Kelly Slater Adds An Atolls Invitational Win To His Encyclopedia Of Accolades - Stab Mag

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Kelly Slater Adds An Atolls Invitational Win To His Encyclopedia Of Accolades

GOAT’S gonna bahhhh.

news // Aug 27, 2022
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Shoulder high waves. Offshore wind. A Lowers comparison felt fair enough. 

The competitors seemed quite relaxed on the morning of the Atolls Invitational final — but that quickly changed with the sound of the first siren. Everyone is here to win. 

A ship sunk last night (now’s the time to salvage!), but a few boats that found a much better fate turned up in the channel to watch — including some hardcore GOAT fans. Iboo’s family are in position 1A, on a pimping boat no less. It was nice to see locals tuning in, and the surfers were doing the laps, signing autographs and shaking hands. 

The day’s agenda? Thruster division straight into the final surf-off based on the standings.

John Frank was shooting water; Ted Grambeau was on land. Let’s go. 

Team Iboo. All Photos: Jon Frank and Ted Grambeau

The scene 

Injured but unfazed, Jackson Dorian put on a masterclass in the middle deck cabin. He hosted a one-man live play-by-play commentary show — which was equal parts funny and informative — and it turned into a live IG feed. Jackson lifted the entire mood of the boat with his rundowns of each and every wave. At one point, he was even signing autographs for young locals in between his broadcast. Legend. 

Meanwhile, pops Shane was riding a 5’9” x 18 ⅜ x 2 ⅜ Dan Mann Slater Design. Fun fact: He grabs the exact same board off the rack each time he goes to Indo and gifts it to a local at the end of the trip. Rinse and repeat every year. He claims the boards don’t change — every one is exactly the same, which is rare. 

Now, down to business. 

Letting the tail drift a bit, as he is known to do.

Heat 1 – Kelly / Rob / Taylor 

Kelly drops an 8. Couple of sick carves to slides, and a layback. Rob’s turns are pulling big scores, and he took the lead with a 14.40 total. Kelly snuck onto an average wave but went proper mad and grabbed the W with a 7. Bam. Taylor looked good, but fell out of the comp. 

Local knowledge, local power. The great Iboo Areef.

Heat 2 – Shane / Iboo / Ross

Dorian looks sharp and opens with a 7.57. Ross has been kind, polite and knowledgeable, and it looks like his body is feeling good. He starts slow though — him and Iboo couldn’t seem to find the good ones. Then, Dorian goes excellent with a pair of eights. Eventually, Iboo gets a 6.1 and slides into second place. Ross out. 

Air guy Slats!

Semi 1 – Kelly / Iboo 

Slater — riding a 2 + 1 with Endorfins — slices a 7.3 pretty quickly. Iboo answered back with a 6.16, but Kelly rips the shit out of one with five solid turns for a 7.33. Game over for Iboo. 

The Dozza.

Semi 2 – Shane / Rob

They were both super mellow before the heat, but things changed quickly when they hit the water. Rob opens with six backhand hooks for an 8. Shane answers with fewer turns for a higher score, an 8.4. Rob’s reply? Eight turns, all powerful, for an 8.6. A lull doesn’t even give Shane a chance to reply. Rob moves on to the final. 

An enviable position in life.

Final – Kelly / Rob 

Kelly got an 8.77 and an 8.17 in a heartbeat. Wow. Rob slips one under priority — eight turns again — for a 7.87. He gets a few more waves, but it’s chalk and cheese. Kelly goes berzerk on one for a 9.33. No coming back from that for Rob. 

Statues have been constructed in honor of this form.

The Mega Final – Kelly / Shane 

It’s time to declare an event champ. Each surfer kept a point tally depending on how they performed on each craft — single fins, twins, and the thrusters earlier today. This pits Kelly against Shane, and they’re allowed to surf on their weapons of choice. Both stick with their thrusters. 

Kelly takes the first wave — his second turn on it was vintage Kelly — and proceeds to sear it through the inside for an 8.73. He quickly follows it up with a 7. Shane is combo’d and knows he needs something special, so he waits. He finally goes, but the wave doesn’t allow for much. Then Kelly hammers another for another 8. 

With four minutes left, Dorian answers with a respectable score but time is not on his side…

Kelly wins the event. Jackson wins the crowd. Everyone’s happy. 

He sure is.

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