Slater Rules

Gary Kewley
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Friday - October 20, 2006
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Kelly Slater celebrates his eighth world title in Spain — the greatest surfer of all time
Kelly Slater celebrates his
eighth world title in Spain -
the greatest surfer of all

Hey, wave riders!

I keep saying this is the last one for south shores, and the bottom line is ... not! It’s almost laughable - and please show me when this has ever happened before. And don’t count on this happening again till the next generation. The town waves are not big (6 feet), it’s just the sheer consistency or number of swells (20) to hit town since last spring. Surf for joy!

Now add in the country and the game is on.

Yep, we’ve had some 10-footers into Sunset Beach the last week. Beautiful surf! Triple Crown director Randy Rarick has been “on it” a lot, for he knows his free time is going to get crunched soon. I saw Xcel Wetsuits owner Ed D’Ascoli with a great tan and big smile at my SNN Team meeting. I didn’t have to ask why ... but did. Ed’s also prepping for his 23rd annual Xcel Pro Oct. 27-Nov. 10.

I broke a newly repaired 7-foot without even catching the wave (dysfunctional punch-through). Top N.S. lifeguard Pat Kelly shared “hold down” stories at Sunset. Well, at least he’s surfing every day and keeping his boards in one piece. Ahhh, ‘tis the season to be jolly.

Kelly Slater made history again last week
Kelly Slater made history
again last week

Big news: The big rivalry for the world championship between Slater and Irons is over - this year and possibly forever. In an amazing season, Slater made history again and won his eighth world title last week in Spain - double that of his nearest record holder, Mark Richards, ‘79-‘82. Kelly did this with two more events to go - against, by far, the most talented field of top surfers ever. He also did this as the oldest ever to claim a title (34). He even missed an event this year (Fiji) due to injury. K-Slate sits at the table among the world’s greatest athletes of all time.

Will he surf in Brazil and in the Vans Triple Crown? Of course! Slater’s just having fun, and he’s more relaxed than ever before. He admitted that this year has probably been his best consistency-wise since he claimed his first title way back in 1992. “This has definitely been my most consistent year ever ... I’ve been much more relaxed this year. I’ve just been cruising and having fun and haven’t put so much pressure on myself.” After claiming six world crowns in the ‘90s, Slater drifted into semi-retirement in 1999. He then returned to the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour in 2001 and after an incredible duel with former three-time champion Andy Irons, Slater reclaimed the crown in 2005 ... and now 2006.

Slater’s relaxed, but hungry. He said he wants to win the Triple Crown and especially the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters (he’s already won record five). Andy Irons, among others, will want some revenge and glory - especially when the world comes to the North Shore to experience the Fosters ASP Tour finale at Pipe. You do not want to miss it - any of it!

See you back here next week in MidWeek!

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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