Kelly Slater, Cape Solander, NSW
More than anything else on this Earth, in this life, Kelly Slater loves to surf. Don’t think for a second that the countless hours in the brine or experiences that come with 11 world titles have jaded this man, even slightly. Case in point: the session you see here. In his frequent trawling of online […]
More than anything else on this Earth, in this life, Kelly Slater loves to surf. Don’t think for a second that the countless hours in the brine or experiences that come with 11 world titles have jaded this man, even slightly. Case in point: the session you see here. In his frequent trawling of online swell forecasts, Kelly spotted a combo of conditions that’d light up Cape Solander in Sydney, aka Ours. So, like a steam train, he punched south from the Gold Coast (he was also eyeing swells in Tasmania, Fiji and Panama).
Kelly rolled up to the spot at 2pm yesterday with Taylor Steele and photog, Morgan Maassen. Taj Burrow, Mark Mathews, Ryan Hipwood also joined him in the lineup. Traffic in the water wasn’t too heavy, but Kelly was a having a blast directing it – this included a team of youngsters who were thrilled by the champ’s repeated shouts of “Go grom!”, and some locals who happily took advice from where to sit, even at their own break. This ain’t arrogance, either – just that Kelly shows up to a spot and remembers everything from his last session there as if it was an hour ago. This fact wasn’t lost on the audience, either – the lineup was buzzing with talk of Kelly making Middles look like Soup Bowls in Barbados, despite being so treacherous. “The footage of him makes it look so playful,” said Ryan Hipwood later.
So, does the champ get scared? Mark Mathews, a lover of large, fast-moving bodies of water, doesn’t think so: “I get scared when I see I big one even though I know I’m going,” Mark says. “But Kelly looks as if he knows how the wave plays out before he even paddles for it.” He does agree, however, he adopts crazy eyes and he paddles with intent.
For the last 40 minutes of his session, Kelly paddled over to a rarely-surfed part of the cape; a nothing righthander, typically towed-into, which he surfed casual as y’like (except for taking a serious over-the-falls, but pin-dropping effortlessly to safety through the back.) As the universe dimmed the lights, Kelly laughed (but kinda wasn’t joking) as he said, “Let’s stay out with the full moon!”
Photo: Humberto Almeida
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