LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Tuesday, September 21, 2010) – Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 38, has clawed his way back to No. 1 on the ASP World Tour after yet another almost unimaginably flawless performance at the Hurley Pro at Trestles, defeating Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, to take the win. The victory represented his fourth at Trestles and his 43rd career ASP Dream Tour event win, moving Slater potentially one step closer to an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title. ESPN.com caught up with the surfing icon before he launched his ASP World Title campaign into the remaining four events of the 2010 season. This… is their story…
We caught up with Kelly Slater shortly after he hoisted the railroad tie that is the Hurley Pro trophy, here’s a glimpse of what’s on the champ’s mind as he stares down at record tenth world title:
On Jordy Smith under pressure: I felt he was starting to feel it, but then that wave he had against Brett [Simpson] was pretty technical. You can’t do that when you’re thinking about other stuff. He put that together pretty good.
On what the judges are looking for: I had a talk with the three head judges and we looked at some video. We looked at a bunch of people’s waves — my waves, Owen’s [Wright] waves, and then some of Dane and Jordy’s — and we talked about the criteria and the scoring and what they were looking for so I could have a better understanding for myself. And after seeing the scores and relating it to the visuals I could see where they were getting the scores. I think they like that open-face surfing. Me and Bede like to get out there and do the big swooping turns, but I was trying to get a little more technical earlier in the contest and stay real tight in the pocket, draw a real steep bottom turn and then come up and go past twelve o’clock. That didn’t seem to be liked too much by the judges. Seems like they wanted to see the raw power on the open face and then when you got the right section you were able to do an air or bust the tail out.
On getting tubed at Lowers: The funny thing is, a tube out here isn’t really a difficult thing. It’s not a dangerous wave or difficult thing to make. It’s kind of soft and easy to bust through the lip if you have to, but then that one I got it was actually a stand-up barrel. It was actually a top-to-bottom barrel and I had to work my way through it with a couple of turns and pumps. I was actually surprised how good it was.
For the full Kelly Slater interview check out the ESPN Feature.
For more information on Kelly check out his profile.
To watch Slater work towards his next ASP World Title watch him compete at the Quiksilver Pro France, which holds a waiting period from September 25 through October 5, 2010.