for a moment that Slater would gracefully bow out, letting the new generation begin its reign in the sun and surf? Could it be true that the impossible might happen? Could we see the two most dominant surfers of the past 15 years battle it out … again? No way! But wait! We are speaking about Kelly Slater and Andy Irons … ’nough said. Let’s watch ’em ride in Fiji now through June 3. Check for updates at or 596- surf and 596-wave.

Third Wave. This Memorial Day weekend will be wet and wild at the Local Motion Surf into Summer off Magic Island! The largest amateur contest will see hundreds of Hawaii’s top competitors paddle across the Ala Wai Channel and into the Bowl at Ala Moana! We should see fun kine size surf of three feet or chest high on the sets … but nothing over four feet. There just hasn’t been the right set up from storms down by New Zealand. It takes lots to bring the bigger stuff 5,000 miles up to us here in Hawaii. As far as our other shores, we should see small increases from the east to northeast angles, as well as a pinch from the northwest over the holiday weekend. In other words, it will be surfable everywhere … so plan to get out there and ride, ride, ride!

A jubilant Slater

I’m GQ dropping in for you! See you and your friends in the water, and back here next weekend!

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