Quik Pro: Final Day

Kelly Slater puts an end to Taj Burrow's hot streak and claims victory at Snapper

| posted on March 09, 2011


Despite rumors about the Champ's commitment to another year on tour, Kelly displayed some of his most focused and decisive surfing to date in the final day at Snapper.


After a 4 hour break that saw half the population of Australia enjoying oil glass sets peeling one after another in perfectly machined precision, Kelly Slater went into the first semi-final with the plan of wasting no time riding waves in the now deteriorating conditions – an increasing northeast wind combined with a super low-tide was making it difficult to find the clean, lined up waves that had been readily available earlier. So, just moments after the horn signaled the start, Kelly found (and ripped) an ideal Snapper wave, then immediately backed it up with another for an easy blow-out of Tiago, who waited in vain for a wave that would allow him to post substantial scores. Without expending much energy at all, Kelly, in what he has called his “Aloha Tour 2011,” was now casually awaiting the winner of the battle of the two superfreaks, Jordy and Taj.

Jordy’s Achilles Heel during the entire event was his inability to find waves even close to the quality of his opponent. Up against Taj that would be his undoing. With Jordy holding priority, Taj slid down the point to the same area Kelly found his second score under Tiago’s priority and threw everything he had at the only two quality waves that broke anywhere along the point during the 30 minute semifinal. With the second semi being a repeat of the first, ending in a landslide victory, the crowd hoped and prayed that the final would see the drama we had grown accustomed to in previous rounds of the Quiksilver Pro.

With Taj surfing so far above and beyond any of his previous years’ performances on the World Tour, one had to wonder if he could keep that pace up, or if he would crumble like countless others have against Kelly Slater – Taj himself has only 7 wins in their 23 match-ups.

The surf continued its rapid decline in quality as both surfers agreed to head directly back out for the final in hopes of finding the last few quality waves on offer. Neither surfer, however, was finding much. Kelly was sitting on a 5.27 and a 5 while Taj merely found numerous 1’s, 2’s, and a lone 3. Finally, with 4 minutes remaining, Taj located a clean wall to bust out his trademark fin-throw and numerous safety turns down the line to end up .1 shy of taking the lead. One more quality turn to show the judges a higher level of risk, and he would have taken the win that almost seemed like a preordained conclusion throughout the event.

As with so many times before, Kelly Slater proved he has an answer for any surfer in any type of conditions that may challenge him en route to another victory. Kelly has now won four of the last five events when the World Title race was still underway. If he shows up for the remainder of his “Aloha Tour” anywhere near as conditioned or focused as he was here, the 2011 World Title looks to be his once again. A good start and great form from both Taj and Jordy make them appear to be the only surfers capable of stopping him.

  • Alex

    It’s getting sligtly boring…

  • Marcelo

    Is getting amazingly exciting… really i wanna see he taking the 11th, sorry but he is still the best. Alien

  • Bland

    He should go ballz out this year & call it quits next year at Lowers, priddy much where it all began back in 90′

  • Jay T

    “Boring”? Exciting……, SIMPLY SICK! Too dominate any professional sport with so much physical and mental drive and ability one should only praise and bow down to such domination…… SLATER 11

  • Dustin

    Nothing boring about the ASP right now. Exciting because slats is still raising the level of surfing and is humble as ever.

    I hope Slater keeps going as long as he can and i can’t wait to see who is next to challenge him like Andy did.

    Every heat was sick, thousands of fans in the water watching….gotta love our fucking sport :O)

    bells next…woot wooooot

  • ama

    I never knew waves pealed. I always thought they peeled.

  • Daniel

    Why surfer mag comes up with this superficial, feeble coverage? There was so much more hot action going on in Snapper apart from Kelly and the other three semifinalist.

  • Danny Israel

    kelly is the king forever.
    the only one who could make someone describe surfing a work of a genius artist.

    he took our favorite sport in the world and showed the rest that it is the ultimate thing .

    love kelly forgood.


  • Danny Israel

    If it is boring to some, i would like to get board like this until i will die.
    Kelly deserve to win. If you pay close attention, the score at most of the finals is lower than the rest of the previous hits and it is due to the fact that they are tired. The thing is that Kelly is in top shape and therefore can pool it off most of the times. No offence to dear Taj, but if i was his trainer i would see his 8 pack through 6mm wetsuit…get in shape you chubby bobby. He is a great surfer but his trainer his a big slacker i suppose. As mark Richard said once in the movie letting go, it is not a happy campers travelling around. It is a competition and therefore TB and the rest should work on getting into better shape. Last year Jordy was chubby as well and now he looks much better than 3 month ago. But kelly had a great set of mind as well and this is what will keep him in the top as log as he likes.
    go kelly
    love you till the end.

  • Matthew Gillenberg

    Although both Taj and Parko are sentimental favorites to win “a” World Title, Slater does what Slater has always done and that would be win. Andy was the only contender that could rattle Slats and with Andy’s untimely and truly sad demise, Slater has a great wide open road to not only another WCT title but multiple titles if he so chooses. If you look at the upcoming schedule of events, it’s not improbable to see Kelly winning 6 out of 10. As good as the new crop of dynamic young rippers are, Slater’s wealth of experience, wave/ocean/location knowledge, and mental focus make him a formidable opponent wherever and whenever those heat horns blow.

  • Henrich

    would you not rather be watching golf at pebble beach