SurferMag.com Exclusive Interview 2008 Rip Curl Pro Champion, Kelly Slater
Interview by Ben Mondy SURFER Magazine Senior Writer
Obvious question, are you going to go to next event now?
Well I don’t know. We’ll see. A few of my friends have booked a house over there, so that’s good to know. But you know, I’m still taking it event by event, and we’ll just see how things pan out. Even this event, I emailed twice to pull out, but a few things happened and my girl was like, “look everything’s pointing in that direction to go do it, so don’t fight it.” And I went with it and it’s paid off.
But your ninth world title is now up for grabs surely?
KS: Well, yeah but there’s a lot of good surfers. I mean the hype around Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds is there for a reason. I mean, Dane Reynolds is probably the best surfer in the world right now. In barrels, for airs, carves, in all round conditions, he’s the best surfers. So you know, we’ll just see how it’s going. I’m having fun, and cruising, so we’ll see.
KS: Right now I’m going up to the Gold Coast. I’m going to take my girlfriend up and show her the Goldy and the sanctuary with the kangaroos and just have a good time.
How long have you been watching events here at Bells, Claw?
Well I watched all the heats in 1963; the event Doug Andrew won and I’ve pretty much seen every one since. And back then did you ever think you’d see surfing like you’ve just seen today?
45 years ago? No way in my wildest dreams could I’d imagine I’d see the surfing that Mick Fanning is doing today. Look, we had some great surfers and some visionaries that made crazy surfboards and an oceanographer called Neil Davis who created some trippy stuff but even the space cadets like him couldn’t have even dreamt up the stuff we have see today. And after all these years, what do you love about this event? Why is it so special to you?
Well I think the waves offer so many challenges. They are not the biggest and not the hollowest, but they have all these idiosyncrasies, with subtle changes in the wind and subtle changes in the tide changing them so much. And the thing is they are high performance waves. They do allow big moves and traditionally over the years we’ve seen whatever is the most progressive turns at that moment displayed here. And once again we’ve seen it this year. Huge and progressive and creative moves. That’s what you see here.
SurferMag.com Exclusive Interview Shaper For The Stars, Darren Handley Interview by Ben Mondy SURFER Senior Writer
What brings you down to Bells DH?
Darren Handley: I’m mainly down here with Mick, just supporting him. He seems to have a pretty big team with him now when he travels.
Yeah well last year he had has fitness guy and his coach, plus videographer, and his shaper and it seemed to work pretty well. And now some of the other guys seeming to do it as well.
Yeah I’ve reckoned some of them have cottoned on, you see Taj and Parko with a coach and fitness guys. Now it’s all about trying to get every possible edge you can. By getting your fitness and your heat drills and your boards exactly right you can push yourself so much. And Mick did that today.
Well, yeah he looked good. It was pretty good to watch – he has that ability to swing his board ran full circle and not lose speed. And all the big guns are left in the event so it all looks good.
SurferMag.com Exclusive Interview Rip Curl Pit Boss Barks Out Interview by Ben Mondy SURFER Senior Writer
Matt Griggs is Rip Curl’s Pit Boss, and responsible for overseeing the training and technique of the their WCT team. I caught up with him following the loss of Taylor Knox.
Surfer: That was pretty cruel for Taylor. You can sense he was trying so hard out there.
Matt Griggs: Yeah, I really feel for Taylor right now. He has worked so, so hard and his surfing has improved so much lately.
And yet he didn’t get a chance to show it.
Yeah, he was unlucky. His commitment and passion is second to none and then he has a heat where he can’t show what he’s worked so hard at.
Dealing with it and it can be sometimes out of your control must be tough.
Yep, this sport can be so cruel. I’m feeling for him right now.
SurferMag.com Exclusive Interview Freddy P. Takes Bruce In a Smack-Talking Friendly Interview by Ben Mondy SURFER Senior Writer
Surfer: So you beat Bruce, how much shit you gonna put on him?
Freddy P:Yeah I’ll give a lot of shit for sure, couple of months at least.
I mean he’d do the same.
For sure, you know it’s always good to put one over him, but it’s kinda awkward cause we travel together, we hang out together, but we push each other with everything we do. But I think it’s better to beat him at surfing rather than golf so once I get him on the links today or tomorrow, than we’ll see who the real Bells champion is.
And how were the conditions out there?
Well, it’s kinda tough, cause there’s a fair bit of bump out with the onshore. I was lucky that I got that one that walled through the inside. That was enough to get me through and I’m pretty stoked.