Let’s pick it apart, shall we?
As you’ve no doubt heard, two days ago during a freesurf in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Kelly Slater pulled the biggest alleyoop ever done on a surfboard. It’s an exciting concept and something we feel is big news – think about it, nothing as big has ever been done before. So high and so rotated, that […]
As you’ve no doubt heard, two days ago during a freesurf in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Kelly Slater pulled the biggest alleyoop ever done on a surfboard. It’s an exciting concept and something we feel is big news – think about it, nothing as big has ever been done before. So high and so rotated, that after the spin, he free-falls for a second. It’s surely the final nail in the coffin for 180 alleyoops and, despite the length of time that he’s been in the game, is just another reason why Kelly Slater is still instrumental in the field of progression. Being that the Mod Coll gang popularised the full-rotation ‘oop, we asked two of ’em for their thoughts on Kelly’s latest conquest.
Mitch Coleborn – Australian goofy-footer, bastion of progression and connoisseur of the full-rotation oop.
Stab: Is this the biggest alleyoop ever done?
Mitch: Yep, hands-down. I realised once I’d paused it through every frame. It’s really quick, so you know it’s massive straight away, but you don’t realise it’s the biggest one ever done until you break it down.
How about the layback? The layback made it not quite perfect – it coulda been more perfect if he came out of it super smooth. But he’s a rubberman, so he just got straight back up, straight out of it. Doing something that big, he was just landing on top of the lip with so much force. I don’t think you try and stomp things that are that big, because of your board breaking or your body giving-way. So I think he’s landed really light-footed, which sent him into that lay-back, which he was able to recover out of. So maybe if he didn’t do the lay-back, he wouldn’t have landed it, or snapped his board in half.
While this be the final nail in the coffin for 180 alleyoops? Yeah, they’re pretty lame. If you get the kinda section where you can only do a 180, you should just do a turn, I suppose. They’re just completely irrelevant now especially after this. There’s still sections out there where you can do a big, solid air-reverse and not go full-rotation, but the 180 alleyoop is dead.
Kai Neville – Curator of surfing’s most progressive films, committed virtuoso of auteurism
What’re your thoughts on the trick, Kai? I think it’s mental. It’s huge! It’s obviously not the cleanest oop, I think Jordy’s one at Reunion was more buttery. But Kelly only laid-back for a second before he popped back up, which was cool. It’s a good section and the wind’s perfect. It’s the biggest one ever pulled, I’d say. I also love that there’s no spray, it’s just him silhouetted in the skyline.
I didn’t mind the lay-back. Me neither. He kinda still comes out clean, he pops straight back up. On his way back down he’s fully-extended. He’s like, tall-man, ’cause he’s coming down so far. I’d say he was almost coming out clean, but just because it was so high, he probably didn’t have a choice. I think it actually probably helped him. Where he lands, he kinda takes the pressure off his board, whereas if he’d tried to stomp it, he would’ve just gone straight through his board.
Have any of your guys been toasted doing stuff like that? I remember I was talking to Jordy about landing big airs in the flats and he was telling me that you’re way better off committing. Because he’s so big and because of the (light performance) boards he rides, he’s going to go straight through before he injures himself. He said that if he commits and stays right in the centre of his board, rather than trying to throw it out at the last minute, there’s less potential for injury.
Do y’think Kelly stood up afterwards and said, “What just happened?” Nope. It’s Kelly Slater. I don’t think you could ever say that about him. He’s pretty much done everything in surfing so it’s not really a surprise he does the world’s biggest alleyoop. He’ll probably go out there and do the world’s biggest rodeo tomorrow, too. It’s baffling that he’s that age and still doing things like that. He’s still bettering not only what he’s doing, but what everyone else is doing.
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