Stab Magazine | Kelly Slater, still on top, Portugal
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Kelly Slater, still on top, Portugal

It’s little wonder that Kelly Slater’s still on top. The guy’s 38 years old, still limber as a leopard, and still taking down devilish younger guys in high-pressure situations. He won the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, this year with a physics-defying alley-oop, showing that flexibility can be the difference between a win and loss. […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by Damea Dorsey
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

It’s little wonder that Kelly Slater’s still on top. The guy’s 38 years old, still limber as a leopard, and still taking down devilish younger guys in high-pressure situations. He won the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, this year with a physics-defying alley-oop, showing that flexibility can be the difference between a win and loss. He then spun another full-roter alley-oop in his semi-final at the Rip Curl Pro, Peniche – a move his opponent, Chris Davidson, deemed worthy of a salute.

It ain’t hard to be humbled by Kelly’s approach. He’s a veteran on tour, but still mixes it up with the rookies. He’s attacked this year with pizzazz, flairing nu-school moves every heat while backing it up with seamless fundamental surfing, proving that he’s far from irrelevance. Who knows how long it’ll be ’till he’s had enough.

One of Kelly’s other greatest strengths? Never underestimate your opponent. Post-final in Portugal, here’s what the champ had to say:

“It was actually a pretty slow final with neither of us getting any waves of consequence. I was trying to stay busy but neither of us could get a solid wave. I actually nearly ended up reaching my wave maximum out there so I kind of had to slow down and try to wait for waves that mattered. Jordy (Smith) has all the talent in the world and he’s capable of getting a score at any time. It wasn’t over until the horn blew.”

Watch out for a coming feature on Kelly’s future movements.

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