Southern surf, and Slater does it again

Gary Kewley
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Friday - June 06, 2008
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Kelly Slater
Kelly Slater raises his arms in victory for the third time this season. Winning the Globe puts him in position for an astonishing ninth world title

Howzit, surfers and beachgoers! Welcome to June and our great run of southern surf! We’ve had waves almost all week with plenty into the weekend and beyond! Summer’s here - you can feel it. It’s the moderate to fresh trades and bright sunny days ... it’s the consistent south swells ... it’s the Burger King State Surfing Championships ... and it’s graduations galore.Time to party in paradise!

Indeed, the forecast is sweet. Our high pressure is strong to the NE and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. This means a stable atmosphere. Down Under (500 miles south) by New Zealand,we’ve had an amazing run of big storms pushing up waves for our playground and pleasure. In fact, these systems are so powerful,Chile is getting some spots up to near 20 feet. This is due to these storms tracking directly into the south coast of South America. Think of it as being similar to our big NW swells December through February. It’s their winter and they are sitting in the perfect spot.

It’s well-known that Hawaii is home to some of the world’s greatest surfing talent. Every one of these champs - Michael and Derek Ho, Sunny Garcia,Andy and Bruce Irons, Jamie O’Brien - all surfed as top amateurs at one time. So who’s it going to be from the Burger King State Surfing Champs? Head over to Magic Island and watch all the action Wednesday through Friday and make a claim. There are a whopping 27 divisions!

Also,this Saturday it’s Soljah presenting the first Primo Stand-Up Challenge from Hawaii Kai Boat Ramp to the Elk’s Club. It will benefit Malama Maunalua, a community-based initiative dedicated to creating a more culturally and ecologically healthy Maunalua region in Southeast Oahu. Good on Alika Winter for stepping up for stand-up surfing and our aina.

But wait, there’s more! The Steinlager Shaka Long Board series swats it at Flies surf spot in Kakaako. They’ll use both days.

All the above events in our frenetic surf town will be posted on SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM. Just click the SNN News Wire link.

Lastly, let’s get off our island and on to Tavarua Island in Fiji, 3,000 miles to the southwest. The Foster’s ASP World Tour just finished the Globe Fiji Pro on the tiny island. They scored great waves relative to 90 percent of the world’s surf spots, but I’d say after watching the whole thing online, waves were overall “average to good"for this break.The best in the biz rode 3- to 6-foot lefts the whole way with off-and-on windy side shore textures.

What wasn’t average was the surfing. The tour talent pool is so deep it is almost ridiculous. Like in most sports, our wave warrior athletes have had to evolve to levels unachievable a decade ago just to survive. For example, Australians like Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow would likely have several titles between them surfing like they do today in the ‘90s. But it’s 2008 and neither has a title.

There’s just one exception, and this dude is truly exceptional. His name is Kelly Slater.You may have heard of him.He’s from Planet Surf - in fact; he owns it, and has for over a decade and a half. It’s a place no one else has ever seen or been. He rides in a rarified atmosphere.

Slater won - again - making this his third win of the season out of just four contests! There are seven more to go. But, for now, it is total domination. KS places himself far ahead (by 1,000 points) of the entire talent pool mentioned above. For the time being, it’s Kelly Slater rewriting history - again. The surf world according to Kelly points to nine world titles. But I don’t want to jinx fate.I’ll just watch in awe the greatest surfer and one of the greatest athletes of all time.

GQ, dropping in 4 U!


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