Fantasy Heats

Slater 2005 vs. Slater 2013. Archy vs. Dane; Shaun Tomson vs. Parko; Pottz vs. Jordy. Ando vs. Wilko. You vote on the winner.

| posted on July 26, 2013

If the Slater of then (2004) squared off against the Slater of now (2013), who would win? Photos: Ellis

You know those slow moments during a contest webcast when your mind begins to wander and you start to imagine what it would be like if yesteryear’s pros surfed against today’s ASP darlings? You do that too right? Ever wonder if an in-their-prime world champ from the ’80s would stand a chance against the current crop of title contenders? How the best freesurfers on the planet would fare when thrown into the bloodthirsty world of competitive surfing? We composed a fantasy slate of two-man heats to find out.

Who wins? Vote below.


Highest Career Ranking: Slater (2005) 7x World Champion. Slater (2013) 11x World Champion.

Venue: Cloudbreak

By the end of the 2005 season, Slater had won his seventh, and most difficult, world title after taking three years off on a competitive rumspringa, and then toiling for another three years to solve the riddle of Andy Irons. Arguably, this was the most competitively seasoned Slater the sport has seen. Ah, but the 2013 model of Slater has tacked on four more titles, all while raising his surfing level to the realm of the unreal. Cloudbreak is the only appropriate playing field for a Slater on Slater battle, and history suggests that Slater’s only real competition is himself.


Highest Career Ranking: Reynolds No. 4 in 2010. Archbold No. 37 in 1987

Venue: Lowers

A monumental battle between two of the greatest what-could-have-beens in competitive pro surf history. Or a snorefest of poor wave judgment and flyaway tail-blows. Could be either. As far as competition goes, Archy was Dane before Dane was Dane. Just with more tattoos. Like Dane, Archy surfed better and harder than almost everybody on tour, but lost interest once he put on a jersey. Both Archy and Dane have been praised as the “World’s Best Freesurfer,” at times, but short of Dane’s run in 2010 and Archy’s limited success on the domestic tour circuit, neither had much luck in heats.


Highest Career Ranking: Tomson, World Champ in 1977. Parko, World Champ in 2012.

Venue: Pipeline

Possibly the handsomest heat in surfing history. Tomson, the most genteel pro surfer the sport has ever seen, always seemed as though he was a refugee from a royal family somewhere. He surfed like it too. Polished, smooth, not a finger or lock of hair out of place, Tomson rode waves like he was doing them a favor. Parko is Tomson’s equal in smoothness, in the water at least, and buoyed by his world title, now surfs as though winning is inevitable.


Highest Career Ranking: Smith, No. 2 in 2010. Potter, World Champ in 1989.

Venue: Hossegor

A power battle for the ages. Two Saffa regularfoots who blend eye-popping airs with rail work badassery. Both surfers are mercurial talents, prone to streaks of otherworldly performance punctuated by head-scratching lapses of concentration. Neither is a stranger to the bawdy underworld of the pro surf party scene. Each boasts a terrific head of hair.


Highest Career Ranking: Ando, N/A. Wilkinson, No. 20 in 2011.

Venue: Rio

Two of the styliest goofies on earth. Wilko probably is the closest thing the tour has to Ando: long-haired, uninhibited, and flaunting a backhand approach that’s based on tail wafts and power finners. Ando is more limber with a bigger bag of air tricks, but his mind may wander a bit during a heat. In fact, if he spent the whole heat paddling around chasing a butterfly, nobody would be surprised.

  • jimmy

    where are these heats at? trestles or teahupoo? might change my vote

  • Max

    How about tossing in a few more like Marzo vs Archy or The Bull vs Greg Long or Curren vs Parko or Curren vs Slater..

  • Max

    Toss in a few more – Andy vs Curren, Lopez vs Machado, Eddy vs Flea, 3-way Bruce vs The Bull vs Nathan

    • Joshua Caudill

      you just blew my mind ith the Lopez Vs Machado.

      • rickitick

        That Junk would be All-Time!!! LLLett’s geettt rrrreeaaaddyyy ttttoooo rrrruuummmmbbbblllleee…..The Chob taking on Mr. Pipe…that’s a whole issue to itself. WTG Max!

  • Casey

    Was that 2004 Slater or 2005 in that first picture at JBay? Either way Andy won both of those contests…

    (Not a Slater-hater, AI was just my favorite surfer and there’s no question that last wave was not a 9.5 at that contest)

    • Joshua Caudill

      Are you talking about the one where Slater went for a fourth turn down the line and wiped out yet somehow got a 9.5?

  • NM

    you should have post videos of each surfer at the break that year.

  • charlie

    Maybe Surfermag can arrange a surftrip with Archy and Dane (drive thru style). The footage would be put online and people can vote which surfer they prefer. How rad would that be!!!

  • Rafael Hash Guevara

    Curren Old School!

  • Filipe Antolin Teixeira

    The results in this poll would make a great article

  • hi-heat

    Curren is King!

  • eeeeee

    Nobody knows the Old school guys. The Old school rules!

  • Sam

    You should add Jamie O’Brien vs. Derek Ho at pipeline

  • Avi G

    I would love to see Rasta against …hell a lot of people. See if the impeccable flow and timing and alternative boards could stand up against the worlds best.
    It would be great to get a contest together of all of these “outcasts” by choice and push them into a contest for charity as well as money…bet they would try harder.
    Except…I really like Alex Grey but he got his hat handed to him at Cloudbreak.
    He’s just been off the Tour for too long.

    He’s a Super fun commentator though. More Alex Grey on the Mic.

  • Vinícius Maciel


  • Pavlo

    Hey you forgot Larry Bertleman and Dane Kealoha from back in the day

  • Jesse Lis

    Winner takes all, Matt Archbold.

  • Luciano

    Pottz surfs so much better than Jordy that this heat is a joke! And most beautiful heat has go to have Tom Curren and Occy on it!

  • Luciano

    Yeah these kids who are voting have never seen Martin Potter surfing. Voting for Jordy against him is a joke hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • kev

    Don’t get me wrong, Pottz was awesome. Don’t see him landing any rodeos though.

  • Cotton mcKnight

    Martin Potter is a proper tool-bag.

  • JJ


  • skill

    machado and lopez have no skill