Slater & Dorian Single Fin Finalists At The Atoll Invitational - Stab Mag

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How did Kelly's first date with the Atolls on a single fin go? Swimmingly. Photo by Ted Grambeau.

Slater & Dorian Single Fin Finalists At The Atoll Invitational

A Momentum Gen spectacle.

news // Aug 24, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There were no headphones in sight today at the competitors deck for the start of the 2022 Four Seasons Champs. 

Postcard perfect day, consistent four foot sets, and da boiz, Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Rob Machado, Ross Williams, and local wildcard Hussain “Iboo” Areef were spitballing pre-heat in a manner that screamed relaxed. Defs some competitive energy. Couple playful jabs here and there. But relaxed.

Like you would be if you were in the tropics with old pals getting tubed all day. 

Froth levels: peaking. Photo by Jon Frank

The 11x World Champ, Kelly Slater took top honors in a hairless fixture against the silky smooth Shane Dorian in the opening single fin event. “I’m really surprised there’s not a World Tour event here,” said the GOAT post-win who had never previously visited the Maldives. “It’s just such a great location and the waves are beautiful, they’re playful but it’s really high level and high-performance surf”. 

I nominate swapping Rio. Kelly, I know you’re with me. 

Body torque. Shane actually got the jump on Kelly in the opening round with silky wraps of this kind. Photo by Ted Grambeau

Wave selection was the name of the game today as the lads learned to nurse their monohulls to get some bite in the face. “I feel like I learned a lot about how to place my turns better and more subtly, and not try to force things,” continued Kelly. “Whereas on a high-performance board you’re always trying to force the most radical change of direction you can. I think a single-fin is great for your style and your flow.”

Hear that guys? Go buy a single fin. 

“Riding a single fin really limits you for your options on the wave – your choices and turns. It gives us a lot of perspective for what guys were achieving on single fins 40, 50, 60 years ago. It’s a really fun challenge though,” added Shane who was being coached by his supergrom, Jackson Dorian. Who was injured and doing homework in between telling dad how to beat Kelly. A feat he managed in the opening round.

Sensei Ross, stinging. Photo by Ted Grambeau

Multiple people were in attendance today, simply to watch these guys perform. Among them some delighted heavy hitters from the sports commentary world who serendipitously happened to be nearby. However, the legendary Olympic and Commonwealth games commentator, Hamish McLachlan may have had to return home after being rattled by QLD dingy pundit Scott Gillies’ velvet cadence on the mic. 

So yes, Kelly won. 

But no one really lost. 

Tomorrow will most likely see the twin-fin event run, thrusters deeper into the week. We’ll keep you posted.

Can you kick it? Yes you can. Ross shimmy. Photo by Ted Grambeau

Single Fin Division Results

  • Kelly Slater (USA) – 1st 
  • Shane Dorian (USA) – 2nd 
  • Ross Williams (USA) – 3rd
  • Taylor Knox (USA) – 3rd
  • Rob Machado (USA) – 5th
  • Hussain “Iboo” Areef (MDV) – 5th 
Photo by Ted Grambeau
Photo by Ted Grambeau
Photo by Ted Grambeau
Photo by Ted Grambeau
Photo by Ted Grambeau
Photo by Jon Frank.

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